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 Planner was conferred the National Honour the title “Desamanya”(Pride of the Nation) in 2019 by the President of Sri Lanka. As a distinguished Alumni of the University of Westminster in the UK and the University of Moratuwa, he completed his Architectural and Planning studies, and is practicing the twin disciplines.
His career combines a prolific and continued output of significant Architecture and Urban Design Projects including a distinguished list of writings and publications. As Chairman of his Firm Surath Wickramasinghe Associates (SWA), the inputs to architectural designs and his visionary planning concepts to transform the City of Colombo in particular are well known. Surath’s Firm is 50 years in existence and has won several Excellence Awards for their work from the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA). Surath was conferred with the Honorary Fellowship of the Institute as well as the highest Honour the SLIA can bestow the “Gold Medal” for Architecture. In 2021, SLIA at the Inauguration of the Annual Sessions held at The Kingsbury, Colombo honoured him with a “Lifetime Achievement Award”
He was President of several Professional Associations, and with his significant vision was also able to transform the SLIA and the Organization of Professional Associations (OPA). In 2016, Surath 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”. He was Founder Chairman, Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka (CCI). Surath’s dynamic contributions was duly recognized and in 2017, the Construction Industry, Sri Lanka in appreciation to Surath’s outstanding contributions to CCI for over 16 years, as their President conferred a "Lifetime Award". Surath was also President, Institute of Town Planners, Sri Lanka (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 over 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 1997, as Vice President ITPSL, Surath was elected a Vice President of the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP).
In 1998, he was also honoured by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects for his contributions to the advancement, protection and elevation of architecture, was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.
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 5000 graduates up to 2021. In appreciation of the dedicated and invaluable contributions, he was formally recognized by IIT at the Convocation held on 2010 for its Graduands.
In 2012, the Vice Chancellor, University of Westminster, London conferred on him the Degree of Doctor of Letters (D’ Litt) for his Eminence, Attainments and Contributions to Architecture and other fields.