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City School of Architecture Graduates earns the spotlight in Port City Colombo 'Dream' Sculpture Design Competition

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” Such is the wisdom imparted by world renowned scientist Albert Einstein. This has been the modus operandi of City School of Architecture for over two decades as it passed on the wealth that is creativity to the aspiring architects of Sri Lanka.

The young minds of CSA have ‘wowed’ the Sri Lankan community with their awe inducing creativity on numerous occasions. Recently, the graduates of the prestigious architecture school delivered the expected wonder on a grand platform.

The Beach Sculpture-Dream competition hosted by Port City Colombo hoped to entice the hidden creativity of the Sri Lankan youth to blossom and capture a snippet of what the future can expect. The beach is usually associated with fond memories; a place that one retreats to create that balance in modern-day-living, which allows everyone to peel away the stress and enjoy a relaxing family time gazing at the setting sun.

Setting the theme of the beach competition as “Dream” is symbolic, as beaches are usually considered as the ideal embodiment of a “dream-like “sensation that Port City Colombo is best known for. It gives a sense of freedom, belonging, and space where you can truly be yourself in an advancing world. The sculpture submitted for the competition was expected to capture the essence of this sensation.

The competition launched on 29th July 2020 and the doors were open for submissions until the 25th August 2020. Then the entries were meticulously evaluated by a jury panel which comprised of several notable figureheads such as Artist Anoma Wijewardena, Architect Ruchi Jeyanathan, Textile designer Shilanthi Abeygunawardhana and Xia Yuang, Associate Director/Landscape Designer of Atkins a multinational Design and Engineering Consultancy.

Among the top 3 finalists revealed on the 9th of September 2020 included the entry submitted by the team of designers Tharindu Perera, Viranga Waduge and ARTRA Canvas artist Pulasthi Handunge who represented the City School of Architecture.

The students were placed under the mentorship of Ismael Abedin Ingelmo, founder of DXMID, an international Interior design and Sustainability consultancy for a period of one month.

The sculpture in question is based on the notion that “the only constant in life is change itself”. This was the thought process of Greek philosopher Heraclitus. This means that change is slow, and it gives a false interpretation that change is non-existent; while it is a constant ongoing process. The students cited the venture of King Vijaya as an example; at first, the Sri Lankan natives showed reluctance to accept the change brought by the new king, but in time these changes were subtly integrated into the culture of the future generations.

Likewise, the objective of the sculpture is to create a link between the past, present and the future thus creating a dream like experience; leaving room for ever-lasting change and a multitude of contrasting interpretations according to the viewer’s perspective.

The base material used in the sculpture is copper. Reminiscent of the copper colored beaches of Ceylon that earned its name ‘Thambapanni’. This makes it a monolithic construction. The “Lodiya” sculpture as dubbed by the students is subjected to change on a daily basis. Its movement can alter considering various factors like the movement of the wind. However, the accumulated change that is expected over time is the discoloration of the surface as it gets plastered with patina which formulates on the surface of copper. This symbolizes the cycle of aging over time as it eventually becomes one with the environment.

The silver orb hung on the center keeps the sculpture’s form and shape; thus maintaining balance. Viewing this brand new sculpture in the distant future, one might be able to see the aspects which have changed, and realize what have remained constant. This will create a link between the past and the future whilst bringing in a sense of nostalgia for someone who was present to witness the creation of the sculpture.

It was only a matter of time till this entry earned them the honor of being recognized as the victors of the competition. As the depth of their triumph kicked in, the winning members shared their roar of victory as follows.

Pulasthi Handunge mentioned-

“Being a student and having the opportunity to call such a landmark design our own is a huge achievement for us all. Especially when it’s the first public art installation in such an illustrious location. The whole series of workshops conducted by Ismael and the rest of the team was a wonderful exposure for us as students and will help to enrich our career.”

Tharindu further added-

“For me it’s an achievement of a lifetime. I have been creating assembled art for a while now so this was a great opportunity to showcase our work. It was also a great team effort as we each contributed in our own ways and we came this far because of the strengths of each team member. Winning this makes us want to keep doing more art and share it with the world”.

The final presentation was graced with the presence of world renowned engineer Cecil Balmond. With such influence and inspiration accumulated along with yet another glorious triumph, the creative young minds of City School of Architecture can set their target on their bright and prosperous future endeavors.

