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DateLine Sunday, 17 February 2008

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Architecture 2008:

Host of events to celebrate architecture in Sri Lanka

The much-awaited annual sessions of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects will commence on February 20 and continue till 24 February at the BMICH under the theme 'Architect the Initiator'.

The annual sessions of will be declared open by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka with Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardene, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Ferial Ashraff.

The key note address of the inaugural session will be delivered by world renowned Architect Ulrick Plesner. Plesner is the Managing Partner of Plesner Architects, Tel Aviv, Israel; Archt. Ulrick Plesner is famous for his long-term partnership with Geoffrey Bawa in most of his projects, thus leaving his architectural footprints in the arena of Sri Lankan architecture.

The eminent architects in line to address different sessions include Vidya Jothi Architect Ashley De Vos, Shree Sethi from Delhi, Christopher Silva, D.H. Wijewardene, Kishore Trivedi from Gujarat India, George Ziekle from Germany and M.M. Samuel.

The exhibition consists of 411 stalls, showcasing the latest variety of both local and imported building material such as water proofing, supply of steel, material for doors and windows, roofing materials.

Among other things, the informative sessions will provide the latest development in the field of Architecture. In addition, the exhibition will also attract a large number of architect lovers not only from Sri Lanka but also from other parts of the country.

Architect Jayantha Perera, President of sessions 2007/09, SLIA, reminiscent of the event stated that the event started in 1983 during the period when Archt. Surath Wickramasinghe was the president of the SLIA.

'SLIA has ventured far and is now one of the foremost professional organisations in the island and Asia. The institution has been focusing on the professional practices of architecture as well as education.

We have noted a lot of improvement in the profession and have played a lead role in contributing to the development in the field as well as raising the standards of the construction industry in the country,' he said.

Design Group 5, a registered practice at the SLIA will also be presented a special award. Several events including an exhibition of architecture, trade exhibition and National Conference on Architecture will be running in parallel with the sessions.

The unique feature of this session is that it marked the 25th anniversary of the annual sessions in this format which was commenced on 1983. One of the key features of the annual session is presenting the coveted award 'Designer Excellence' and honour bestowed upon an outstanding architect who made a lasting contribution to the field of architecture.

This year Architect Surath Wickramasinghe who has made a lasting contribution to the field, will be honoured with a Gold Medal, by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architect. He was the past President of the Town Planning Institute, former Chairman of the OPA and the Founder President of the Chamber of Construction Industries.

In addition, awards for the Construction Industry and membership awards will be presented. Among the events, as a part of the celebrations is the golden jubilee of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA), an exhibition of architectural work and trade, an Annual General Meeting and Fellowship night.

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