Sri Lanka Planetarium | Only Planetarium in the Country

Sri Lanka Planetarium
Sri Lanka Planetarium (Sinhala: ශ්‍රී ලංකා ග්‍රහලෝකාගාරය), located in the University of Colombo premises in Stanley Wijesundara Mawatha in Kurunduwatta, is the first and only planetarium in Sri Lanka.

When was Sri Lanka Planetarium established?
The planetarium was established in 1965 by the State Engineering Corporation as a special feature for the Ceylon Industrial Exhibition held in Colombo in the same year to introduce the latest technologies specially to show the capability of creating a night sky (Wanigasooriya, 2016). Designed by Engineer A. N. S. Kulasinghe (b.1919-d.2006), the planetarium building was declared open to the public on 1 February 1965.

The building which follows the architectural elements extracted from Sir Frederick Gibberd's Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral (1960) and Costa and Niemeyer's Cathedral of Brasília (1960-1970) was funded and maintained by East Germany as a gift to Ceylon (present Sri Lanka) government (Pieris, 2012).

Planetarium structure
Sri Lanka planetarium is considered one of the largest of its kind in the region with a 23 m diameter dome with 550 seating capacity. The building is conical shaped and spikes are mounted on the top of the roof and made out of concrete (Edirisinghe et al., 2015). The upper part of the structure was made of pre-cast concrete spikes which are some angle to the external side of the structure (Edirisinghe et al., 2015). It also has a reinforced concrete floor and a pre-stressed concrete folded plate roof, which was pre-cast on-site (Pieris, 2012).

1) Sri lanka planetarium by Anufdo is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

1) Edirisinghe, C.M., Rupasinghe, D. and Jinadasa, C.P., 2015. Design Methods of Lightning Protection Systems by Keeping Aesthetic View of Architecturally Complex Structures. International Letters of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, 52, p.127.
2) Pieris, A., 2012. Architecture and nationalism in Sri Lanka: The trouser under the cloth. Routledge. p.164.
3) Wanigasooriya, P. and Li, S., 2015. Scientific data management strategies of Sri Lanka with special reference to government institutions. International Conference on Business, Economics, Social Science and Humanities- BESSH. pp.365-390.

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This page was last updated on 21 July 2023

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