Known for his design excellence in sustainable designs, Kandy-based renowned architect Laxman Egodawatta’s expertise in planning, feasibility and construction management is legendary
Architectural impressions by Ar. Laxman Egodawatta
How did you get into architecture?
I had a strong passion for architecture from a young age. I was deeply moved by how it made an impact on people’s lives. Inspired by the power of architecture to empower people, I was motivated to pursue architecture. After graduating, I started working towards building my own practice. I have now more than thirty years of experience.
What kind of projects is your forte?
The meda midula or courtyard found in traditional Sri Lankan architecture had always captivated me. Taking on projects that strive to bring the freedom of the outdoors into the indoors has allowed me to inculcate
an environmental sensibility into modern lifestyle. This has allowed me to develop designs based on the symbiosis of the built environment and nature, paving the way towards a responsible and sustainable design ethic.
Your current assignment?
I am currently working on a novel project in the foothills of the Hantana mountain range. The project involves the designing of a modern living space, nestled within a structure that draws upon design elements from medieval castles. Working on this project is allowing me to push the conceptual boundaries of integrating style and functionality.
Where do you derive your inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from traditional Sri Lankan architecture, where spaces are human centrically designed to bring people together. Also, contemporary lifestyles of people in Sri Lanka, which are a blend of the modern and traditional values, are a big influence. Reflecting this hybrid lifestyle through architectural design gives me immense satisfaction.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Being able to make my clients happy, by turning their visions into reality is the real achievement for me in all my endeavours. Also, the freedom to explore, learn, innovate and the flexibility to express through design, makes it incredibly satisfying to be an architect.
How would you describe your unique style?
Design wise my uniqueness comes from being able to project the
“I draw inspiration from traditional Sri Lankan architecture, where spaces are human centrically designed to bring people together.”
client’s persona and lifestyle through environmental sensibility found in traditional architecture. This allows me to design highly personalised spaces, which evolve as extensions of the client’s lifestyle and vision. It is simply not about designing houses, but homes.
What are the kinds of challenges you face?
The biggest challenge in any project is making the client’s vision a reality. Often, clients bring diverse ideas, and it is my task to integrate them and give life to their vision by providing a coherent design. In essence, translating the client’s idea into a tangible reality is the most challenging, yet the most rewarding aspect.
What do you view as your lasting responsibility as an architect?
Architecture as a discipline has great influence on the social, cultural and natural environments. Therefore, as architects we have tremendous power to influence our surroundings. This power has to be wielded with responsibility as such that it enhances the well-being of individuals, families and the society in harmony with the natural environment. It is only by practicing this philosophy that we will stand a chance to build a safer planet for future generations.