Architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has won an international competition to design a new finance and marina district in Sri Lanka’s with a masterplan created in collaboration with Grant Associates.
Backed by the China Communication Construction Company (CCCC), the scheme will see the transformation of 269 hectares of reclaimed land next to Colombo’s Central Business District (CBD), and aims to turn the site into a landmark destination for commerce, tourism, and culture in South Asia.
Featuring a marina, canals and a sequence of public parks, the masterplan will feature a ‘new skyline’ of skyscrapers that will be visible from different viewpoints across the city.
Also walkways and a central plaza will extend around the edges of the new marina, creating a varied public realm that connects to Colombo’s main port and the Galle Face Green recreation ground.
Inspired by Sri Lanka’s geography, ecology and tropical climate, SOM conceived the Port City masterplan concept with Grant Associates acting as consultant landscape architect.
SOM and Grant Associates’ concept was selected as the unanimous winner by an international jury, which said that the scheme demonstrated “exceptional sensitivity to the ecological and cultural context of Sri Lanka”.
The new district is expected to be completed in 2041.
Andrew Grant, director at Grant Associates, said: “A varied and engaging public realm was a key part of the design brief for Port City Colombo. Working in close collaboration with SOM, our aim was to create a sequence of spaces that complement Colombo’s unique geological character while integrating the new cityscape into the fabric of the existing city.”