Design Cues established in 1994, we have evolved into a design team that handles complex architectural problems. Complex buildings are simplified into spaces with passive cooling features for comfort and energy saving. We remain committed to searching for a “New Tropical Architecture” that reflects the lifestyle of modern Sri Lanka.

New Directions of Design Cues – Sri Lanka


Best of buildings can fall sick or be born sick like living beings. In fact, there is a phenomenon called sick “building syndrome”. Buildings also can die, whose spirit has left the body, which is the “Building”. Architecture without the spirit therefore can be considered dead. We strive to create architecture that is living and will remain living. Such architecture embodies the concept of ”genius loci”, containing the “spirit of the place”. We believe that the Sinhalese term “Siriyava “ expresses the same in an eastern way. We remain committed to creating “Living Architecture”

Design Cues Design Cues 1994 – to date – Striving to create “Living Architecture”Genious-loci-spirit-of-the-place

A humane design process based on a collective response to create a spiritual place

Response to bio climate

Creation of microclimate using indigenous plants

Sustainability by passive means

Creation of low energy systems

Creation of a living heart, the major space

Substance of living architecture
We are fascinated by the “empty” spaces that link the formal spaces. Movement and time adds new dimensions to “space“ as explained in the Japanese concept of space “ma”. In the east, space in perceived differently. It is an experiential place, understood with emphasis on intervals, “gaps” “of “space“. Logic of the east recognizes the existence of negative space that fills in to the positive without turning the negative into positive. Interplay of opposites. Solids and voids, light and dark, movement and pause adds to the drama of our ‘living architecture”.

Design Cues – Specialized Architectural Services

1.1 Design of Hospital for Health-care
Over last five years we have been engaged in designing and successfully completing state of the art Hospitals in Colombo and presently engaged in designing several other specialized Hospitals in Sri Lanka. More information

1.2 Design of Operating Theater Complexes
Integrating advanced medical technology with operating theatre environment in a way that supports staff to achieve efficiency and hygiene is the main priority in our designs. The design process often includes the participation of user groups in a proactive and a creative way. More information

2.0 Design of Commercial Interiors
We have been undertaking designing of interiors for specialized commercial needs, which includes office spaces and board rooms, show rooms, and specialized display areas for Gems and Jewelry and porcelain. More information

3.0 Design of Security Services
Affiliated company Woodrow Steele Pvt. Ltd Sri Lanka has been providing services to Sri Lanka Police Department under the Ministry of Defense for over 30 years. These services include designing of police stations, police training schools, security check points and other welfare facilities through out Sri Lanka specially in the rural areas. Inner city programs includes providing repair and improvement services to existing buildings. More information

It was in 1994 that Upendra Randeniya – Chartered Architect began Design Cues as an individual consultant following his return from Helsinki, upon completion of post- graduate studies in Urban Design. Osadi Nissanka – Chartered Architect joined the practice as a partner in 1998 forming the Design Cues Partnership.

We draw inspiration from natural tropical climatic solutions’ to solve today’s design problems. Hence, nature acts as the ‘cue’ in the act of creation’ – this is our underlying philosophy in all the work we undertake. Passive solutions to energy saving is the constant leitmotif of our design philosophy.

Scope of Services
In the past our services included Architecture, Interior and Urban Design – we are experienced in handling complex low cost Housing projects, Industrial Architecture (over 20 specialized industrial projects), and also defense related projects throughout the island. Recently we have extended our services to handle complex Hospital Projects as well as Institutions for Higher Education. Both “Architecture & Interior Design” is considered integral part of our design

News – The Central Hospital : A Homely Space
The original Central Hospital at Horton Place has been relocated to Hospital Square in Maradana. The client, Asiri Group of Hospitals, building on their experience in this sector, sought to establish a landmark in Colombo and raise the standards of their facilities to a very high benchmark in this hospital specializing in neurosurgery.