Contemporary Practices







The Geoffrey Bawa Trust hosts a three-part series of participatory events from August to November 2022, in an effort to expand the conversation around Justin Samarasekera (1916−2003), Minnette de Silva (1918−1998), Geoffrey Bawa (1919−2003), Panini Tennekoon (1923−2007) and Valentine Gunasekara (1931−2017).

To improve the information available on these five architects in the digital sphere, a Wiki-edit-a-thon will be hosted at the De Saram House by Geoffrey Bawa, followed by an Open House Colombo, our first event as part of the Open House Worldwide network, to visit and experience some of their key buildings. The programme ends with Model Ideas, a series of workshops and a public exhibition of reinterpretations or analyses of these buildings through architectural model making in collaboration with Hatch Maker Studio.


Wiki-edit-a-thon

27 August 2022

Open House Colombo

Day 1: 24 September 2022
Day 2: 1 October 2022

Model Ideas

15, 22, 29 October 2022 (Workshops)

3–6 November 2022 (Exhibition)






Wiki-edit-a-thon


In August, the Geoffrey Bawa Trust invited, researchers and architecture enthusiasts to research and contribute to Wikipedia entries on the work of five architectural practices responsible for shaping the architectural language of Sri Lanka part of Contemporary Practices programme.

This programme is an ongoing effort to make the web presence of fact-checked knowledge of these architects and to encourage research on their work and its relevance to architecture globally.

View the Wikipedia pages below:
︎︎︎ Justin Samarasekera (1916−2003)
︎︎︎ Minnette de Silva (1918−1998)
︎︎︎ Geoffrey Bawa (1919−2003)
︎︎︎ Panini Tennekoon (1923−2007)
︎︎︎ Valentine Gunasekara (1931−2017)





Open House Colombo


In our first event as the organisers of Open House Colombo, we opened doors to buildings by Justin Samarasekera, Minnette de Silva, Geoffrey Bawa, Panini Tennekoon and Valentine Gunasekara to understand the distinctive responses of these contemporaries in architecture, working in a shared context and responding to the specificities of Sri Lanka at the time.

Since 1992, Open House Worldwide has engaged citizens to learn about architecture and city making, and have a meaningful role in shaping these spaces. Open House Worldwide is now a network of over 50 organisations hosting festivals and conversations about architecture, design and cities across the globe.

Day 1:

︎︎︎24 September (Colombo 2, 3 and 4)

  • Salvation Army Territorial Headquarters (Justin Samarasekera)
  • Colpetty Market (Justin Samarasekera)
  • Dr Perera House (Minnette de Silva)
  • The Jesuit Chapel (Valentine Gunasekara)
  • C H Fernando House (Minnette de Silva)

Day 2:

︎︎︎1 October (Colombo 7, Nawala)

  • Department of National Archives (Panini Tennekoon) 
  • Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute (Geoffrey Bawa)
  • Senanayake Flats (Minnette de Silva)
  • St. Anthony's Nursery (Valentine Gunasekara)
  • Nawala House (Panini Tennekoon)






Model Ideas


The Geoffrey Bawa Trust and Hatch Maker Studio invites artists, designers, architects and makers to reimagine works by Justin Samarasekera, Minnette de Silva, Geoffrey Bawa, Panini Tennekoon and Valentine Gunasekara, through a series of workshops on creative model making in October, followed by an exhibition in November.

After having the opportunity to join the public in visiting key buildings by these figures during Open House Colombo, this is a chance to engage with the work creatively. Individual and collective entries for reinterpretations or analyses of these works through architectural models are now being accepted! Participants are encouraged to consider innovative, reusable, recycled, understated and unexpected materials.

Selection criteria:

The selection criteria utilized were: 1) adherence to the application requirements, particularly the selection of one of the five architects addressed by Contemporary Practices and one of their buildings for study; 2) a variety of interests in buildings and architects; and 3) the clarity and feasibility of the model-making proposal, including the mention of example materials and concepts to be explored

Valentine Gunsekara's St. Anthony’s Montessori by
Indeera Lokuliyana 
Logapawan Jeyasiri 

Geoffrey Bawa's Singapore Cloud Forest Centre (unbuilt project) by
Ranishka Aluthgamage 

Minnette de Silva's Senanayake Flats by
Ramanathan Parilojithan
Chathuri Nissansala 

Valentine Gunsekara's Jesuit Chapel by
Senali Cooray 

Panini Tennekoon's National Archives Building by
Ruwani Rajapakse 

Justin Samarasekera's Kollupitya Super Market by
Bhathiya Dharmaratne
Oneilla Weeratunge
Tharindi Chandrakirthi 

Geoffrey Bawa's Steel Corporation Headquarters by
Manuja Mallikarachchi 



Valentine Gunsekara's St. Anthony’s Montessori 

Indeera Lokuliyana
Logapawan Jeyasiri




Panini Tennekoon's National Archives Building 

Ruwani Rajapakse



Minnette de Silva's Senanayake Flats

Ramanathan Parilojithan
Chathuri Nissansala





Justin Samarasekera's Kollupitya Super Market 

Bhathiya Dharmaratne
Oneilla Weeratunge
Tharindi Chandrakirthi




Geoffrey Bawa's Singapore Cloud Forest Centre (unbuilt project)

Ranishka Aluthgamage



Valentine Gunsekara's Jesuit Chapel

Senali Cooray



Geoffrey Bawa's Steel Corporation Headquarters

Manuja Mallikarachchi

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