iSee Old Parliament

Old home of the State Council with a golden-brown façade

Old parliament

This building may remind you of the Parthenon, the chief temple of the Greek Goddess, Athene, on the hill of the Acropolis at Athens. No surprise, this classic structure was the source of inspiration for the enterprising Chief Architect of the Public Works Department of Ceylon, Austin Woodson when he designed a new place for the State Council in 1929.

Now home to the office of the President, it is best during sunset as the brown façade of this edifice burns in golden fire. The inside offers some choice spectacles too. Woodson took great care in designing the interior. “Noise was minimised by the use of cork carpet. Acoustic properties within the chamber were near perfect. Lighting was subtle and indirect and members’ chairs had grills underneath which provided for airflow.”- reported the press in those days.

Back or front garden?

In the garden in front, you can find statues of old Singhalese leaders of independent Ceylon among which the first prime minister D.S. Senanayake. But the Tamil leaders of that era, Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan and Arunachalam are on the other side facing Beira Lake.

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