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City School of Architecture Shines Brightly at ‘Architect 2020'

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.

AThe 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.

Architect 2020 Architect 2020 Architect 2020 Architect 2020 Architect 2020


Plastic waste has become a growing issue in today’s world and our country plays a major contributing role in plastic pollution on a global scale. Plastic objects, in its different forms, are used extensively in our daily lives. Sri Lanka annually imports 9600 tons of raw plastic, out of which only 70% is being made use of and only 40% gets recycled.

The lack of awareness among the citizens proves to be the main point of concern in the destructive usage, disposal, and collection of non-perishable materials. Large amounts of plastic end up on roadsides, water bodies and other landscapes causing damage to not only the environment but to the health of humans and other life forms.

As concerned individuals, the Year 2 students of City School of Architecture have decided to address this issue on a public platform by designing an upcycled pavilion at the SLIA Annual Architects Exhibition held at BMICH. The finalized pavilion was presented to the public from the 21st to the 24th February 2019 in hopes of creating awareness and a more positive public approach to the usage and disposal of plastic.

The pavilion was constructed using 30,000 discarded plastic bottles obtained through the support of leading hotels and beverage companies. The unconventional initiative to use plastic bottles as a structural element gained wide public appraisal. The hard work of the students guided by the year coordinators, Archt. Gayan Herath and Archt. Nandaka Jayasinghe, allowed a successful display of the sustainable recycling possibilities in the field of architecture.

Upon dismantling the structure, all the bottles used were taken to the recycling plant run by the "GIVE BACK LIFE" organization in partnership with the popular beverage and recycling company.

The ultimate goal of the students with this project was to encourage the responsible use and disposal of plastic waste and to highlight the scope of such materials in order to reduce the negative impact created on the environment.

Up-Cycled Pavilion by Csa Studio 02 Students At SLIA Architect 19 Expo Up-Cycled Pavilion by Csa Studio 02 Students At SLIA Architect 19 Expo Up-Cycled Pavilion by Csa Studio 02 Students At SLIA Architect 19 Expo Up-Cycled Pavilion by Csa Studio 02 Students At SLIA Architect 19 Expo Up-Cycled Pavilion by Csa Studio 02 Students At SLIA Architect 19 Expo Up-Cycled Pavilion by Csa Studio 02 Students At SLIA Architect 19 Expo Up-Cycled Pavilion by Csa Studio 02 Students At SLIA Architect 19 Expo Up-Cycled Pavilion by Csa Studio 02 Students At SLIA Architect 19 Expo


Nathalie de Vries, co founder of the leading architecture practice MVRDV was in Colombo and graciously delivered a lecture to the students of architecture of the City School of Architecture, the University of Moratuwa as well the alumni of both schools and other professionals.

The lecture was well attended by distinguished guests, the ambassador of the Kingdom to Netherlands, President SLIA D H Wijewardene. Nathalie spoke of  the award winning work of MVRDV, it's impact on the City and their progressive ideas of working with facades that respond to the climate.

She gave a detailed description of her design approach to MVRDV's first project in Colombo. A forward thinking office building commissioned by Rashid Moosajee. The office building is projected to be completed by 2019

The event was organized by ForumCSA the alumni association of the City School of Architecture and was sponsored by Photonics, lighting specialists and Darum, elevators & car lift systems.

Khadija receiving her certificate from Archt. Rafiq Azam at the RATB Awards Ceremony held at Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Dhaka Khadija receiving her certificate from Archt. Rafiq Azam at the RATB Awards Ceremony held at Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Dhaka Khadija receiving her certificate from Archt. Rafiq Azam at the RATB Awards Ceremony held at Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Dhaka Khadija receiving her certificate from Archt. Rafiq Azam at the RATB Awards Ceremony held at Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Dhaka Khadija receiving her certificate from Archt. Rafiq Azam at the RATB Awards Ceremony held at Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Dhaka Khadija receiving her certificate from Archt. Rafiq Azam at the RATB Awards Ceremony held at Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Dhaka Khadija receiving her certificate from Archt. Rafiq Azam at the RATB Awards Ceremony held at Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Dhaka


“Colourful rickshaws, street vendors and of course some amazing architecture”, comments Khadija Zoeb – winner from Sri Lanka of the Rafiq Azam Travel Bursary (RATB) 2017 – after her eventful 15 day tour experiencing the heritage, architecture and culture of Bangladesh.

