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    Arcade Independence Square – a stunning first step

    November 23, 2019

    Arcade Independence Square has been created to fulfill a unique requirement. That is to create “one space” where entertainment, shopping, leisure and dining can all be offered to please the requirements of an entire family. The portfolio of brands that are present at the Arcade becomes a crowd puller for they are the most coveted global brands available. Furthermore, the many different restaurants, theatres and the entertainment opportunities laid out create a wonderful hang-out for the people. The entire project cost Rs. 550 million, and Arcade Independence Square was opened to the public on July 13, 2014.

    The inspiration for these iconic creations stemmed from the desire to create “Expressions of Freedom”, which would present a tangible real-life experience to the multitude of people residing and visiting the capital city of Colombo. Spreading out from the capital, this philosophy of modern city planning and development now embraces the entirety of Sri Lanka, transforming a once ‘island nation’ into one of the most pulsating and dynamic countries in Asia.

    As a tropical country blessed with comfortable weather and inviting lush green surroundings, Sri Lanka inherently offers wonderful spaces for good living. The city development plan envisioned under the astute leadership of then President Mahinda Rajapaksa was ably implemented under the stewardship of then Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development and the current President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

    The beautification and development of the city of Colombo and its surroundings commenced immediately after the war ended. The Sri Lanka Armed Forces contributed in their numbers and tremendous skill under the direction of the professionals of the Urban Development Authority, and rallied together to systematically refurbish the city’s dilapidated structures under the guidance of the current President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

    Arcade Independence Square is by far one of the most important refurbishment and development projects undertaken by the Defence Ministry and the Urban Development Authority. Once the project was identified, converting the old Auditor General’s building into one of the grandest and trendiest shopping and entertainment arcades in the Asian region became the focal point of the team. The Sri Lanka Army and the Sri Lanka Navy were entrusted with the task of demolishing the former buildings and reconstructing this 85,000 square foot national monument within a period of just two years.

    A team of young and enterprising architects were dispatched to Paris, France to gain international exposure to heritage buildings and the beautification of a well-planned city. Many global locations and cityscapes were studied in meticulous detail, in order to painstakingly create a masterpiece etched with the glory of a nation with a proud heritage. The location is the most outstanding attribute of Arcade Independence Square.

    Historically significant and strategically located facing one of Sri Lanka’s most prominent landmarks, Independence Square, this location holds great value in terms of the actual positioning in the city and its beautiful surroundings. It is this space, which has formed the bedrock of the Arcade’s eye-catching presence.


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