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An architectural Memoir from Sri Lanka "Architect Ulrik Plesner's memoirs are not only of interest to other architects, but also to the general public, in Denmark as well as abroad. The memoirs are a piece of Danish cultural history, describing the meeting between Asia and the Danish architectural tradition and how it adapted to the economic, environmental and cultural circumstances in Sri Lanka in the decades following WWII.
During this period, Geoffrey Bawa and Ulrik Plesner pioneered a new Asian t from their practice in Colombo. "If there was Bawa, there was Plesner", was what people said about their collaboration, which became known all over the architectural world. Their hallmark was an architecture that combined the western tradition with respect for the traditional way of life in Asia, its climate and its cultural heritage. A number of Bawa's and Plesner's works, among them the Chapel of the Good Shepard in Bandarawela, are among Sri Lanka's tourist attractions. Ulrik Plesner worked in Sri Lanka from 1958 to 1967. After five years with Arup in London, he and his Israeli wife settled in Jerusalem, where he became city architect and had determining influence on the city planning, which safe-guarded the unique character of the city for future generations.
However, this book is only about Plesner's years in Sri Lanka. Among Plesner's many works in Israel, his cultural centre Beit Gabriel on the Sea of Gallilee. From 1980 to 1987 Plesner worked as an architect for the World Bank in Sri Lanka. In 2002 he started an architecture practice with his two daughters in Tel Aviv. In 1956, Ulrik Plesner received the Danish Academy's yearly grant and among other honours are the Jerusalem prize, the Eckersberg Medal in 1987 and in 2011 the Danish Academy's C.F. Hansen medal, the highest honour that can be awarded a Danish architect." Herbert Pundik, 2011 Herbert Pundik was for many years editor-in-chief at one of Denmark's leading newspapers.