Urban residences, community projects, colonial buildings, national monuments and contemporary architecture comprise the portfolio of places she visited. “The highlight for me was the National Parliament Complex designed by one of the great legends Archt. Loius Kahn – the masterful crafting of light and shadows against a reflective backdrop left me speechless”.

Having completed her BSc. (Hons) in Architecture at the City School of Architecture (CSA), Colombo Sri Lanka (affiliated to the University of the West of England, Bristol UK), Khadija is currently in her final year reading for Master of Architecture & Environmental Design at CSA. She was awarded the travel award having topped her batch for both Design and Theory Subjects at the CSA sessional examinations held last year.

RATB is sponsored by Bangladesh architecture firm ‘Shatotto – architecture for green living’; run by award winning architect Rafiq Azam. It isawarded in many countries, including India and Australia. This is the first time RATB was awarded in Sri Lanka; and CSA – one of the leading schools for architecture - is honoured to have become a part of this global network.

Khadija receiving her certificate from Archt. Rafiq Azam at the RATB Awards Ceremony held at Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Dhaka National Institute of Fine Arts by Archt. Mazharul Islam National Parliament Complex by Archt. Louis Kahn Colourful rickshaws

AAVS London Joined Hands with City School of Architecture (CSA)

Tropicality: an Architectural Association Visiting (AAVS)Programme 2017 in Sri Lanka joined hands with City School of Architecture (CSA) Sunday 27th of August until Sunday 10th of September.

Tropicality is a new visiting school programme which seeks to exfoliate the seeming to expose patterns and resistance in tropical dwelling through architectural stories about home, culture and place. During the course of the two week workshop, students will make a short film as a narrative composition of images (form, space, light, colour, materiality) and sound (voice, story, city, nature). This film intended to become a unique and perceptive form of architectural construct.

Students will work alongside tutors to formulate interview questions and set out to rouse and record the stories and experiences of those who live there. Based on observations, insights and documented stories, you will then compose your own story about architecture, domesticity and place, devising a diagram and drawing as a plan of action to then record and film sound and images of people, houses, streets, neighbourhoods and the city. Editing together of the collected images and sound into film will evolve through conversation with tutors.

The purpose of this workshop as an experiment is to cultivate extraordinary design insights, hone your compositional abilities as a designer and to refresh an architectural sensitivity and sensibility to the interrelationships of material organisations, space, and human perception and reaction.

CSA Hosts Canberra Accord Architects Educational Meeting

City School of Architecture (CSA) was privileged to host the International Canberra Accord 6th General Meeting on 5th May 2017; Chaired by Architect Sean Rodrigues (Canada). There were 16 country members attending the meeting, namely Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, India, Japan, Korea, Malta, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, UK and USA. Sri Lanka was represented by Archt. Jayantha Perera, Archt. Chandana Edirisuriya & Archt. Rehan Tilakaratne.

President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (UK), Visits City School of Architecture

Jane Duncan, the President of The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) visited the City School of Architecture (CSA) on 16th February 2017. She toured the design studios and spoke with the students about their work, their education, current works in progress and their future as professionals. She addressed the lecturers and students at the conference room, where she exchanged ideas about architecture, the industry and the future of the profession, while sharing her own thoughts and experiences. She also met the CSA(CL) Board of Directors, and had strategic discussions regarding the school, future developments and objectives and commended the school on the educational standard achieved with RIBA accreditation. Following this meeting, the President and the entire school participated in tea and fellowship where she had casual conversations with all present. The visit concluded with a presentation of memorabilia in commemoration of her visit.

CSA Student Roven Rebeira, Receives Award at The Riba President Awards Ceremony 2016, London

Mr. Roven Rebeira, a Final Year student of the City School of Architecture (CSA), was awarded a commendation in the Silver Medal category at the Royal Institute of British Architects, Presidential Awards 2016.

John-Paul Nunes, Head of Education Projects of the RIBA sent his congratulations on this outstanding achievement, which makes the design project, ‘Centre for Ethno-Elephantology: A cross-species design initiative’, one of the best out of 275 entries received from 87 Schools of Architecture in 33 countries. The only other two entries which received commendations in the Silver Medal Category were from The University of Westminster, UK and Aalto University in Finland.

