The ground-breaking project created by leading global property consultants Colliers International that reconstructed the Sri Lankan village of Kirinda after the tsunami in a sustainable, green vision has been selected as one of the 12 finalists for the 2007 Urban Land Institute Awards for Excellence: Asia Pacific. The awards are, in the words of ULI, "the real estate development community's most prestigious award."
The Kirinda project was previously honored at the MIPIM real estate awards in Cannes in March where it won the Best Residential Development award and received a Special Tribute award. Following its success at the summit a new prize was announced, the Green Building award.
Shigeru Ban the architect hailed by Time Magazine as one of the Top 100 innovators of the 21st century worked with the trust set up by Colliers International, the Colliers Kirinda Trust, to reconstruct the village. He and his firm of architects donated their time to produce a radical vision that embraces local traditions and materials (the houses were constructed with rubber tree wood, coconut wood, teak, and sun-dried earthen blocks, natural materials chosen for their durability, strength and beauty) and conforms to the highest environmental standards. His design ensures that the houses can breathe in the heat and that air can circulate freely inside. Many other project homes made from concrete force occupiers to sit outside during the hot dry season. Also, all wood for the project has been purchased from local tree farms, which has kept the money in the local economy. And in a first, 100% solar-powered street lighting has been introduced.
Philip Bay, Regional Director, Colliers International Southeast Europe, initiated the project and is a trustee of the Colliers Kirinda Trust. "I am delighted that we have received this recognition from the Urban Land Institute. It underlines what an extraordinary achievement this is by Shigeru Ban, my colleagues in Colliers, and of course the people of Kirinda and our friends in Sri Lanka."
The President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse, has welcomed the impact of the project. "The project has become the standard to compare with for ongoing tsunami reconstruction work in Sri Lanka."
The Urban Land Institute states that its awards "define the standard for real estate development practice worldwide. In its 29th year, the awards program is the centerpiece of ULI's efforts to identify and promote best practices in all types of real estate development. The awards recognize the full development process of a projectconstruction, economic viability, marketing, and managementas well as design."
The winners will be decided in June, and the awards presented in September.
The Urban Land Institute will produce a book featuring each of the finalists from around the world. Each finalist will get a two-page spread (four pages for winning projects), with colour photos, a project description, and a list of development partners. This publication will be distributed at ULI's 2007 Fall Meeting in October, in Las Vegas.