Financial District and the Marina of Colombo Port City

The Colombo Port City Development Project (CPCDP) Competition was conducted according to the UIA International Design Competitions Guidelines – interpreting and implementing the UNESCO Standard Regulations for International Competitions in Architecture and Town-Planning.

The client for this competition was CHEC Port City Colombo (Private) Ltd. (CPCC). They were the Chief Developers for the Colombo Port City Development Project (CPCDP), to be built in Sri Lanka on reclaimed land adjoining Colombo Fort to the east and Colombo South International Container Port to the north.

The implementation of the Colombo Port City Development Project was a concerted effort of the partnership between the Government of Sri Lanka and CHEC Port City Colombo (Private) Ltd. 


The land reclamation work had been completed as of January 2019. In May 2021, the Parliament of Sri Lanka approved the Port City Commission Bill to establish the Colombo Port City Special Economic Zone and Economic Commission.

The completion expected for this project is 2024 – 2025.

Theme and objectives

The Colombo Port City Development Project (CPCDP) is a new urban centre master development, built as an extension of the existing Colombo CBD on 269 hectares of reclaimed land. CPCDP is made up of 5 unique districts: the Financial District, the Marina, the International Island, Island Living and Central Park Living.

The areas concerned by this competition were the Finance District and the Marina.

CPCDP has 5.65 million square metres of gross floor area (GFA), comprising some of the best international Grade A offices, medical and educational facilities, an integrated resort, marina, retail destinations, hotels and various lifestyle developments. Adopting the latest Sustainable Urban Design and Smart City approaches, CPCDP is a hub in South Asia for business, leisure and pleasure. It is a place for living, learning, working and playing in the jewel of the Indian Ocean.

The vision of the contest was to build a world class city for South Asia, and also to develop the most livable city in the region. Built on sustainable values, it is a healthy environment with future-ready infrastructure. An exemplary city providing the highest quality commercial, entertainment, medical, educational and lifestyle opportunities, it is a catalyst for growth, a place that fuses the culture and energy of a nation with international best practice.

View the website of Colombo Port City.

Key criteria

Projects were ranked by the jury according to the following evaluation criteria:

  • Appropriateness of the proposed urban design and spatial concepts and their articulations in enhancing the original vision and objectives of the Financial District and the Marina;
  • Innovative ways in which the ideas related to the public spaces have been created and applied to generate urban design solutions;
  • Creative conceptualisation of urban forms and their integration as a whole to generate iconic images and identities;
  • Meaningful distribution of spatial enclaves to produce spaces and places of excitement, engagement and memorability;
  • Strategies employed to create humane and socially responsive spaces and places in its urban enclave;
  • Uniqueness of the proposal to create a world-class, exclusive and forward-looking enclave within Colombo Port City that will become an iconic, internationally recognised contemporary development.

Jury Members

  • Trevor Harris, Architect and UIA representative, FINLAND;
  • Pali Wijeratne, Architect, SRI LANKA;
  • Dr. Deborah Dearing, Urban Designer, AUSTRALIA;
  • David Dernie, Architect and Academic, UNITED KINGDOM;
  • Calvin Tsao, Architect, USA.


This restricted competition was limited to three participants only. Anonymity of participants was maintained and observed through the competition period. 


Competition closed. Results announced on May 2017.