Reclaimed land to become major destination

Canalside, Colombo Port City. Image © SOM

Grant Associates is working as part of a team led by architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) that has won an international competition to masterplan a new district of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The scheme involves the transformation of 269 hectares of reclaimed land next to Colombo’s Central Business District (CBD), with the aim of creating a landmark destination for commerce, tourism, and culture in South Asia.

The squares, canal edges, gardens, a new harbour, and a new city park take cues from the local environment to create a public realm that is, say the designers, rooted in the country’s unique geography and ecology.

The central civic plaza has shaded promenades that encircle a new city marina at the waterfront. Along the canal edge promenade, inlets of varying character reference the lagoons of Sri Lanka’s rich and characterful coastline.

Andrew Grant, director of 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.’

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