Geoffrey Bawa Award



Application Guidelines

5th Cycle 2019 - 2020


The Geoffrey Bawa awards are made on a triennial cycle and this is its 5th cycle. It was set by the Geoffrey Bawa Trust with the aim of celebrating the legacy of Geoffrey Bawa through the recognition of good design in Sri Lanka. The first cycle was in 2006-2007. This year is of particular note as its announcement coincides with centenary birth anniversary of the architect.

Aim & Objective Of the Geoffrey Bawa Awards

The aim of the Geoffrey Bawa awards to recognize outstanding contribution to contemporary architecture in Sri Lanka.

Scope Of The Awards

The awards will endeavor to recognize excellence in the widest possible terms; celebrating architecture’s capacity to transform the environment as medium enacting human aspiration. All types of constructions in urban and rural settings may be submitted. They may be single homes or mass housing, small scale buildings or large complexes; bus-stops or shopping malls; rural schools or university campuses. We encourage submissions at a range of scales with varied programmatic uses, including institutions for health, education, religious and cultural use, urban conservation pockets, new towns, reuse of brown field sites and adaptive reuse projects. There are no limitations on criteria for type of project, scale, cost or location within Sri Lanka for projects to be considered.

Right To Participate - Eligibility

Projects can be submitted by anyone, including the non Architects. No trustee of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust, no member of the steering committee or judges of the award, or the technical review committee may nominate their work.

  • Disqulification

    Any form of canvassing with the judges will lead to disqualification as well as misrepresentation of facts in the record sheet.

Award Cycle & Awards

The award cycle is once every three years (but recognises projects built over the previous 10 years). Invitations for submission of projects will appear as an advertisement in the daily newspaper, on the Trust’s website and other media avenues.

The jury will select the winning entry which will be awarded a maximum of LKR 1,000,000/= per cycle. The jury may recognise other entries for honorable mention which will not be eligible for any cash award.

The jury shall however reserve the right not to grant an award.

Eligibility Criteria

Projects should have been completed between 23rd July 2009 and 23rd July 2019 and have been occupied since 23rd July 2018 or earlier. Projects presented as applications during the last cycle (2016/2017) which did not win an award are eligible for reapplication by letter.

Confidentiality & Dissemination

Following review by the Jury, the shortlist of the standardised presentation formats will form part of the permanent Award library. All information will be kept strictly confidential until the announcement of the 2019 – 2020 shortlist. Documentation may later be used by researchers and scholars, and for publications or wider dissemination by the Award.

The Architect's Record specifies the following clause regarding all submitted materials: The submission of this Record is a prerequisite to candidacy for the Award. All information contained in and submitted with the Record will be kept strictly confidential until announcement of the Award is made. Subsequently, such material may be made available by the Geoffrey Bawa Award for Architecture and you hereby grant the Geoffrey Bawa Award for Architecture all rights in the nature of copyright, in the material submitted to reproduction of the same throughout the world.


The Geoffrey Bawa Trust will archive all short listed nominations for future reference, and maintains the right to upload submitted work onto the website.

Dates for the 5th Cycle

A. Request for submissions (1st Announcement) - 25th August 2019
(2nd Announcement) - 7th September 2019
B. Return of submission DEADLINE: 30th November 2019
C. Judging of initial entries and shortlisting projects: January 2020
D. Technical review of shortlisted projects: May 2020
E. Final Judging of projects 22nd July 2020
F. Award Ceremony 23rd July 2020

Judging Procedure

The initial submissions will be shortlisted by the judges.
In order to give equal importance to all projects and to facilitate the Jury's task to review them, each project is prepared in a standardised format. The staff of the Geoffrey Bawa Award for Architecture assemble presentation portfolios from materials requested from and prepared by the architects of each project. The Award staff will examine and study all the materials submitted for each project and may contact the architects, client, users, or others for complementary materials.

The shortlist shall be published in the electronic and other media.

A technical review of the shortlisted buildings will be conducted by the technical review committee and the technical review made will be presented to the jury before the final judging.

The judges will then make their final decision which will be announced on 23rd July 2020.The decision of the judges will be final.

Materials To Be Submitted

The Award requires photographs, drawings and maps, in addition to the Architect's Record.

Applicants have options to submit the entries online or in hard copy format. If using online format files should be named consistently as designer name_project name. If using hard copy format, please follow the instructions given 11.3.2 for submission. Applicants who desire to submit multiple projects for the Award must submit one application per project/entry. Note that photographs, drawings, and other materials submitted will be retained at the Award archives.

