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The Father of Sri Lankan Architecture : Geoffrey Bawa

geoffrey_bawa

          Renowned as the father of Sri Lankan Architecture, Geoffrey Manning Bawa was born on the 32nd of July 1919. He is one of the foremost most influential architects of his Generation. He was born with an Arab and British Paternal Lineage and a Dutch Burgher and Sinhalese Maternal Lineage.

          He was educated at Royal College Colombo and then he followed his family’s tradition and went to London for his higher education. He returned to Sri Lanka qualified as a Lawyer in 1944. Geoffrey lost his parents at a very Young Age and used his inheritance to travel throughout the United States and Europe. After being sorely tempted with settling down in Italy, Bawa decided to return to Sri Lanka where he bought an abandoned Rubber estate in between Colombo and Galle at Lunuganga. His plan was to turn the wilderness into an Italian garden. But he soon realized that he lacked the technical knowledge to do so. In the year 1951, he became an apprentice to one of the best Architects of the time, H.H.Reid. Unfortunately, H.H.Reid passed away in the year 1952, but this did not stop Bawa from aspiring to reach his goal of becoming an Architect. He Returned to Britain and enrolled as a student at the Architectural Association in London.

         He then returns to Sri Lanka fully qualified to be an Architect. He became a partner in Messrs. Ulrik Plesner a Danish architect then joined the firm and the two of them together designed many buildings in their own unique style, which is still known up to today as “Tropical Modernism”.

         Geoffrey Bawa work is mainly found in Sri Lanka, However, he has worked in several other countries like India, Mauritius, Japan, Pakistan, Indonesia Fiji, Egypt, and Singapore as well.

Bawa’s List of Works:

Lunuganga

It was the country home of Geoffrey Bawa. This Garden was the reason Bawa became an Architect. He continued to experiment and update this house till his fatal illness in 1998.

Parliament of Sri Lanka

This building houses the parliament of Sri Lanka and is located near Sri Jayawardanepura Kotte.It took a scheduled time of 26 months to complete the project. 

Parliment

Heritance Kandalama Hotel

This property is built into a cliff face, which overlooks the Kandalama Reservoir. This magnificent hotel is nearly a Kilometer long and the beauty of it is that that surrounding jungle has grown to envelop the hotel in a unique manner.

Heritance Kandalama

Sunethra Bandaranaike House

It is also known as Horagalla Stables and it is the country home of  Sunethra Bandaranaike. 

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Anantara Kalutara Resort

This luxury resort inbetween Kalu Ganga and the Indian Ocean is a true masterpiece designed by Geoffrey Bawa.

Seema Malaka

Located in the middle of the Beira Lake in the heart of Colombo. Geoffrey Designed the replacement for the original temple which unfotunately sank. The temple spreads over three raised platforms in the lake. The three are interconnected.   

 

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University of Ruhuna

It is the only Public University in the Southern region of Sri lanka.It covers and area of Thirty hecrares and took eight years to compete. 

Ruhunu

 "Number 11" Geoffrey Bawa's Colombo Residence

This is Geoffrey Bawa's Private Residence which is open to the public for viewing.  Tour times are 10.00 AM to 3.30 PM ; And the entrance fee is LKR 1000 per person. 

 Boutique 87- Bentota

Boutique 87 consists of a 17 acre lush garden with 2 beautiful luxury Villa's built by Geoffrey Bawa. Boutique 87 ensures complete and undistinguished privacy.