“It may be more prudent to create high-density clusters of multifunction spaces and transport hubs than a continued urban sprawl,” architect Simon Griffiths from the UK said, speaking at the 34th National Conference on Architecture recently.
Addressing a gathering of more than 1000 architects, public officials, public, students and media personnel at the BMICH, Griffiths shared his ideas and experiences gathered working extensively in Asia as an Executive Principal for Aedas, a global architectural and design firm considered to be among the top
10 in the world.
The National Conference on Architecture is organised by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects. This year’s conference theme was ‘Return of the City: Megastructure redefined’. Architect Thilan Koththigoda of KWA Architects
chaired the session.
Aedas along with its Sri Lankan counterpart KWA Architects is the designer for Colombo City Centre, one of the largest mixed developments under construction in Colombo with over a million square feet of space spread over 48 stories including luxury apartments, city hotel and a multi-level retail mall.
“As new trade corridors expand such as the focus by China on the 21st century Silk Road, which is to connect Asia with Europe, the role of cities as catalysts for trade between Asia and the rest of the world needs to respond and adapt,” Griffiths elaborated, while also highlighting the issues with the current trends of urbanisation seen in Asia.
“The problem with many of the cities that we have witnessed throughout Asia is that as the cities expand ever outwards to accommodate the increased growth. The infrastructure, schooling, transport and communication with the additional demand becomes more stretched and the essence of what a city is, starts to break down.
Densification of the existing cities with mega structures or high-density buildings with integrated transport hubs, parks, work, rest and play lifestyles may become the model that all future cities need to move to,” Griffiths further elaborated concluding
Aedas operates from 14 offices from Hong Kong to Los Angeles. With its extensive presence in China and Southeast Asia, it is at the cutting edge of the rapid development and growth of emerging markets and uses this experience and understanding to provide design solutions that will meet the demands of the Asia of the future.