Geoffrey Manning Bawa was born on 23 July 1919 in Srilanka
Educated at Royal College and Middle Temple, London and
became a Lawyer
Studied architecture in Architectural Association, London in
In 1957, at the age of 38 , returned to Sri Lanka qualified as an
architect to take over Reid's practice.
His international standing was confirmed in 2001 when he
received the special chairman’s award in the eighth cycle of the
Aga Khan Award for Architecture, becoming only the third
architect in India
Bawa was one of the original proponents of Tropical Modernism
Explored modernism and its cultural implications, and created a unique, recognizable style of design
A design movement in which sensitivity for local context combines with the form-making principles of
“A building can only be understood by moving around and through it and by experiencing the modulation
and feel the spaces one moves through- from the outside into verandah, than rooms, passages,
“Architecture cannot be totally explained but must be experienced.”
1.RESPECTED THE SITE AND CONTEXT
2.BUILDINGS HAD A PLAY OF LIGHT AND SHADE.
3.FLOW OF SPACES
4.FUSED VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE WITH THE MODERN
CONCEPTS TO SATIATE THE NEEDS OF THE URBAN POPULATION
5.USED SALVAGED ARTIFACTS
6. ROOF FORMS AS ELEMENTS
7. WATERBODY –AN ESSENTIAL PART OF BAWA’S ARCHITECTURE
In 1948, Bawa purchased the Lunganga rubber plantation, and developed an interest in gardening and
This garden was transformed into an Italian inspired garden with spectacular views over lakes and
THE GARDEN LUNUGANGA
After the social and governmental changes of the 60s and 70s that ultimately
led Ceylon to become Sri Lanka, Bawa received commissions for even larger
Bawa’s design for the Sri Lanka Parliament Building (1982) using pitched
roofs and other elements from local architecture embodied the
Bawa designed several new buildings for the University of Ruhuna (1988).
His use of traditional building materials and architectural elements adapted to
the local climate proved to be useful, it kept the costs down in addition to
supporting the local context.
THE NEW SRI LANKAN PARLIAMENT IS AN ASYMMETRIC GROUP OF COLONNADED PAVILIONS WITH
STRIKING COPPER ROOFS, BUILT ON AN ISLAND THE ‘FLOATING’ ON A MAN-MADE LAKE
BUILDING IS DESIGNED IN A STYLE OF REGIONAL MODERNISM ; WHILE THE BUILDING IS AN EXAMPLE
OF MODERNISM, IT STILL RESPECTS SRI LANKAN VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE.
THE PARLIAMENT COMPLEX HAS THE ILLUSION OF SYMMETRY, WHICH CONTRASTS SHARPLY WITH
THE ORGANIC FORM OF THE LAKE IT IS LOCATED IN.
THE CHAMBER, THE FOCUS OF POWER, LIES WITHIN THE MAIN PAVILION WITH BALCONIES AND
GALLERIES RISING THREE STOREYS
TRADITIONAL WOOD AND STONE COLUMNS, REMINISCENT OF ANCIENT PALACES AND TEMPLES,
SUPPORTS THE COPPER ROOFS
THE LAKE ITSELF CAN BE READ AS A TRIBUTE TO SRI LANKA’S TWO MILLENNIA OF TANK BUILDING,
RECALLING THE SEA OF PARAKRAMABAHU AND THE TREE-LINED LAKE AT KANDY
REGIONAL ELEMENTS IN BUILDING
IN THEIR FINAL FORM THE PARLIAMENT ROOFS ARE AN ABSTRACTION OF THE TRADITIONAL
THE USE OF COPPER IN PLACE OF TILE GIVES THEM THE THINNESS AND TENT-LIKE QUALITY OF A
STRETCHED SKIN, TRANSPORTING THEM FAR FROM THE REALMS OF HISTORICAL ARTWORK WHILE
RECALLING THE FABLED 'BRAZEN ROOFS' OF ANURADHAPURA
FIRST SKETCH OF MAIN CHAMBERS
DESIGN OF THE UNIVERSITY
THE 30-HECTARE SITE STRADDLED THREE STEEP HILLS, THE WESTERNMOST OVERLOOKING THE SEA
AND SEPARATED FROM THE OTHER TWO
BAWA’S DESIGN DEPLOYED OVER FIFTY SEPARATE PAVILIONS LINKED BY A SYSTEM OF COVERED
LOGGIAS ON A PREDOMINANTLY ORTHOGONAL GRID
USED A LIMITED VOCABULARY OF FORMS AND MATERIALS BORROWED FROM THE BUILDING
BUT IT MADE FULL USE OF THE CHANGING TOPOGRAPHY OF THE
SITE TO CREATE AN EVER VARYING SEQUENCE OF COURTS AND VERANDAHS, VISTAS AND CLOSURES.
THE RESULT WAS A MODERN CAMPUS, VAST IN SIZE BUT HUMAN IN SCALE.
BUILDINGS WERE PLANNED ORTHOGONALLY ON A NORTH-SOUTH GRID BUT WERE ALLOWED TO
'RUN WITH SITE'.
NATURAL FEATURES SUCH AS ROCKY OUTCROPS WERE INCORPORATED INTO THE BASES OF
BUILDINGS OR BECAME FOCAL FEATURES OF THE OPEN SPACES.
Exterior view showing terraces and juxtaposition
of buildings with each other and landscape
PAVILIONS, VARYING IN SCALE AND EXTENT, ARE CONNECTED BY COVERED LINKS AND SEPARATED
BY AN EVER-CHANGING SUCCESSION OF GARDEN COURTS.
EVERYWHERE THERE ARE PLACES TO PAUSE AND CONSIDER, TO SIT AND CONTEMPLATE, TO GATHER
EXTERIOR VIEW FROM STREET LEVEL
SHOWING USE OF STONE AND
CONCRETE IN FAÇADE
BUILDINGS ARE ALIGNED CAREFULLY TO MINIMIZE SOLAR INTRUSION AND MITIGATE THE EFFECTS OF
THE SOUTH-WEST MONSOON.
FEW OF THE SPACES ARE AIR-CONDITIONED AND THE BUILDINGS RELY FOR THE MOST PART ON
VIEWS ARE CAREFULLY ARRANGED IN A SCENOGRAPHIC SEQUENCE THAT CONCEALS AND REVEALS IN
TURN, PLAYING THE NORTHERN VIEWS OF JUNGLE AND DISTANT HILLS AGAINST THE SOUTHERN
VIEWS OF THE LAKE AND THE OCEAN BEYOND