A good read over a good cup of coffee

Orion 1A tri-party collaboration laid the foundation for a new concept at the Orion City IT Park to bring energy, ideas and people together. Orion Development, in partnership with the British Council and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, launched an inspiring new space for occupants of the park as well as visitors. The new venue, ceremoniously opened by Deputy Minister of State Enterprise Development, Eran Wickramaratne, is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka.

Libraries have been the silent mammoth of knowledge sharing, the stomping ground of the intellectually curious for millennia.  On the other side, coffee houses have long nurtured the creative genius of writers, scientists and thinkers.

For centuries, the greatest ideas that have changed the world have emerged from bringing these two forces together.  Many of the innovations and revolutions that have shaped our world have been hatched over a cup of coffee and an open book.  With this in mind, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and British Council Library at the Orion City IT Park has been designed as a single connected open space that integrates the library and the cafe.  This connection brings the books and ideas together with the lively minds gathered in the café; spurring debate, innovation, and technological progress.  Originating in California, known for its innovative culture, The Coffee Bean has a long history of providing attractive spaces for creative minds to meet over premium grade coffee.  The British Council has an equally long history of providing libraries and education to support new ideas and learning around the world.  This partnership is a match made in heaven.

The British Council library will include the written word in both traditional book form, and modern knowledge resources via computers, search engines and multi-media.  There is also room for fun, with a PlayStation console and screen. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, will serve a variety of fine coffee and tea blends and its popular range of casual dining food and all day breakfasts with the added convenience of free WiFi. The Bean has also built a breakout/meeting room with projection facilities, and an outdoor smoking and chatting terrace. The space can accommodate private events with up to 125 people.

Orion City is one of Sri Lanka’s top providers of premium commercial and office infrastructure. The developer has sought to transform the scope of built-to-specification, state of the art commercial and office infrastructure with its philosophy of combining cutting edge technology and international standards with a keen intuition for the needs of businesses. “This collaboration is very much in the spirit of what we believe is the future of knowledge sharing spaces in Sri Lanka,” said Jeevan Gnanam, Director/CEO of Orion City. “We look forward to having new minds over-not just those who work at the IT Park but also, creative minds from Colombo and the suburbs.”

Roman Scott, Chairman of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Sri Lanka shared: “Our vision is to create Colombo’s version of the great 18th century coffee houses of Europe.  Stocked with books, fueled by caffeine, and patronized by the great minds of the day, they were the ultimate catalyst for creativity and innovation.  Our hope is that this space will become the second home not just for Orion City’s ‘tech talent’, but for all of Colombo’s thinkers, writers and dreamers.”

“I am delighted to witness the opening of our first ever partnership library in Sri Lanka and our second new library in Sri Lanka in the last two years, following the inauguration of the new Jaffna office and library,” noted Keith Davies, Country Director, British Council Sri Lanka. “Orion City has been a great partner of the British Council for a number of years and we were pleased to launch some fruitful collaborations with Coffee Bean last year also. The three-way partnership benefits us all – as well as all the staff based at Orion City and their guests and neighbours. This is a time when libraries are being reinvented – as convening spaces, providing access to the highest quality print and digital resources in an informal and welcoming environment, together with good coffee and other refreshments and we are at the forefront of this ‘Library Revolution’.  I look forward to visiting the new facility on a regular basis myself and I wish it every success.”