Saturday, May 30, 2009

addition to IESL building, colombo (cSLa #2)

This is the recently completed extension/ addition to the office building of the Institute of Engineers Sir Lanka (IESL). Yes that is right, Institute of Engineers, not architects.
It certainly is breath of fresh air to the dreary old brick and mortar tombs that muddle the block of land along the Vidya Mawatha (Science Lane?), which front both the IESL and of course the SLIA (Sri Lanka Institute of Architects) buildings.
I have already heard a few comments of the usual variety of ‘too much glass’ or ‘totally unsuitable for this context’, mostly from my (jealous?) architect colleagues. No wonder they are jealous as SLIA building, even though only a few meter away from this new addition to the IESL building, looks about a millennia behind in time.
But I think it is a fantastic solution, both architecturally and technically. The architect has superimposed this new addition to IESL complex with minimum disturbances to the existing courtyard on which it stands and at the same time made a structural statement worthy of the institute it represents.

Project Architect /Engineer - Mano Ponniah (Unconfirmed. Find the link for Mano’s website below, though it doesn’t say anything about this building)

Photos - Janaka Dharmasena
Architect - Mano Ponniah
Go to IESL website

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tay Kheng Soon and SPURS

"Wisdom without courage is just to make yourself happy."

Looks like I am fast becoming a TKS fan. 

This interview with TKS by 'Sintercom' gives an insight not only to the man and his methods but also to the development process of Singapore during the last two decades or so.



"It is neither the Urban nor the Rural, it is both. New architecture cannot come out of old planning! Cities of Asia, behold the countryside, and imagine the infinite possibilities. See one space, not two."- quoted from RUBANISATION  blog.

I had the opportunity to listen to Prof. Tay Kheng Soon a couple of months ago at a CPD organised by the SLIA (that is a continues professional development workshop organised by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects!). I was quite fascinated by the theory proposed by him.

I often struggled to understand  clear differences of  the urban/ rural patterns in theories taught at the school (uni) and my inability distinguish those differences when I look around the Sri Lankan landscape. Where the city ends and the village starts? Especially along most of the ‘main’ roads l(say from Colombo to Galle) it is very difficult to distinguish between urban and rural.

May be TKS’s ‘Rubernization’ is the answer.

Proff. Tay Kheng Soon (TKS) blog on RUBANISATION

'Mega-Cities in the Tropics - Towards an Architectural Agenda for the Future' by Tay Kheng Soon

Image Credit - Proff. Tay Kheng Soon (

Friday, May 15, 2009

construct exhibition 2009

Construct Exhibition 2009 will be held at Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre (SBEC), Colombo from 14th Aug. to 16th Aug.

This is an event organized by the National Construction Association of Sri Lanka (NCASL).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

trying-out sinhala language blogging (#1)

Actually I wanted to read some sinhala blogs and had to go through the process of installing sinhala fonts (correctly). So I thought that I might have a go at typing a few words in sinhala at the same time. So here is process for your information. Actually it is easier than you might think. (මේක සිංහලෙන් බ්ලොග් එක ලියන්න කරන අත් හදා බැලිමක්. සිංහලෙන් කියවන්න ඔනේ නම් මේ විදියට සිංහල ෆොන්ට් ඉන්ස්ටොල් කරගෙන කියවන්න පුලුවන්. )
To install sinhala fonts /scripts correctly;(සිංහල ෆොන්ට් ඉන්ස්ටොල් කර ගන්න විදිය.)
Link 1 (ලින්ක් 1)

Ways and means of typing sinhala in an English key board; (සිංහල අකුරු ඉන්ග්ලිෂ් කී බෝඩ් එකේ ටයිප් කල හැකි විධි.)
Link 2 (ලින්ක් 2)

My preferred way for typing sinhala; (ඉහත විදි වලින් මට නම් මේ විදිය තමයි පහසු)
SinGlish transliterated –> Sinhala Unicode.
Link 3 (ලින්ක් 3)

මෙ අත් හදා බැලිමේ කොටසක් විදියට ඇම්බැක්කෙ දේවාලයේ සුප්‍රකට ලී කැටයම් වල මා ගත්තු පින්තුර කීපයක් එකතු කරන්න හිතුවා. මෙම දේවාලය ගම්පොල යුගයේ දෙවන වික්‍රමබාහු රජුගෙ කාලයේ කරන ලද්දක් විදියටයි සලකන්නේ. මේ අපූරු ලී කැටයම් ජාතික උරුමක්. 

Sunday, May 10, 2009

urban design for tourism city (from archipedia)

time-saver standards for urban design by donald watson (book #5)

 "While cities occupy only two percent of the earth's landmass, they contain 50 percent of world population, consume 75 percent of the world's resources and..."

Time-Saver Standards for Urban Design By Donald Watson


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

do not asian-ize european urbanity (from fivefootway)

"Europe is attempting to critically examine themselves and push on to explore how they can evolve. What about us in Asia?........  (quoted from fivefootway)

Actually I wanted to write a piece about so called "asian urbanity" for a while now and as usual still trying to get around to do it.  But enjoy this while I find sometime to do that. Actually 'fivefootway' is a very informative blog.


Monday, May 4, 2009

toxic urbanity (from

"I wouldn’t poop in the Beira Lake for fear of getting my poop dirty........." (quoted from

Sunday, May 3, 2009

graduation exhibition of mora design students

Students of the outgoing batch of bachelor of design (B. Des), university of Moratuwa are exhibiting their work at the National Art Gallery from 02nd to 04th May. Here is some of their work.

Photos: Janaka

Year book published by the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.

B.Des Course

Saturday, May 2, 2009

a week in Geoffrey Bawa's foot steps

Geoffrey Bawa commemoration week from May 24th to May 31st. Annual lecture and open days at Geoffrey Bawa's Colombo residence and Lunuganga, his country estate. Free entry for the events.