In collaboration with landscape architects Grant Associates, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has won the International Urban Design Ideas Competition for the Financial District and Marina District of the Port City Colombo, Sri Lanka. The design for the new Port City will be an addition to the existing Colombo Central Business District (CBD) and will span to 269 hectares. It would not only help in developing this land, but also transform the area in terms of tourism, commerce and culture.
SOM’s master plan consists of squares, canals, gardens, a park and harbor which draws from the geography and ecology present in Sri Lanka, which resonated with the judges on the panel. A civic plaza in the centre takes inspiration from the hanging gardens and has shaded promenades extending to the perimeter of this new marina. The architects say, “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.”
Adjacent to the CBD of Port City Colombo will be a waterfront cultural venue to help showcase events and gatherings while showcasing the beautiful backdrop. The different towers that have been designed for the plan will, through their placements in the skyline, help highlight the key points through the city. The master plan has been designed so as to be able to accommodate any future additions to help the district grow. The estimated year for the completion of the project is 2041.