Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), one of the world’s largest architecture, interior design, engineering and urban planning firms, was judged the winner of the International Conceptual Urban Design Idea Competition for the Financial District and Marina of the Colombo Port City.

The competition which was supported by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) and sanctioned by the International Union of Architects (UIA)was conducted as per UIA guidelines.

Three top international names pitted their skills against one another over a period of four months at the end of which the winner was announced.

Nikken Sekkei of Japan, Gensler headquartered in San Francisco and SOM which also hails from the USA, were the participants whose names remained anonymous until the final announcement was made, in accordance with the rules of the competition.

The objective of the ideas competition was to inspire the best design and plan concepts for the financial district and the marina of the Colombo Port City. ... The panel of top international jurors who judged the competition were Dr. Deborah Dearing, District Commissioner of Greater Sydney Commission with over 30 years international experience in urban design and strategic land-use planning; Prof. David Dernie, Chartered Architect, Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Westminster, UK; Calvin Tsao, acclaimed practitioner with a leading voice and a representative of contemporary architecture from New York; and Prof. Harris Trevor Gordon Stuart representing UIA, the co-founder of Harris – Kjisik Architects, Finland.  Pali Wijeratne, a highly qualified Sri Lankan architect and town planner with over 50 years’ experience in conservation was also on the panel, representing the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects.