BSc Built Env (Moratuwa), 1997
BArch (Melbourne), 2001
PhD in Architecture (Melbourne), 2010
Visiting Fellow, FAR
A director and co-founder of the Sri Lankan-based Robust Architecture Workshop (RAW), Milinda Pathiraja bases his research and practice on the belief that architecture has the power to integrate and contribute to the resolution of social, political and economic challenges. RAW has undertaken major commissions throughout Sri Lanka, including the Community Library at Ambepussa, which was awarded the Global Lafarge-Holcim Silver Award in 2015.
Milinda Pathiraja is Director, Partner and Co-Founder of Robust Architecture Workshop (RAW), a professional firm based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, which operates on the principle that architecture has the power to integrate and contribute to the resolution of social, political and economic challenges. The work of the firm has been exhibited in the international section of the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale Architettura in 2016. In the same year, it received the Terra Award for Earthen Constructions, a recognition preceded by the Global LafargeHolcim Silver Award, in 2015, and the LafargeHolcim regional Bronze prize for Asia Pacific in 2014.
RAW’s design and construction approach is indebted to Milinda Pathiraja’s doctoral research at the University of Melbourne – The function of robust technology in the construction of a “third-world” practice: architecture, design and labour training – where he investigated the possible role of architects as facilitators of construction and development policies. Academia and practice have found a way to merge in his writings on resilient architecture, which have appeared in several professional and scholarly journals internationally. Milinda Pathiraja is often invited to present his work at conferences and events around the world.
In 2016, he was one of the panelists at ‘Sustainability vs Security’, the concluding session of the Venice Architectural Biennale. Pathiraja was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, between 2011 and 2016. Today, he maintains Honorary Senior Fellow duties in the Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning at the University of Melbourne, Australia.
His position and writings on resilient architecture build on his PhD dissertation at the University of Melbourne – The function of robust technology in the construction of a “third-world” practice: architecture, design and labour training. As a student, he won the President’s Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis from the Royal Institute of British Architects (2011), the CIOB Australasia Excellent Building Postgraduate Research Award (2011), the University of Melbourne Chancellor’s Prize for Excellence (2012), and the Australian Alumni Excellence Award for Education (2014).
Top image: Community Library, Ambepussa, Sri-Lanka, PATHIRAJA (2012)