During these awards the RIBA also gives credit to the design tutors, who tutored the winning student, and Tamara Wijepala and Samanthika Piyasena from CSA, accompanied Mr Roven Rebeira to London on 6th Dec 2016 to receive the award from Jane Duncan, President of RIBA.

At the Award ceremony RIBA President Jane Duncan said, Quote: “congratulations to each of the medal winners. I am delighted to see the breadth of talent from across the globe recognised through these awards, now celebrating their 180th anniversary. The students’ ability to detail complex ideas and present them beautifully is outstanding. Tonight’s winners are talent to watch - I can’t wait to see what else they will go on to achieve”

The RIBA Journal December 2016

Student Design Exhibition Showcases City School of Architecture’s 30 Years of Excellence in Architecture Education

Commemorating its 30th anniversary, The City School of Architecture (Colombo) Ltd (CSA) organized an Open Day Exhibition on 5th and 6th November 2016, at the CSA premises on 104, Kittulwatta Road, Colombo 08. The two-day informational event attracted many students, professionals and visitors, who thronged to the student exhibition and lectures delivered by renowned architects. A special publication was also issued to further celebrate the milestone of 30 successful years in imparting valuable education in the field of architecture.

The two-day event commenced with a ceremonial opening ceremony of the student exhibition and the design festival, both of which showcased the vast wealth of talent nurtured by CSA in its students. The inauguration ceremony of the design festival was graced by CSA Founders Vidyajyothi Professor Lakshman Alwis & Architect Dr. K. Locana Gunaratna. CSA Directors also present on the occasion were Chairman Architect Jayantha Perera, Chairman Architect Harsha Fernando, CEO/Director Architect Asoka Widanapathirana, Architect Mihindu Keerthiratne, Architect Prasanna Silva, Architect Chandana Ellepola and Architect Rajiv Senanayake.

The second day of the event was inaugurated by Past Course Directors and Head Of School Architect Pali Wijeyaratne, Architect B.J. Dudley Waas, Architect S.W. Molligoda and Prof. Lal Balasuriya (Head Of School). A special Publication: ‘Journey of 30 Years Excellence in Architectural Education’ was also launched.

Other events on the sideline of the exhibition were architectural documentaries, lectures and career guidance stalls. The festive mood at the event was further heightened with the presence of food stalls, fun activities and games, movies, DJ and live music.

Some of the country’s most noted architects, namely, Prof. Jagath Weerasinghe, Architect Madhura Prematilleke, Prof. David Robson, Architect C Anjalendran and Architect Channa Dasswatte delivered lectures to a rapt audience.

CSA is the only Private Architectural Education Provider in Sri Lanka recognized locally by Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA), and internationally, by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), London. The School offers two course of study leading to professional qualifications. The City School of Architecture (CSA) with a history of over 30 years offers a path in architectural education towards a career in the building industry with a broad-based teaching and learning process, rooted in the real world of practice.

The City School of Architecture (formerly known as the Colombo School of Architecture) was initially started as a lecture series by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) in 1986 providing opportunities to young talented individuals to study Architecture as an alternate route to state University admission. CSA aims to transform into one of the best schools of Architecture in the South Asian region.

Rhode Island Visit

Twenty students from the Rhode Island School of Design visited CSA in January 2014. They were based in the 5th Year studio and visited other studios in small groups to meet the staff and students, to observe and participate some of the studio work and crits.

Annual Student Social

The Annual CSA Student Social organized by the Year 2 of CSA was held on Saturday, 19th December 2009 at the D.S. Club House, Colombo 7 commencing 8 pm.

CSA Web Site Launch

The CSA WEBSITE (www.csacolombo.edu.lk) launch took place just prior to the Annual CSA Student Social on Saturday, 19th December 2009 at the D.S.Club House, Colombo 7 at 8 pm.

Cricket Match

The CSA Student Cricket Match was held on Sunday, 22nd November 2009 at the Angampitya Municipal Grounds, Kotte.

The event was organized by the First Year studebts, and it was a social match between the "CSA Year 1" Team and "CSA Rest" Team.