Honoring Architecture: AYA 2012 held in Sri Lanka for the 1st time

 The 21st Annual Architect of the Year Award (AYA) was held, in typically elegant style, on the 25th of November at the Cinnamon Grand in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The ceremony marked the first time in its illustrious history that the AYA was held outside India. Minister of Economic Development Hon.Basil Rajapakse graced the occasion as the Chief Guest, while his Excellency Ashok Kantha, Indian High Commissioner, Colombo was the Guest of Honour.

The brain child of Shri Yadupati Singhania, Managing Director/CEO of J.K. Cement Ltd, the AYA was initially instituted to encourage outstanding talent in the Indian architecture profession. 21 years down the line, the awards have grown in scope and repute, and are the most coveted among Architecture professionals in India and the region.

Speaking at the event Mr. Madhavkrishna Singhania – Special Executive, J.K. Cement Ltd. said “Two decades after we began these awards we decided to take them out of India and host them here in Sri Lanka. The entire experience has been a complete success. Sri Lanka has always been an inspiration thanks to its amazing historical architecture, but now we have also had a chance to enjoy the hospitality of the people and the beauty of natural surroundings…… The AYA celebrates architecture not just in India but in the region too and every year we commemorate work that is not just a stunning example of aesthetic and technical expertise, but is also a gift to posterity, the country in which it has been built and the people it serves”

As countries worldwide rush headlong into development, and cities and towns grow and expand at a phenomenal rate, the role of Architecture in town planning and infrastructure development is a crucial one, ensuring not just practicality of purpose and technical excellence but also the importance of regional aesthetic, future growth and care for the environment.

Mr. M.P. Rawal – Administrator, AYA and President (Technical & Management Services) & Management Representative (Quality Management Systems/Environment Management Systems) and President (Exports), J.K. Cement Ltd. had this to say “These awards recognise Indian architects primarily but we also honour architects in the Focus countries of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Seychelles, Nepal, Mauritius, Bhutan and Maldives. We received an unprecedented number of entries this year and our jury had a tough job on their hands. I wish to thank them for their time, dedication and expertise. To all our winners my warmest congratulations – I am sure you will continue to do brilliant work and serve as an inspiration to us all”

Mr. Rawal also touched on his experience here in Sri Lanka “In hosting the AYAs in Sri Lanka we have taken a step further in enhancing the credibility and the importance of these awards. I wish to thank all those in Sri Lanka who were part of putting this event together – for their help, support and good will throughout – working with you has been an absolute pleasure”.

Receiving the evenings’ highest honour – the Architect of the Year Award – was Madhar Joshi of Pune for his High Performance Computer Centre. Rafiq Azam of Bangladesh won the Focus Countries’ Architect of the Year Award for his SA Residence in Dhaka, and rising star Tushar Shashikant Shetye of Pune received the Young Architect’s Award for the Malhar Machi Mountain Resort in Pune.

Bangalore swept the Indian State Architecture Awards category with the State Architect of the Year going to Chandavarkar & Thacker Architects Pvt Ltd for the Nitesh Buckingham Gates Apartments.

The Green Architecture Award which was added to the AYA list just last year, went to Kalpesh Dalwadi of Vadodara for his brilliant design for a private residence.

Additional awards and commendations were also given in categories including Private Residence, Public Building, Group Housing and Hospitality Projects.

The jury for AYA is chaired by Managing Director of J.K. Cement Ltd., Shri Y.P. Singhania and comprises eminent architects from various regions of India and two members representing the participating countries.

Country is first international host for acclaimed Architect Awards 

 

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