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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for Iconic creations of Geoffrey Bawa - Art of living – The beginning of tropical modernism
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Iconic creations of Geoffrey Bawa - Art of living – The beginning of tropical modernism

Upon entering a hotel in the south or maybe a recently built house in Colombo, one might find that unusual setting of nature inside the structure of concrete which provides quite a serene look. Here are some creations by the famous Geoffrey Bawa.

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About Geoffrey Bawa

About Geoffrey Bawa

Born on the 23rd of July 1919, Geoffrey Bawa, the father of ‘tropical modernism’ was the son of a wealthy lawyer named Justice B. W. Bawa. His older brother, Bevis Bawa was well-known for his amazing landscape designs. Geoffrey Bawa studied at Royal College and selected the subjects English and Law for his tertiary education which he began at St. Catherine’s College in Cambridge. After obtaining a BA, he further pursued his law studies in Middle Temple, London. Following the completion of his education, Geoffrey Bawa began to travel the world before returning to Ceylon in 1948. He then bought over an abandoned rubber estate in Lunuganga and dove into the subject of architecture under the guidance of H. H. Reid who was a renowned architect at the time.

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Lunuganga Estate Bentota, Sri Lanka

Lunuganga Estate Bentota, Sri Lanka

The abandoned rubber estate Geoffrey Bawa bought in 1948 inspired him to get started on his masterpiece! Situated by the Bentota River, the old Bawa residence consists of four suites and a two-bedroom cottage. The property now serves as a small boutique hotel which can be rented out, or suites can be rented for a few days stay at this iconic landmark. The interior of the house is decorated with Dutch furniture from Geoffrey Bawa’s very own collection. The glass room in the estate is one of the most breath-taking pieces of work in the entire complex. What’s more, the house is equipped with a splendid kitchen that has facilities for several cuisine styles. The Lunuganga Garden overlooking the Dedduwa Lake is another prominent feature of the estate. Visit sites like Travel Kalutara for further information on this wonderful attraction.

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Anantara Kalutara Resort

Anantara Kalutara Resort

Geoffrey Bawa had been at work on the design for the well-known hotel in the south-west coast of Sri Lanka, Anantara Kalutara Resort from the year 1995. The main building in the resort features Bawa’s signature aesthetic which is airy structures drowned in warm sunlight and surrounded by the beauty of nature. This was to be the world-famous architect’s final project, unfortunately, Bawa fell ill and passed away soon after in 2003. 15 years later his apprentice, Channa Daswatte, was able to complete the marvellous plan for the structure. The resort’s library also follows designs by the architect himself inspired by his personal study. The library contains furniture either owned or designed by Geoffrey Bawa.

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Seema Malakaya

Seema Malakaya

If you’ve been to the Beira Lake in Colombo, you might have come across a Buddhist structure protruding into the lake with stark white walls and a dark blue roof. This is yet another piece of artful work by the famous architect Geoffrey Bawa. The Seema Malakaya is part of the Gangaramaya Temple and is located about 100 meters towards the east of the main temple. It is more of a quiet place where one can visit to meditate rather than worship.

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Sri Lankan Parliament Complex

Sri Lankan Parliament Complex

This is an elaborate structure where important political decision making takes place. This is a building constructed on an island by the Diyawanna Oya with outstanding landscaping surrounding it. This piece of art is located in the administrative capital of Sri Lanka, Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte. The plan for this too was drawn up by Geoffrey Bawa.