Sri Lanka always had a huge number of playwrights and stage drama actors and actresses. What they brought in front of us always took us into the very imaginary worlds and emotions of the writer without any difficulty. The performing arts sector always had the shortage of a well equipped and well “technically fortified” theatre for their practices, rehearsals, and for grand scale occasions which required the service of state of the art sound systems, advanced lighting systems and a considerable amount of seating facilities. In other words, we didn’t have a place to be called the crown jewel of performing arts, until the Lotus Pond was opened on the 15th December 2011, for the Sri Lankans.
The Lotus Pond, or the general Sinhala Translation; “Nelum Pokuna” was an idea of the President Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa. The idea was to build a theatre to suit all the above mentioned needs of the performing arts sector. The objective of presenting and exchanging the performing arts of Sri Lanka with other countries and nationalities was also in the priority list. The Lotus Pond is the realized dream that will bring the performing arts sector to new heights and open doors to newer paths and variations of the sector rapidly.
The visible structure is similar to a lotus of five petals in bloom. The construction of the theatre was a breakthrough in the Sri Lanka real estate development sector and Sri Lanka engineering technology. The Lotus Pond was a result of Sri Lanka and China friendship program which reached the expense height of 3.8 million Sri Lanka rupees upon completion. The Unique design somewhat resembles the Opera House Australia or the Bird’s nest China itself was a design of the Beijin Institute of Architectural Designs. China provided with 2.4 million Sri Lanka rupees out of the total cost.
The construction started in the year 2006 and the land used for the theatre was the former Nomad ground on at No.110, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 07 and took four years to complete. The theatre was opened by the President of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse and the China’s Vice President of the Chinese Republican Committee, Sang Chiang.
The building has two floors below the ground and five floors above the ground. The theatre covers an area of 15562 square meters and the main auditorium provides seating capacity to 1228 spectators. The theatre is also loaded with rehearsal rooms, two more stage performing halls, a library and an open air stage has to seating capacity for about three hundred spectators on the top floor.
Until this was built, the real estate developers never knew that something like this was ever possible in the country. It is obvious that this masterpiece will definitely uplift the performing arts sector of our country as well as the Real estate development.