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SOM Wins Competition to Design Master Plan for New Port City in Sri Lanka

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has won a competition to design the master plan for Colombo Port City in Sri Lanka, in collaboration with Grant Associates landscape architecture. The new port city will be an extension of the already existing Colombo Central Business District. It will cover a total area of 269 hectares, and it is planned to be a commercial, cultural, and tourist hub in South Asia.

Courtesy of SOM

SOM employed a “sustainable framework” while developing the city’s master plan, considering possibilities of future growth. They were, also, influenced by the cultural and ecological context of the new city, as they introduced squares, canal edges, gardens, a new harbor, and a new park to the plan.

Courtesy of SOM

“The plan refers to the country’s diverse eco-system by creating a “Green Heart” and a “Blue Heart” to structure these vibrant future urban districts,” explains SOM in a press release. “Inspired by hanging gardens, the central civic plaza features shaded promenades that encircle a new city marina at the waterfront. The locally resonant design approach is also apparent along the canal edge promenade, where inlets of varying character reference the lagoons of Sri Lanka’s rich and articulated coastline.”

The plan also features a “striking” skyline with an obvious hierarchy which can be seen from a number of key points within the new city. Overall, the development is expected to attract population to the waterfront and provide the marina with an “iconic backdrop”. It is scheduled for completion in 2041.

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