Bawa awards to recognize new architectural talents

Saturday, 12 February 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Eight nominees shortlisted from 63 projects

By Cheranka Mendis

Geoffrey Bawa Awards for Excellence in Architecture which recognizes the creative and talented architects of our time will be held this July, acknowledging the best man behind the new buildings that has come up in the recent past.

Held for the first time three years ago, the award ceremony was known as a highly transparent and a professional one and appreciated the works of four architects. This year, the Geoffrey Bawa Trust received 63 projects entered by 39 architects. Eight nominees has been short listed, out of which the winner will walk away with a Rs. 1 million reward.

 Announcing the eight finalists, Trustee of Geoffrey Bawa Awards Technical Review Committee Archt. Channa Daswatte stated most projects were of high calibre and that foremost architects in Asia Kerry Hill announced that the majority were world class buildings.

 The short listed submissions on the run for Geoffrey Bawa Award 2010-2011 for Excellence in Architecture are Udayaperuma School in Batticaloa submitted by Archt. Yudish Ganesan, Tsunami Housing in Kaluthara by Sheran Henry Associates, Lion Museum Biyagama also by Sheran Henry Associates, Holiday Bungalow in Avissawella by Archt. Palinda Kannangara, Kalundewa Retreat Dambulla by Archt. Sanath Liyanage, Holiday Bungalow Matale by Archt. Thisara Thanapathy, Sarath Abeyrathne House in Colombo 5 by Archt. Thisara Thanapathy and the new British High Commission in Colombo 7 by foreign firm Richard Murphy Architects in Scotland.

 “Architecture is  not about space, it’s about creating a bungalow,” Daswatte said, “most that has been short listed are simple structures but it is their craftsmanship that has enabled such high class designs.”

 The award, which looks at current concepts such as contemporary design, restoration, re-use and area conservation is said to adhere to principals similar to those of the world renowned Aga Khan Awards for Architecture organized by the Aga Khan Trust for Children in Geneva. As such, the awards will recognize and reward only the most superior examples of architecture, the organizers said with the end objective being the encouragement of excellence in the field and the increasing awareness of the importance of the built environment.

 Chairperson of Geoffrey Bawa Trust, Sunethra Bandaranaike stated that the awards will be held on July 23 marking the late Bawa’s birthday. “We will hold the award presentation every three years and not more frequently. We hope that this recognition will increase the quality of work and enhance the creativity of the local architects. It is an upliftment process, one that will be continued for years to come,” Bandaranaike said.