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SOM Wins International Design Competition for Colombo Port City Master Plan in Sri Lanka

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CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Limited (CPCC) announced today that Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP—the internationally renowned architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firm, in association with Grant Associates landscape architecture—has won the International Urban Design Ideas Competition held for the Financial District and Marina District of Colombo Port City.

Comprising 269 hectares, Port City Colombo is a new city development built as an extension of the existing Colombo Central Business District (CBD). The Financial District and Marina District make up the central area of Port City. When complete in 2041, the master plan will transform Port City Colombo into a hub for commerce, tourism, and culture in South Asia.

A collaboration with CPCC, the Concept Master Plan by SOM offers a richness of urban opportunities and a robust framework with carefully designed public spaces. It presents a dynamic new vision for Colombo Port City that promises to deliver high quality urban environments for residents and visitors. The plan is designed to accommodate future growth and change within a sustainable development framework. SOM’s vision, selected as the unanimous winner by an international jury, was cited as demonstrating exceptional sensitivity to the ecological and cultural context of Sri Lanka.

The new skyline for Port City Colombo is composed to create a striking and legible profile with a clear hierarchy when viewed from key points within the city. Sri Lanka’s varied landscape and its complex tropical climate have influenced the conception of the future district's public realm. The squares, canal edges, gardens, a new harbor, and a new city park take cues from the local environment to create a sympathetic proposal that is rooted in the country’s unique geography and ecology.

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. 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.

A new cultural venue placed at the seafront and immediately adjacent to the CBD of Colombo Port City will encourage people to gravitate toward the waterfront and create an iconic backdrop to the marina.

About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Europe) LLP

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Europe) LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. Since its founding more than 80 years ago, SOM has earned a reputation for design excellence with a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries, and has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm’s longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with nearly 2,000 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award—in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dubai, and Mumbai.

About CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Limited

CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Limited (CPCC) is part of China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC). Incorporated in 2006, CCCC is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and currently employs over 110,000 employees, with its presence in 135 countries and regions. CCCC is a world leader in port design and construction, road and bridge design and construction, dredging, container crane, and heavy machinery manufacturing. CPCC has been actively involved with the development of Sri Lanka since 1998, executing construction projects such as the Southern Highway, Outer Circular Highway, Hambantota Port, Mattala International Airport, and Colombo South Container Terminal.

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