Ar/Plnr Desamanya’ Dr Surath Wickramasinghe

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Receiving National Honor Desamanya' from the President of Sri Lanka in 2019.

Ar/Plnr Desamanya’ Dr Surath Wickramasinghe
Principal Architect, Urban and Regional Designer / Planner
Dip Arch (UOW), Msc TCP (SL), Hon DLitt(UOW),
PP/Fellow ITPSL, RIBA, Hon FRAIA, PP/Hon Fellow SLIA, PPresident - OPA,

Surath Wickramasinghe, Chartered Architect and Chartered Urban Designer / Planner was conferred the National Honour the title “Desamanya”(Pride of the Nation) in 2019 by the President of Sri Lanka. He completed his Architectural studies at the University of Westminster, London and the Post Graduate Planning from the University of Moratuwa. He is practicing the twin disciplines. 
As Chairman of his Firm Surath Wickramasinghe Associates (SWA), his inputs to architectural designs, visionary urban designs and planning concepts and his distinguished list of writings and publications are well – known. Surath’s Firm is 53 years in existence and has won several Excellence Awards for their work from the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA).

Surath was President SLIA between 1983-1985 and with his significant vision, was able to transform SLIA into a vibrant Institute. SLIA conferred him with a Honorary Fellowship of the Institute as well as the highest Honor the SLIA can bestow a Member the “Gold Medal” for Architecture. In 2021, SLIA at the Inauguration of the Annual Sessions held at The Kingsbury, Colombo honored him with a “Lifetime Achievement Award”.

In 1987, he was elected President, Organization of Professional Associations (OPA). Once again, he transformed the OPA from a relatively unknown Organization to a important Professional voice. In 2016, he was bestowed by the OPA “A Lifetime Award’ in recognition to his outstanding contributions to the Professions and the Nation” – “National Apex Award for Professional Excellence”.

In 2001, he was Founder Chairman, Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka (CCI), at a time when the Construction Industry was showing zero growth. His was able to revitalize the Construction Industry within a short pace of time. Surath relinquished the Presidency after 16 years and the Chamber of Construction Industry duly recognized his contributions in 2017, by conferring a "Lifetime Achievement Award".

Surath as President Elect, Institute of Town Planners, Sri Lanka (ITPSL) when he was elected as the Vice President of the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) in 1995. In 1997, he was elected President of the ITPSL and his contributions were noteworthy.

In 1990, in recognition of his Services to Architecture, Planning, and the Professions of Sri Lanka, he was conferred the National Honor of Desabandu’ Class I Category by the then President of Sri Lanka.

Internationally, between 1996-1998, was a landmark year for Surath when he was elected unanimously, as the Chairmen, Architects Regional Council Asia, (ARCASIA) comprising 17 member countries and representing around a million Architects in Asia. In recognition of his services to ARCASIA, he remained a permanent Advisor for 16 years and in 2020 was awarded the Past Presidents “Gold Medal” for his valuable contributions.

In 1998, he was also honored by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects with an Honorary Fellowship for his contributions to the advancement, protection and elevation of architecture in the Asian Region.  

On the Academic side, he was the Chairman, Informatics Institute of Technology - (IIT) from its inception for 20 years up to 2010. IIT is a pioneer in Information Technology and Business Education in Sri Lanka having trained over 7000 graduates up to 2023. In appreciation of the dedicated and invaluable contributions, he was formally recognized by IIT at the Convocation held on 2010 for its Graduands. 

As a distinguished Alumni of the University of Westminster, London, in 2012, the Vice Chancellor, conferred on him the Degree of Doctor of Letters (D’ Litt) for his Eminence, Attainments and Contributions to Architecture.