Inaugural Foxhouze Architecture Xtudio conference paves the way for valuable industry dialogue
Foxhouze Architecture Xtudio, an innovatory and crucial architecture and construction industry conference, was held on Monday, 29 October at the Grand Ballroom, Hilton Colombo.
Promoted by Foxhouze, the event was presented by Forum of The World Creative Industry, with the intent of bringing together the industry’s leading players under one roof to participate in constructive dialogue pertinent to Sri Lanka’s architecture sector. Foxhouze Architecture Xtudio: Industry Development Conference was attended by key voices, decision-makers and representatives from various sectors of the industry.
Via an insightful agenda of conferences, panels discussions, and presentations addressing topics ranging from structural design to environmental sustainability, attendees were privy to a wealth of knowledge from the industry’s most well-respected names.
“We are pleased to have organised Foxhouze Architecture Xtudio, alongside our key patrons and partners,” said Fowzi Kandrikar, Owner of Foxhouze, in his address introducing the event. “We hope that the dialogues, opinions, and even decisions reaped from this event will prove responsible for sowing greater opportunities that benefit the local industry for decades to come.”
Following Fowzi’s introduction were welcome addresses delivered by Pradeep Moraes, Chairman of the Condominium Developers Association of Sri Lanka, Architect DH Wijewardene, President of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects, and Ranjith Gunatilleke, President of the Chamber of Construction Industry, all of whom were in praise of the initiative behind the event.
A Real Estate Market Outlook panel discussion set the tone for the conference, comprising of an illustrious group of spokespeople including Gunatilleke, Wijewardene, and Moraes, as well as Architect Murad Ismail of MICD, Ajit Wijesinghe, Director of Dusit Thani, Sri Lanka, Anne Maria Hermans, Regional Head-South Asia of Lamudi, and Roshan Madawella, CEO of RIU. Panellists each discussed at length the industry concerns and progressions in relation to ongoing and planned projects in our fast-developing metropolis, reflecting their individual expertise on investment, development, design, and standardisation. Fowzi raised several interesting questions to the panel as a result, and the discourse was deconstructed further, both, from within the panel and from the professional gathering as well.
Pivotal to enabling the conference to take place were its Lead Partners, and these included some of the industry’s titans, namely Alumex, Saint Gobain, Sapa (with Ajax), Senok Windows (with Deceuninck), Gurind Glass, GE Momentive Silicones (with Trade Line Lanka), S&T Interiors, and Fire Doors from Nitson And Amitsu. Along with the rest of the vendor community, these sponsors, along with Access Projects had an impressive array of products on display throughout the duration of the conference.
Following the real estate panel, the conference side-lined into two separate tracks; the Façade Xtudio, and the Interiors Xtudio, allowing attendees the choice of stimulating and educational conversations catering to their specific industry niche.
Sivaji Ray, Export Manager of Saint Gobain India, was a speaker in both the Façade and the Interior tracks, sharing his insights on new developments in coated glass and on the applications of glass in interiors. “Saint Gobain will most certainly work closely with the development of the local processors to international standards through technical training and certifications,” he said. Ray also further re-iterated his praise for the event. “I am extremely happy with the efforts of Mr. Fowzi in seeking to develop the local industry, and we hope to work closely with the Foxhouze platform in developing the local vendor base.”
Echoing Ray’s praise, Pramuk Dediwala, Managing Director of Alumex, also expressed his satisfaction at the creation of such a platform. “We at Alumex are keen on collaborating with the platform to find ways to bring expertise to the small and medium fabricators across the country, through international collaborations as well as locally extruded products.”
Alongside local specialists, a list of international speakers also graced the forum with their technical expertise, a testament to the confidence of the international community in Sri Lanka’s infrastructure. These included Tony Vermeullen, Product Manager of SAPA, Tarek Bassel, Senior Commercial Manager of GE Momentive, Sanjeevanathan, Project Manager of BIM from S&T Interiors, and Magdalena Dzierzek, Head of Marketing from Access Lifestyle.
Speaking at the Façade Xtudio, Aruna Pathirana, General Manager at Senok, expressed his optimism at the growth of the local industry. “Given the trends in the Middle-East and India towards UPVC, Senok’s partnership with Deceuninck, -the leading UPVC company in Europe- is enabling us to bring world-class solutions to the Sri Lankan market.”
Following the enthusiastic response to the conference, Foxhouze hopes to further its contribution to the industry with additional activities and initiatives scheduled over the course of the coming year. Foxhouze encourages the architecture and construction industry participants, including architects, contractors, developers and vendors to engage further with them in the development of individual businesses and the local industry.
For information on upcoming initiatives Foxhouze may be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or +94 711 800 600.