The City School of Architecture (CSA) with a history of twenty five years and a student population of nearly two hundred, offers an alternate career in architecture that acknowledges that Architectural Education is a broad based teaching and learning process, where a major portion of the teaching and learning components lie rooted in the real world of practice.
The school brings these experiences through its architectural programmes which are based on a "Learn while you Work" concept. Talented and qualified individuals who posses an aptitude for architecture are selected through an Aptitude Test and Interview and are given an opportunity to pursue an academic career in architecture, whilst apprenticing under a Chartered Architect in the post Part I Course. Students thus receive a quotient of the practice based education through their Trainer Practices, whilst, CSA brings within its structured curriculum, architectural education and the experiences of the practice of architecture. The "Learn while you work" concept of the course enables students to form working relationships and establish direct links with the construction industry.
The School has on offer two courses of study based on a full time and sandwich concept - the three year CSA Part I Course and the three year CSA Part II Course, which prepare students towards the Parts I & II of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects Professional Practice Examinations. The City School of Architecture confers a Diploma in Architectural Studies and a Higher Diploma in Architecture as academic qualifications to students, on successful completion of the Parts I & II Courses and Examinations.
CSA is a Listed School of the Board of Architectural Education, SLIA (Sri Lanka Institute of Architects). Having received RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) "Candidate Course Status" in 2009, and RIBA Validation of its Parts I & II Courses in January 2011, CSA students completing the Parts I & II Courses and Examinations will receive the internationally reputed RIBA Parts I & II Professional qualifications. This qualification will pave the way for students to work towards RIBA International Membership. The value addition to the CSA academic programmes, provides international recognition, greater mobility for higher education and employment opportunities locally and internationally.
The Part I course established in 1986 and the Part II course established in 1991, together was named as the Colombo School of Architecture in 1999. In 2008, the school christened as the "City School of Architecture" came under an autonomous management with shareholding by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects and its Membership.
CSA advocates an equal opportunities policy and encourages participation of male and female students. The diversity in age, cultural and social backgrounds in every batch of students, broadens students' views and brings together diverse personalities to create a wholesome environment for higher learning.
Design is the core subject of the course and is conducted as interactive studios. An atmosphere of critical debate, innovative design thinking and a quest for creative design is encouraged through the faculty, tutors, critiques and resource persons drawn form the practice and academe giving balanced teaching inputs. Peer interaction and reviews are also encouraged.
Theory subjects, site visits, local and international experiencing architecture visits, joint study programmes with foreign universities, participation in local and foreign student conventions, apprenticing in a Trainer Practice - all offer the CSA students the necessary peripheral inputs to reinforce their design thinking and design skills to enrich them to become Tomorrows' Architects.
Over 700 students have registered with the school and of the seventeen batches that have gone through the portals of the school, many have established individual practices, whilst others have continued their education in academic institutions abroad, reading for Masters and Doctoral Degrees. Many architects produced by the school have received awards and accolades locally and internationally.
The City School of Architecture is optimistic in its quest to become one of the leading institutions in the South Asian Region, to educate and train Architects. Its mission remains to train students as qualified Architects with competitive and comprehensive knowledge of the profession, able to adapt to real and contemporary trends and needs, be professionally ethical and socially and environmentally responsible. The school proposes to expand to offer areas of specializations within the realm of Architecture, Design and Management and continue to emphasize the exploration of wider usage of passive systems in its academic programmes, thus giving students a better understanding of the responsibilities towards one's own environment. Socially biased projects are also looked at as an indispensable part of the curriculum in order to train the students to address actual national and regional needs of South Asian societies, in a pragmatic manner.
For further information refer the City School of Architecture website: www.csacolombo.edu.lk