Geoffrey Bawa



After suffering a long illness that had left him paralyzed since 1998, the architect from Sri Lanka died when he was in the heart of the labyrinth of his house on Bagatelle Road in Colombo, probably the work that best sums up his legacy. Bawa became an architect almost by chance, after quitting law practice in 1948 and buying an abandoned rubber estate in Lunuganga, where he decided to design an Italian Renaissance garden. When he realized that he lacked the technical expertise to carry this task to term he enrolled as a student at the Architectural Asssociation in London, graduating at 38. In spite of his training, he did not give up his own heritage – which merges colonial, Indian and Arabic influences –; the combination of traditional forms and materials with the open and fluid spaces of the Modern Movement defines the house Ena de Silva (1960-1962), one of his best works. During the eighties decade he built institutional buildings such as the Parliament and the campus for Ruhuna University; and throughout the nineties he completed touristic projects such as the Kandalama Hotel. 

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