As an architect and fellow taxpayer, I was quite disappointed at the proposal put forward by the Ministry of Megapolis on the aesthetic outcome of the Port City project.
The article states (Sunday Times 03-12-2017), "The Ministry has decided that within the common area of the Port City, buildings will be designed in the architectural style of the Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandyan eras."
The first question that comes to a rational mind is why Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa or Kandy...why not Yapahuwa or Kotte?
The absurdity of such a decision is amplified when one thinks of the entire gamut of the history from a contemporary point of view.
Just like transportation, food, medicine, science and technology; architecture and urban design has moved on and improved in leaps and bound since the days of Kings and Queens.
Megaoplis is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Sri Lanka to step in to modernity, to develop our own indigenous models and ultimately showcase our modern sensibilities and creativity.
But alas, someone has made an executive decision to spend public tax money in copying relics from the past!
If that is the case, why send 'professionals' to study precedents in foreign lands (which themselves are bad enough examples) when the decision is already made about the outcome.
Shouldn't we send them to Anauradhapura, Polonnanruwa or Kandy and save public money on foreign jaunts?
On one hand, the Ministry of Megapolis aided by UDA has been demolishing buildings with heritage value throughout Colombo and on the other hand they want re-create a gloried past in the middle of Colombo in what can be seen as a misguided attempt to frame a national identity that has no validity in contemporary Sri Lankan society.
Furthermore, what will happen in the private areas of the Port City (which believe exceed the common areas) - do we have different 'styles of architecture' in these areas - if so, we'll end up in a really messy mash up of buildings and styles - just as the Sinhala saying goes "ela harakai, mee harakai wage" (mismatch between dairy cow and the buffalo)
The crux of the problem as I see it, is that the real stake holders have been marginalised by the decision making process.
Aesthetic and Design decisions have been made based on the whims and fancies of some bureaucrat (s).