The Painting Architect – Kamilka Perera, Chartered Architect, Artist & Interior Designer

Kamilka Perera is an architect and designer and has garnered experience as a professional in her field for over 12 years. She refuses to label her profession as a “male-dominated arena”, as she believes that notion reflects other female designers in a weakened light. Kamilka focuses on putting forward her best efforts towards every project she undertakes and believes it is a person’s attitude that determines the trajectory of their career. Passionate about equal opportunity for all, she said that “If you label yourself as anything, you immediately marginalize yourself. You should, whether man or woman, take control of the reins and steer the ship.” 

An alumnus of the University of Moratuwa, Kamilka graduated in 2009 with a Bachelors in Architecture. She categorizes herself as a ‘Hands-On Designer’ and has the experience and expertise to curate design processes to perfectly suit the client and their vision for the space they want to be designed. While the fanfare is exciting, to Kamilka, the success of a project depends on how the clients feel in their newly designed space. She stated, “I often find designers, especially in a time where social media is everything, focusing on achieving a “magazine worthy” picture, that they tend to lose sight of what is truly aspiring in the work we do -making the client happy.”

Kamilka’s portfolio of noteworthy projects includes the Sierra Corporate Office for Sierra Constructions Pvt Ltd, where she collaborated with Elisha Gomes and Westgate Interiors to manufacture the interior fit-out for the project. This corporate design came with a detailed brief that had to consider the two age groups of twelve directors, that was a mix of it’s most senior members and the younger board members. The space had to be cohesively designed with this in mind, which meant Kamilka had to intricately customize each of the office spaces within the floor to suit 12 different individuals while still retaining unifying ambience across the space, that gave a signature look and feel to the company and it brand.

Considering that Sierra is a construction company, Kamilka wanted the design of the space to express the hard, raw nature of construction with a delicate touch. She designed an open ceiling plan with darker hues, above that contrasted the lighter palette below. Rather than having ordinary partitions, Kamilka opted for paneled ribbed walls with semi-solid faux plant walls that created semi-private pockets for the secretaries. Each of the rooms carried a muted tone with wooden, bronze, and gold accents to stand out in representation of the integrity of the room. 

This project saw completion in February 2021, just as the country started to resurface following the impact of the 2nd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic – the space was a symbolic celebration of a new beginning. The success of the project was evident in the illustrious praise Kamilka received by Sierra Constructions, when they stated, “Kamilka has the ability to transform the bland and ordinary into tasteful and extraordinary”.  They went on to say, “Kamilka’s best attribute is the fact that she patiently listened to our needs and wants, and did her best to incorporate all our requests into the space. Her expertise and talent have been well utilized to make the Sierra Corporate Floor one of the best-looking office spaces in the country. Working with Kamilka has truly been a pleasure.”. 

An Artist at heart, Kamilka takes the effort and time to hone her creativity in realms that she believes will eventually help her be more attentive and open to new ideas that make her versatile as a professional. In her paintings, she endeavors to convey the essence of varied inspirations she draws from the sights and sounds of Sri Lanka. She is not confined to any medium when she expresses her abstracts, and her work is a representation of a multitude of textures – a quality and skill she incorporates in her professional work as a designer that gives her work an edge in the industry. Born in Colombo Sri Lanka, Kamilka’s artistry and ethnicity are part and parcel of her being, from the Architect to the Artist, both sides merge and help each other, uniquely, to create “The Painting Architect” – Kamilka Perera. 

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