How I was seduced by the fine lines of Bawa

galle bawa

Geoffrey Bawa is Sri Lanka’s most well known architect. Public buildings and private homes designed by Bawa (who passed away in 2003) dot the island. He is famous for subtlety, lines, and working with nature.

I have never stayed in a Bawa hotel, but have previously visited his brother Bevis Baba’s home “Brief” (which is surrounded by what can truly be called. secret garden) four years ago. It is now a public museum

It was about 5pm, close to closing time, when I entered the garden, which is located on the slope of a small hill. It was paradise in green. A hedge would reveal a hidden patch of green, which would lead to something else, and then more. it was fascinating, a garden of discovery. I did remember feeling a bit apprehensive, as I was alone in this large green space with many hidden corners and a few cul de sacs.

As usual, I digress. We were in Galle, on Day Three of the first India Sri Lanka cricket test. The match looked done and dusted. During the morning session, Krishna Prasad suggested we visit the nearby Bawa hotel, Lighthouse, owned by the Sri Lankan hotel chain Jetwings (nothing to do with a certain Mr Naresh Goyal).

The Indian and Sri Lankan teams had booked up most of the hotel. Since they were busy playing cricket, the hotel was practically empty. The front desk manager graciously deputed the hotel’s first employee, Indika, to accompany us. The hotel is impressive, yet simple. It does not intimidate. The lines are clean. Truly, architecture at its very best.

galle bawa two

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