Global design competitions: shaping a sustainable future /construir un futuro sustentable

Professional accelerator 26 L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui: In what ways have the LafargeHolcim Awards that you won energised your practice? Milinda Pathiraja: The greatest benefit of winning the Global LafargeHolcim Award was the international exposure it gave us as a young architectural practice from Sri Lanka. We were less than three years into the practice when we won the Awards – the regional and the global one – and the library project was only the third building we had completed. Since then, we have been invited to speak at many architecture forums, our work has been published widely and recognised by other award schemes, and in 2016 we were invited to present our work at the main section of the Venice Architecture Biennale! LafargeHolcim Foundation’s initiative to hold the Global Award ceremony in Sri Lanka also contributed significantly to building up our reputation locally. But more than anything else, winning these awards boosted our confidence as a young practice and convinced us about the appropriateness of the professional and intellectual path we have defined for ourselves. From weapons to books The project developed by architect Milinda Pathiraja (Robust Architecture Workshop) in the country town of Ambepussa, near Colombo, was aimed at enabling the reinsertion of former soldiers into civilian life. This subtle way of dealing with the post-civil war period in Sri Lanka led the jury of the LafargeHolcim Awards, which had honoured him in 2014 with a Bronze Award for the Asia Pacific region, to reward him once again in 2015 with a Global Award Silver. De las armas a los libros El proyecto desarrollado por el arquitecto Milinda Pathiraja (Robust Architecture Workshop) en el poblado rural de Ambepussa, cerca de Colombo, apunta a posibilitar la reinserción de excombatientes en la vida civil. Esta forma sutil de enfrentar el período de posguerra civil en Sri Lanka convenció al jurado de los LafargeHolcim Awards, que ya lo había galardonado en 2014 con el premio de Bronce para la región de Asia Pacífico, de honrarlo nuevamente en 2015 con el premio de Plata en los Global Awards. Milinda Pathiraja Architect Founder of Robust Architecture Workshop Colombo, Sri Lanka Arquitecto Fundador de Robust Architecture Workshop Colombo, Sri Lanka COMMUNITY LIBRARY Location: Ambepussa, Sri Lanka Architect: Milinda Pathiraja Awards: LafargeHolcim Awards Bronze Asia Pacific 2014 Global LafargeHolcim Award Silver 2015 LafargeHolcim Building Better Recognition Prize Asia Pacific 2017 Typology: Public project Programme: Community library and social recuperation Interview with Milinda Pathiraja Entrevista con Milinda Pathiraja

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