Design selected for Jaffna cultural centre

January 18, 2012 10:43 am | Updated October 18, 2016 03:05 pm IST - COLOMBO:

The Indian High Commission on Tuesday announced the winner of the design competition for the Jaffna Cultural Centre. India will build the centre, costing about LKR 900 million (1 INR = 2.5 LKR).   

 In a ceremony here, S. M. Krishna, Indian Minister for External Affairs, and Basil Rajapaksa, Sri Lankan Minister for Economic Development, presented awards to the top three architects whose entries were selected by a jury after the completion of the National Design Competition.

 The design submitted by Archt. Madura Premathileka was adjudged first; while that submitted by Cynthia & Athula Ranasinghe Chartered Architects was declared second and the one submitted by Design Consortium (Pvt) Ltd, was declared third. A total of 29 entries were received. From this eight were shortlisted. The winner was awarded a prize amount of US$ 3,500. The runner-up was awarded $ 3,000, and the second runner-up, $ 2,500. Madura also made a presentation to Mr.Krishna and his team on the design.

 A release from the High Commission said that the primary purpose of the Jaffna Cultural Centre would be to provide a cultural and social space for the people of Jaffna to enjoy various local and international cultural products, apart from serving as a delivery centre for training, instructions and education in a variety of cultural disciplines.  For these purposes, the Centre would comprise a theatre-style auditorium (with projection facilities) with a capacity of about 600 people, a multi media library with on-line research facilities, exhibition and gallery space and a museum.  It would also have an instructional wing, which would have facilities for the conduct of classes in vocal and instrumental music, dance and languages, including a language lab.  It would also be able to serve as a hub for civil society activities, for which purpose it would include a conference hall-cum-seminar room.

 In order to select the best design for Jaffna Cultural Centre that would take these requirements into account, it was jointly decided by both the governments to conduct a National Design Competition. The Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) was entrusted with the task of conducting the National Design Competition in two separate rounds. A seven-member jury, co-chaired by Ashok K. Kantha, High Commissioner of India and Ranjan Nadesapalli, President of SLIA, one architect each from SLIA and India, one representative each from the Government of India and Sri Lanka, and the Mayor of Jaffna evaluated the entries received during the National Design Competition. The entries were evaluated by the jury without knowledge of the architects, through a process of assigning code numbers to each entry.

 This Project is one of the many initiatives taken by the Government of India to assist the people of Sri Lanka and will be implemented under grant assistance from the Government of India with the cooperation of the Ministry for Economic Development and the local Government.

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