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Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) lays platforms for the Sri Lankan current and future generations of architects to prove to the world that the small paradise island is indeed potent enough to compete with even the international greats. ‘Architect 2020’, a segment under SLIA’s annual sessions (currently on its 38th event), is hosted annually by SLIA for this particular reason, and it is scheduled to dazzle the nation from 19th to 23rd of February 2020 at the BMICH Colombo. These sessions include a series of promising events including the most prominent event of "Architect 2020 - Members’ Work and Trade Exhibition" under this year’s Theme – "The Art of Architecture – Space for All".
It was Frank Gehry who claimed that ‘architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness’. The City School of Architecture has consistently lived up such claim by molding future architects who radiates timeless elegance. This year, the school has a clear plan as it enters into the Architect 2020 portion of the annual sessions.
The 2nd year students of CSA have come up with an unorthodox yet unique concept which is sure to mesmerize the eyes of the beholder; that is to use bicycle parts in the design of the exhibition space.
The design will include bicycle wheels as a façade and rotatable panels using the mechanisms seen in bicycles. Alongside this will be bicycles that viewers can come and use. This will light up the bicycle façade as well as rotate the wheels which are part of the façade.
The concept behind this design is to promote sustainability and healthy living. The bicycles and parts of bicycles are an example of up-cycling. By using these throw away materials, the students are adding value and recycling waste materials which would have otherwise have to be disposed of, and that is not a healthy sign for the environment.
Initiatives have already been taken to promote healthy and eco-friendly living by using bicycles as a mode of transport in several countries including Sri Lanka. Therefore, by using this material we hope to bring awareness to the public about living a healthy life which is also eco-friendly.
The bicycles also add aesthetic value because they act as sculptural elements. therefore, the project goes along with the main theme of the exhibition which is “Art in Architecture”
The CSA students are not just creating a space with the bicycle parts; they are also showcasing the simple and sustainable methods of energy transformation. Using the concept of a dynamo, through cycling, kinetic energy can be used produce electricity and light up the space created.
Connectivity and Mobility are also themes that have been considered in this design. By cycling, it not only light up the façade, it also creates a chain reaction that shows how connectivity can turn an immobile façade into a mobile façade. Similar to a “ripple effect”. The students hoped that the ideas that are promoted shall have the same results, and it was indeed a sight to remember.
The concept has promise, and it certainly delivered. What was showcased was a testament to what these students learned at CSA, and the influence and exposure that they received is sure to put them right alongside the talented international architects. Architecture is an art, and the City School of Architecture has, and always will produce the best artists which the entire nation demand.