The inauguration ceremony of Architect 2014, the 32nd Annual Session of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) took place on February 19, 2014 at the Main Assembly Hall of the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH).
The red letter day was made doubly significant as President Mahinda Rajapaksa graced the occasion as the chief guest with other distinguished guests including ministers, Members of the Parliament, government officials, eminent speakers of the National Conference, members of the SLIA, allied professionals and other invitees.
The official theme of Architect 2014 is ‘Architecture Envisioning Futures’.
Delivering the welcome address SLIA President Archt. Prof. Chitra Weddikkara while thanking the President for bringing peace to the island, which had suffered through civil strife, made the following comment on the current construction boom, “Many know that the yard stick or the barometer of any economy is the construction industry (how many tower cranes are in the horizon?)”
Archt. Prof. Alan Pert and SLIA Senior Vice President Archt. Harsha Fernando presenting Young Architect of the Year Award to Archt. Ranga Dayasena
The distinguished gathering was also addressed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in UK Dr. Chris Nonis and Archt. Prof. Alan Pert from Australia delivered the keynote address.
The highlights of the event were Past President Archt. Mihindu Kirthiratne being felicitated for his extensive services to the profession by being conferred with the Gold medal and Archt. Suranjith de Silva inducted as an Honorary Fellow Member.
The presentation of scrolls to the newly elected members and the presentation of awards of excellence in the field of architecture to the members of the SLIA were also conducted during the ceremony. The awards recognized exceptional design abilities, use of colour and honoured the outstanding design in various categories of construction.
In addition, product awards were presented to the best locally manufactured items. This is an incentive to local entrepreneurs to improve quality as well as to create locally manufactured products.
Additionally, awards were made for the best designed newspaper supplement that had been published to mark the inauguration in Sinhala, Tamil and English. The unique factor of this event is that the SLIA awards contribute to the improvement of all stakeholders of the construction industry and also the event.
SLIA Senior Vice President Archt. Harsha Fernando made the concluding remarks in his vote of thanks while the Members’ Works and Trade Exhibition was ceremonially declared open soon after and will conclude on February 23.
The highlights of the Annual Sessions of 2014 would be the Members’ Works and Trade Exhibition, National Conference on Architecture, Annual General Meeting and the grand finale— Fellowship Nite.
Architect 2014 is organised by the SLIA in partnership with the strategic sponsor Phoenix FlowGuard, principal sponsor Alumex (Pvt.) Ltd, associate sponsors Ranjanas Ceramic, True Value Products (Pvt.) Ltd and Orel Corporation and event sponsors ICC, Asian Paints, Multilac, Lankem Robbialac, Delmege Forsyth, Foster and Reed and Assalaarachchi Construction, while the main media sponsors for the occasion are ITN and Lakhanda.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa presenting Honorary Fellowship 2014 to Archt. Suranjth De Silva in the presence of SLIA President Archt. Prof. Chitra Weddikkara
SLIA President Archt. Prof. Chitra Weddikkara presenting a token of appreciation to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the presence of SLIA Immediate Past President Archt. Ranjan Nadesapillai