  • 1.1 Photographs
    • Photographs should fully convey visual information on the exterior as well as the interior of each project.
    • Each image must be submitted as single image files (1 image per sheet), not composite boards. An exception to this rule would be to place the before and after images of a restoration project side by side.
    • These images are used for judging purposes and should convey the way in which the project relates to its context.
    • We advise both wide shots and close-ups and, if possible, show the building in use.
    • Do not put company logos or text on any images.
    • Both colour and black-and-white photographs are acceptable.
    • Image Credit with the photographer’s name and contact for each image uploaded should be entered along with a brief caption (if desired) of a maximum 15 words. Captions and credits should be placed directly below images at the bottom of each page and not obscure any part of the image.
  • 1.2 Drawings
    • You should include a site plan showing immediate context; floor plan(s); section(s); elevation(s); etc.
    • You may upload up to 6 separate sheets. These can be configured as 2 drawings per page if required
    • North point must be clearly designated on all plans. All architectural drawings must include a graphic register clearly indicating the scale of the drawing.
    • All drawings should be clearly labelled to indicate Project name, Drawing Title, Designer, and other relevant information at the bottom-right edge of the page.
  • 1.3 Additional Materials

    The submission of architects' curricula vitae, firm profiles and additional materials such as publications and bibliographies, is encouraged when such materials add to the understanding of the project. Supplementary Materials can only be accepted in digital format and should be labelled Project_name_Designers_name_additional

    The additional materials assist the Award staff to better understand each project, and will be made available to the Master Jury members on request for further information.

1.3.1 Project Record

The Project Record form (hereafter referred to as the Project Record) should be submitted online. The Project Record for each entry should be labelled Project_name_Designers_name_Project_Record.pdf.

Notes on the Project Record: The Project Record document is required for all submitted projects.

  • I. Identification

    Indicate the name of the project. If the project has been known by a different or previous name, please indicate this in brackets. Please supply the actual street address or precise location of the project, even if correspondence to the project is addressed to a postal box number.

  • II. Persons Responsible

    Indicate the name and address of the architect(s), designer(s) or architectural firm(s) responsible for the project; for joint projects or those undertaken by architectural firms, be sure to indicate the name of the principal designer(s) at the end of this section (other project staff should be listed as project affiliates in section "C" of the record).

    Indicate the name of the individual, company, or institution who commissioned the project. If the project owner is different from the client, or if the current users of the building are not the client, please note their name(s) as project affiliates in section "C" of the Record. If the main client is the local, regional, or national government, please indicate the responsible government ministry, department, or organisation. Where known, please indicate the name of the individual within the ministry, department, or organisation who was responsible for the project.

    List all key people involved in the project and describe their roles and responsibilities, e.g. engineers, contractors, economists, master craftsmen, other architects, clients, etc. Where relevant, indicate not only the consultants and other professionals involved with the project, but also the project staff, architects, technicians, site supervisors, or others, who have played a significant role in the project. On a separate sheet, please list the names, addresses, telephone, and email addresses of the main consultants.

  • III. Timeline

    Specify the year and month for both commencement and completion of each step in the design and construction processes. For large projects, or for those completed in phases, indicate the dates for the first phase and for each subsequent phase, and clearly note which phases of the project have been completed. It should be noted that for the 2019/20 cycle of the Award, the building or projects must have been completed and in use for one full year between the period 23rd July 2009 to 23rd July 2019.

  • IV. Areas and Surfaces

    Indicate the specified areas and surfaces in square meters. The total combined floor area should include basement(s), ground floor(s), and any and all upper floors. If you wish to provide details for any particular elements within the overall project, please use and attach a separate sheet.

  • V. Economics

    Indicate the total cost of project and Specify the amount, currency, and date of transaction. Please indicate the amount both in U.S. dollars and in the local currency, along with the exchange rate used at that time.

  • VI. Project Description

    Please describe the nature and function of the project, and describe the initial programme. Describe the project as it is today, how it is used, and who uses it. Outline any significant changes between the completed project and the initial brief and/or design. Describe the history of the project from its conception to its final construction.

  • VII. Materials, Structure, and Construction

    Please describe the principal materials and indicate the basic construction technology.

  • VIII. Project Significance and Impact

    In what way is the project significant? Please describe the aspects of the project that represent a particular achievement (for example the technical, economic, or social achievement, or its response to culture, climate, etc.).

