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Arcade Independence Square, Colombo
(4.3/5 based on 110+ reviews on the web)
The Arcade Independence Square is a shopping complex housed in a group of renovated buildings including the former Jawatta Lunatic Asylum and the former Western Provincial Council Building. It was built as a part of the Independence Square Redevelopment programme initiated by the Sri Lankan Government.HistoryThe building was originally constructed in 1889, as a lunatic asylum, Jawatta Lunatic Asylum (also known as the Cinnamon Gardens Asylum), for Rs 450,000. In 1875 the then Governor, Sir William Gregory, based on the recommendations of the Principal Civil Medical Officer, Dr. W R Kynsey, decided to build a new aylum to replace the existing facility at Borella. Issues over the location and design meant that construction did not commence until 1879, following the intervention of the new Governor, Sir James Longdon. Even then further construction of the building was delayed until 1882. The building consisted of an entrance block, two patient wings (accommodating 400 patients) connected to the central administration and a boundary wall. Longdon defended the cost of the facility stating at the time, "The asylum is a series of one-storey buildings of the plainest type. The walls are of brick plastered, because of the climate plastering is found requisite for the preservation of buildings. There is no expensive ornamentation, or indeed any ornament at all, unless a short ungraceful and inexpensive tower over the entrance designed for the clock can be called an ornament. The enclosing walls are of ordinary cabook, such as is universally used for garden walls in Colombo." The Jawatta Asylum suffered from overcrowding within years of completion, housing over 500 patients. In 1917 a new larger facility was constructed at Angoda, with all the patients being transferred from Jawatta by 1926.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Could spend your evenings shopping and relaxing whilst absorbing the breathtaking atmosphere at the Arcade Independence Square. Good mix of brands available. Head there in rhe evening since during day...  more »
  • This colonial building has been beautifully renovated and maintained shops are all air conditioned and contains exclusive brand names that most ordinary westerners can't afford... Worth a look. 
  • If ur a shopaholic of fine brands this is the place to be!. Most of the international brands are there are at a price of course n it is worth the visit!. Please bring in more brands to this shopping h...  more »
Google
  • A fine place to get relaxed and street out. The calm environment make your soul feel happy. Walk around the traditional British style buildings with wood works and natural air cooling system. The garden is a fine place to meet up, make place to take photo shoots. Of course you can enjoy Movies and snakes too..
  • Better for a branded shopping experience. In here you are able to surf in the showrooms of the internationally accepted brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Charles and Keith , Nike etc. And there's a food court too. If you are a movie lover , sure there's a movie theater. I think arcade independence square is a worth place to spend some time with your loving ones. Evenings are the best!
  • The dream reclamation project. Offers a wide array of activities for the whole family, includes 2 top notch movie halls. Costs are a bit above average for the average sri lankan, however you needn't but anything to have a good time here because you can just hang with your buddies and have a great time.
  • Mostly the food courts are there. Burger king , kema sutra, sen-saal likewise and some clothes shops n shoe marts. Overall experience is not bad.
  • Very nice interior and areas with marbel [or something similar] statues of lions on the outdoors. Shopping could get expensive in here since most of the items are branded and of course everything is quiet well maintained and in very good quality. Parking areas and outdoor seating available and looks very fabulous at night with all the lights and fish pool area.