Sri Lanka

The Architecture Experience – Sri Lanka takes the participant on a journey starting with the early typologies of Sri Lankan architecture, moving on to the identity of Sri Lankan architecture, a confluence of local and European styles, and end with modern architecture we see today – Tropical Modernist architecture. Participants get to explore Geoffrey Bawa’s work, along with projects which showcase sustainable practices through different perspectives and interpretations.

stupa in sri lanka

Ruwanwelisaya, a cetiya in the sacred city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

Image on top – Heritance Kandalama hotel, Image © Flickr







What is The Architecture Experience - Sri Lanka?

The best approach to growing as an architect is to learn from experiencing and observing. The Architecture Experience aims to do just that. Participants get to observe the journey of Tropical Modernism, through site visits and interactions with local architects, and use the learning to design a pavilion which integrates with its surroundings. The Experience will be a nine day long curated educational tour for up to twenty participants, across 6 cities in Sri Lanka.

These visits will focus on observing and learning about the importance of site sensitivity, different architectural techniques – active and passive, importance of material selection, use of local resources and other aspects vital to sustainability. The visits will foster a deep understanding of building with nature with an inclination to local materials and techniques, while working on the pavilion project will illustrate the immediate applications and impact of Tropical Modernist ideals on architecture across – be it in an urban setting, landscape, rural or any other.


In the 9 days, participants will get to work on their own project in sync with their work, or their subjects in college. These projects will be relevant for different Indian landscapes (be it urban or rural), with inspiration taken from places visited during this Experience.

A courtyard in Bawa’s campus for the University of Ruhuna. Image © Harry Sowden

Late evening arrival in Sri Lanka.

Orientation on the structure of the tour visits and project. Finalisation of teams, and the participants’ individual roles and responsibilities within the team will be defined.

Topic of discussion: Identity of traditional Sri Lankan architecture, influence of art, history of Sri Lanka and its ancient irrigation systems.

Places visited: Anuradhapura ruins, walking tour, Anuradhapura Pilgrim’s Rest House, Kaludiya Pokuna.

Topic of discussion: Vernacular architecture, makings of tropical architecture – some of the common features and its response to climate.

Places visited: Heritance Kandalama Hotel (Architecture of Geoffery Bawa), Trinity College Chapel, The Kandy House.

Topic of discussion: Architecture beyond the structure – as a socio-cultural tool as seen in The Parliament and Seema Malaka, preserving cultural identities.

Places visited: The Parliament, Independence memorial, Seema Malakaya Pavilion, Dutch Hospital, studio visit.

Topic of discussion: The kind of varied influences and strategies employed in the Lunuganga Estate gardens, landscaping and Cinnamon Bey’s outstanding efforts to minimise its consumption of resources and energy while maximising recycling.

Places visited: Lunuganga, Bentota Tourist Village, Villa Bentota, Avani Bentota, Cinnamon Bey.

Topic of discussion: Importance of spatial planning as a tool to maximise appeal and minimise resources consumed. building with local materials and local construction techniques.

Places visited: SOS Children’s Village, Jetwing Lighthouse, Fort Printers, Galle Fort Hotel.

Topic of discussion: achieving functionality and aesthetics while employing passive planning techniques and building with local and salvaged materials.

Places visited: Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihare, The Last House, Ruhuna University.

Topic of discussion: The scope of Tropical Modernist design in urban typologies, presentation and review of the project.

Places visited: No. 11, Bagatalle Road, Paradise Road Gallery Cafe, De Saram House, walking tour in Colombo.

Late night departure for India.

Upcoming batches

October 5-13, 2019

How Much Does It Cost?

INR 62,000

The prices are ex-India. To know more on the pricing from your country, please reach out to us through the contact form at the bottom of this page.

What does the cost include?

*Flights are ex-Chennai

Domain Expert Guidance

Course Material



breakfast and dinner

entry fees


local & airport transfers

Our Partners


woman smiling

Kshitija Venkatesh

Office of Cognitive Design

Curator & Tour Leader - The Architecture Experience

woman wearing white shirt and smiling

Prithy Ramadurai

Bhogar Studio

Curator & Tour Leader - The Architecture Experience


The panelists were really considerate of our requirements and everything went well. The experience was really good and helpful. Meeting new people helped me understand their views and perceptions in different topics in architecture. And the studio visits helped me understand a lot of topics related to technicality and sustainability, specially the visits to Takashi Niwa and bhA architects. It was also great to interact with other colleges’ students, and exchange portfolios.
Deepali Naidu
2nd Year, BMS college of Architecture, Bangalore (Participant, July 2019)
The Architecture Experience was a great experience as I got to know what analysis actually was. Sustainability refers to solving existing problems, and not just installing solar panels! The stay and visits were planned well. Mohor shared a lot of her own experiences as a student which also helped. I got many of my architecture related doubts cleared which I couldn't solve before, along with an understanding of functionality and aesthetic. I got many questions answered and I'm satisfied.​
Pauras Narvekar​
3rd Year, Goa College of Architecture, Goa (Participant, June 2019)
The Architecture Experience Vietnam was a great experience for me since before this, I felt a little out of place and wanted motivation to move ahead - so this trip really helped me with that and helped me understand my profession better. It was good to see sustainable architecture in real life, and see real life interpretation of subjects like building construction and architectural design. I also loved interactions with fellow participants.​
Sagarika Kaushik
4th Year, Vastu Kala Academy, Delhi (Participant, July 2019)

Sustainable Development Goals

All our Experiences are aimed at implementing and solving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN. Goal no. 17 ‘Partnerships for the Goals’ is key to our Experiences, since we work with a global team of experts to be able to add value to the learning of the participants. The Architecture Experience Sri Lanka focuses on 3 of the Goals primarily.

sustainable development goal 9

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation​

– Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being.

sustainable development goal 11

Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable​

– By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing

– By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement

– By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters

sustainable development goal 12

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

– By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources

– Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production


–  Students and fresh graduates from architecture colleges and related fields

–  Young professionals from architecture, design and related fields who want to explore the journey of Tropical Modernism in Sri Lanka

Yes! The Experience takes place in Sri Lanka to explore the theme of Tropical Modernism. The projects covered in this Experience include some of Geoffrey Bawa’s most famous works and that of next generation architects that have carried his design philosophy forward.

Yes! This Experience will take up to 20 participants. These participants will be split into smaller teams to execute projects (pavilion design) which are designed to give added value to their ongoing projects (school or live)

The Architecture Experience is designed with the intent of enhancing architectural understanding. To this end, a short project is included as part of the experience. The idea of the project is to design a pavilion with the ideologies learnt during this course.

This Experience will focus on observing and learning about the importance of site sensitivity, different architectural techniques – active and passive, importance of material selection and other aspects vital to sustainable architecture, which are important tenets of contemporary and new age architecture, be it urban or non urban.

Yes! From a logistics point of view, this price includes the cost of accommodation, flights, visas, breakfast and dinner, local and airport transfers, and entry fees where applicable.

A building can only be understood by moving around and through it, and by experiencing the modulation, and feel the spaces one moves through - from outside into verandah, then rooms, passages, courtyards. Architecture cannot be totally explained but must be experienced."

Geoffrey Bawa

Contact Us

Lunuganga Estate, Bentota

If you’d like to know more about The Architecture Experience – Sri Lanka, please fill this form, and one of us llamas will get back to you shortly.