Architecture, Colombo, Culture and tourism, Masterplan, Owings & Merrill, Skidmore, SOM, Sri Lanka

SOM designs masterplan for Colombo inspired by Sri Lanka’s tropical climate

Burj Khalifa-architects SOM has won a design competition for a new district in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, inspired by the city’s tropical climate.

The project, which features numerous skyscrapers, a marina, canals as well as park, was designed for CHEC Port City Colombo, with an aim to transform 269 hectares of reclaimed land located beside the capital’s central business district.

The project will create a new skyline which will be visible from various points of the country, and aims to create a new hub for commerce, culture and tourism.

“The locally resonant design approach is also apparent along the canal edge promenade, where inlets of varying character reference the lagoons of Sri Lanka’s rich and articulated coastline,” said the project team.

SOM’s masterplan was created in collaboration with landscape architects Grant Associates, featuring public squares, parks, a new harbour and canals lined with walkways, all taking into consideration the geography, ecology and tropical climate of the country.

Shaded promenades which make up the central plaza have been inspired by hanging gardens that wrap around the edges of the marina.

“It presents a dynamic new vision for Port City Colombo that promises to deliver high-quality urban environments for residents and visitors,” the team said. “The plan is designed to accommodate future growth and change within a sustainable development framework.”

Earlier this year, SOM announced the official opening of its new office in Dubai which will serve as a regional hub to provide a full range of architecture, design, and planning services.

The architects’ Arcapita Mosque also won the  Abdullatif Al Fozan Award for Mosque Architecture in the Best Local Mosque category, this year.