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Updated by Joanna James on Aug 22, 2019
Headline for Things to know about Geoffrey Bawa and his works of art - A man of art
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to know about Geoffrey Bawa and his works of art - A man of art

Geoffrey Bawa can be aptly described as the father of engineering in Sri Lanka. His idea of 'Tropical Modernism' is very much reflected in a lot of the structures designed by this unbelievable visionary.


Law to Architecture

Geoffrey Manning Bawa was born in 1919, and he previously studied law and English; it was once he discovered his actual calling by 1957, did this distinguished architect take up design at 38 years old. Brief Garden was then born. If you want to stay close to the garden for easy access, choose hotels in Kalutara the likes of Anantara Kalutara Resort.


As a student

When he discovered his actual calling, Geoffrey best known as 'Bawa' studied at the Architectural Association of London. At the time, he was seen as the most straightforward understudy, just as the oldest and most wise; given his late choice to venture into this department of engineering.


The Father of Architecture in Sri Lanka

Famous and adored in every part of Sri Lanka, Bawa was initially an individual who belonged to the Royal Institute of British Architects; it was later on in his professional life that he became a part of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects.


A true visionary

Bawa was an incredible visionary, however, he was no ordinary designer. He passed on his brilliant thoughts through professional drawings of his thoughts, which his kindred partners used to make their finest draft illustrations.


Away from the spotlights

A much-loved name, Bawa always shied far from the camera and did his best to abstain from being in the limelight. Fearing the idea of giving speeches, regardless of the immense acknowledgement his abilities earned, Geoffrey attempted to maintain a strategic distance from public events. The recording of his voice, truth be told, was found very recently after his passing in London.


His sibling

Geoffrey Bawa's senior sibling was Bevis Bawa, ten years older and wiser; he too had a similar visionary gift and was also an extraordinary architect whose abilities are reflected at numerous buildings in Sri Lanka, for example, the delightful Brief Gardens. Having a similar build as his more youthful kin, Bevis was six feet seven inches tall. Albeit having a similar build, the two siblings were very different in character. On the off chance that Geoffrey hated anything, there would be a pin drop silence, a knowing sign that the engineer was not satisfied. On the other side, if his sibling, Bevis, couldn't help but deny a design or idea, there were always sufficient words, articulated in the most delightful and politest way.



In 2001 Bawa got the much-regarded Chairman's Award of the Aga Khan for design; he got the trophy at a later phase of his life and after a stroke left him weak. Bawa died in the year 2003.


His Vehicle

Bawa had a Silver Cloud Rolls Royce and delighted in long drives along the wonderful south coast streets of Sri Lanka; an exquisite vehicle that aptly mirrored the quiet, calm nature of the extremely talented person that Geoffrey Manning Bawa was.