The foremost exhibition of the construction industry in the country, the Architects' Work and Trade Exhibition of the 'Architect 2011' was unveiled on the 23rd of February 2011 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH). The Exhibition was officially opened to the public on the 24th of February and remains open continuing on up to the 27th of February from 10am till 10pm daily.
'Architect 2011' - the Annual Session of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects is led by the theme of 'Architecture for All, City + Community' and the unveiling of the Exhibition was aligned together with the Inauguration Ceremony.
Hon. Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development carried out the inauguration honours in the presence of Guests of Honour Shri Vikram Mishri, Deputy High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka and Archt. Ruth Reed, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Exhibition was declared open immediately after.
The Inauguration Ceremony was well attended by many distinguished local and foreign personalities. The SLIA Council Members including Archt. Chandana Edirisuriya, President, Archt. Jayantha Perera, Immediate Past President, Archt. Ranjan Nadesapillai, Senior Vice President, Archt. Chitra Weddikkara, Vice President, Archt. Harsha Fernando, Honorary Secretary, Archt. M.M.G.Samuel, Honorary Treasurer, other members of the Council including Chairmen of Boards and foreign participants including delegates from the member countries of Architects Regional Council Asia (ARCASIA) as well as other dignitaries from public and private sector organisations and representatives of exhibiting companies took part in the exhibition. Students, media and public too were present.
As an integral part of the Annual Session of the SLIA, the Architects' Work and Trade Exhibition has been steadfastly continuing for almost 3 decades and is only increasing in significance each year for the Sri Lankan construction industry. This year showcased 315 stalls inclusive of close to 260 construction related companies displaying their goods and services to the public and 90 architectural practices displaying their creations. The designs and coursework of the architecture students from the University of Moratuwa and City School of Architecture were also on display.
Everything relating to the building industry; local products, products from overseas, eco friendly products, residential, commercial and industrial products, landscaping, finishes like tiles and toilets, furniture and interiors, new technologies and much more were made available to the public within the vicinity.
As the pioneering exhibition of the construction industry in the country, the SLIA Architects' Work and Trade Exhibition has come to be an influential driving force in the trade which gives a helping hand to both industry and public to meet their needs. The annual Exhibition is a popular access portal to knowledge, ideas, bargains and the entire construction trade in a single venue for the consumer. "The whole objective of the Exhibition is to create a dynamism in the construction industry, we want to maintain an interest among the stakeholders so that the industry will maintain a momentum, which will in turn benefit everybody," said Archt. Chandana Edirisuriya, President of the SLIA.
A special aspect of the Exhibition was the Information Centre run by the SLIA and especially the publications arm of the SLIA which not only gave unique access to the public to purchase the many valued architectural volumes published by them but also the opportunity to gain expert advice on any architectural matters. All information was provided, including how to approach architects, knowledge needed before building and even career guidance on pursuing architecture as a profession.
A preliminary components of the 2011 session, the Exhibition will be followed by the National Conference on the 24th, the Annual General Meeting on the 26th and the Fellowship Night on the 26th evening. The Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) initiates the 'Architect 2011' together with their Strategic Sponsor Alumex Group, Associate Sponsors True Value Products (Pvt) Ltd and Colourcon (Pvt) Ltd, and Event Sponsors Naveen Ceramics (Pvt) Ltd, Lankem Ltd, and Matro Engineering & Construction (Pvt) Ltd.