1.3.2 Submission of Entries

Option 01 (Online submission) - Mandatory Application to be submitted online for each project/entry.

  • Photographs - minimum of 5 and up to 10 digital images of A3 size with a minimum of 300 dpi.

  • Drawings - minimum of 1 and up to 6 drawings, each laid out on an A3 sheet at 300 dpi

  • Photographs [File name: project name_designers name_photographs.jpeg Maximum file size 15MB.]
  • Drawings [File name: project name_designers name_drawings.pdf [Maximum file size 15MB]
  • Completed and signed Project Record (four pages) [File name: project name_designers name_Project Record.pdf. [Maximum file size 5MB.]
  • Optional: Additional Materials [File name: project name_designers name_additional.pdf. [Maximum file size 10MB.]

Option 02 (Hardcopy submission) - Mandatory Application to be submitted hardcopy for each project/entry.

Submission should be forwarded to the Manager of the Geoffrey Bawa Award for Excellence in Architecture in four separate sealed envelopes, the Photographs, Drawings, Completed signed Project Record and Additional Materials.

The Photographs should consist of unbound maximum 10 number of A3 sheets mounted on 2.0 mm thick form boards.

  • The Drawings should consist of unbound maximum 6 number of A3 sheets mounted on 2.0 mm thick form boards.

  • On top of the left hand side of the envelop, the applicant shall clearly write “Photographs”, “Drawings”, “Completed signed Project Record”, “Additional Materials”.

  • On bottom of the right-hand side of the envelop, the applicant shall clearly write Project name and Designers name.
  • Submissions shall be hand over to the Manager of the Geoffrey Bawa Award for Excellence in Architecture on or before Friday, 1st November 2019, by 5:00 pm.

The manager of Geoffrey Bawa Award for Excellence in Architecture shall record the name of the person submitting and the designer’s representative, not necessarily in the order submitted and allocate a number, which will not be divulged to the jury.

Judges for the Cycle (2019-2020)

Ms. Sunethra Bandaranaike – Trustee of Lunuganga Trust

Sunethra Bandaranaike is a Trustee of Lunuganga Trust. She will chair the Board of Judges in the 2019/2020 cycle. She holds a BA (Hons) Degree in Philosophy, Politics & Economics from Oxford University. She worked as a researcher in the Minority Rights Group and the Overseas Development Institute in the United Kingdom and formerly held the post of Coordinating Secretary to the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. She serves as the chairperson at the Sunera Foundation, a charitable organisation established in 2000 which works with differently-abled youth and adults.

Professor Barry Bergdoll – Judge from the design profession

Barry Bergdoll is Meyer Schapiro Professor of art history in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. From 2007 to 2013 he served as Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Professor Bergdoll's broad interests center on modern architectural history, with a particular emphasis on France and Germany since 1750. His interests also include the intersections of architecture and new technologies of representations in the modern period, especially photography and film.

Archt. Veranjan Kurukulasuriya – President SLIA

Veranjan Kurukulasuriya is President of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects and Chairman of the City School of Architecture. He is a former Board Member of the Urban Development Authority and the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation & Development Corporation. He has more than 35 years of professional experience in the public sector as an architect and planner.

Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala – Judge from outside the design profession

Jayantha Dhanapala is a Sri Lankan diplomat who serves as a member of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and was a governing board member of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Dhanapala is also a distinguished member of the Constitutional Council of Sri Lanka. From 2007 he has been the President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and world affairs.

Steering Committee & Technical Review

The members of the steering committee are Channa Daswatte, Chamika de Alwis, Priyanka Tissaverasinghe and Shayari de Silva. The technical review will be conducted by Shayari de Silva, Curator of the Lunuganga Trust, assisted by Trustee Chamika de Alwis.


Entries not conforming with the preliminary or the final requirements as laid down for the Geoffrey Bawa Awards herein, or in the Forms or related documents, or instructions issued for the purpose now or subsequently, shall be excluded from any consideration of the Geoffrey Bawa Awards.

For any questions regarding the Award Procedures or submission requirements, please contact Geoffrey Bawa Trust office.

The Manager

The Geoffrey Bawa Award for Excellence in Architecture
No. 11, 33rd Lane, Bagatalle Road, Colombo 03
Telephone: 11 4337335
Office Hours: 10 am – 5 pm (Monday – Friday)