Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), wins international urban design ideas competition for Colombo Port City project, Sri Lanka



The Jury for the International Urban Design Ideas Competition for the Financial District and the Marina of Colombo Port City in Sri Lanka met from 16 to 18 May , and attributed First Prize to the design submitted by SOM. Finnish Trevor Harris represented the International Union of Architects on the International Jury.


In addition to endorsement by the International Union of Architects, the competition was supported by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects, which named a local architect member to the Jury, Pali Wijeratna.


The International Jury was unanimous in their view that the winning project by SOM “offers a richness of urban opportunities and a robust framework with carefully designed public spaces.” In addition to addressing the requirements expressed in the brief, the project “admirably reflects the vision and objectives for the Financial City and the Marina of the Port City.”


The other Participants in the invited competition, Nikken Sekkei and Gensler, were also competitive, and the Jury noted that all three projects conformed to the exacting standard of excellence required for an urban planning project on such an ambitious scale.


The Jury issued further recommendations to the Developer for the eventual implementation of the project, destined for completion in 2041, advising that “the highest attention be given to environmental considerations,” and urging the intervention of more Sri Lankan architects, engineers, landscape experts and local consultants in order to successfully integrate the new environment into the existing space, providing “a satisfactory emotional, moral and spiritual existence.”


The exhibition of all three projects will be held as soon as an appropriate venue or format is secured.



Sri Lanka Institute of Architects - SLIA


CHEC Port City Colombo Ltd

Results Announcement

30 May 2017


  • Dr. Deborah Dearing (Australia)
  • David Dernie (UK)
  • Trevor Harris (Finland), representing the UIA
  • Calvin Tsao (USA)
  • Pali Wijeratne (Sri Lanka)