Often regarded as the seminal work of Sri Lanka’s master architect Geoffrey Bawa, Lunuganga Estate is a breathtaking architectural masterpiece in the centre of Bentota. Referred to as an exercise in civilizing the elements of wilderness, the mansion and surrounding estate is a testament to the talent and vision of the country’s foremost architect. Large in scale but intimate at every turn this private residence which is now open to the public is a must-see icon of architecture that is not just reserved for fans of Bawa’s work. Having taken the isle of Sri Lanka and its own take on building to the world stage, Geoffrey Bawa is the renowned designer and visionary behind the country’s parliament as well as other iconic structures that have stood the test of time to be regarded as signature works in the world of architecture.
Lunuganga Estate is Bawa’s private triumph as the venue once served as the residence of the artist as well as a place in which the who’s who of Sri Lanka’s artistic community hobnobbed and vacationed. Flanked by forests and tropical foliage in almost every direction, the Lunuganga Estate looks across picturesque Dedduwa Lake which serves as its border on not one but two sides.
Sprawled across a whopping 15 acres the plantation style bungalow is now managed by the Lunuganga Trust. An Italian renaissance garden surrounds the entire mansion which contains a multitude of jungle encroaching terraces and pavilions. Outdoor rooms as well as lawns and glorious frangipani trees, banyans and towering rubber trees have also been carefully positioned within the property. Scenic courtyards and several lily ponds are also contained within the 6 bedroom mansion which has been decorated using unusual plant varieties that add to the mystique and enchantment of the space and the effect of a civilized wilderness Bawa so beautifully achieved.
A boat ride across the lake offers visitors captivating views of the estate in all its angles that have also been captured for eternity in photographic tributes by friends of the “Father of Asian Architecture” such as Dominic Sansoni.
Travellers in search of elegant beach resorts in Bentota should look no further than Avani Bentota for all their accommodation needs. Offering guests plush living quarters in a beachfront location this Bentota hotel is well-suited for both families and single holidaymakers.