The Estate known as Lunuganga is hailed as being amongst the best work of Geoffrey Bawa, the renowned local architect. Bawa was not originally an architect and was, in fact, a lawyer who was called to the Bar in London as a Barrister subsequent to the study of English and Law at the University of Cambridge. However, after several years, Geoffrey Bawa found his true calling in life, and pursued his passion of design and architecture.
This passion resulted in the creation of some truly beautiful and iconic spaces and buildings in Sri Lanka. Amongst Bawa’s most iconic architectural creations is the Parliament of Sri Lanka located in Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte, the University of Ruhuna and Heritance Ahungalla, a beautifully designed beach hotel in Sri Lanka. At the heart of Geoffrey Bawa’s unforgettable designs lie the Lunuganga Estate, his country home, and the space within which he experimented with light, colours and structure with freedom. The Estate was formerly an abandoned estate which was purchased by Geoffrey Bawa with the intention of renovation. However, having soon found that he lacked the necessary expertise, Bawa apprenticed under H. H. Reid and was soon inspired to pursue a career in architecture.
After he passed on, Lunuganga was vested in, and is managed by, a Trust and has been open to the public since 2003. Visitors can stroll through the beautiful gardens of the Estate which are immaculately maintained and reminiscent of Bawa’s genius. Bawa’s brilliance perhaps lay in his ability to unite nature and man in a harmonious manner that made for memorable spaces and gardens. Therefore, the idyllic cottage set in the midst of a beautiful garden is a sight to see with the terraces composed of brick floors, and the lush expanse seemingly influenced by Italian Renaissance gardens. It is certainly a trip worth making.
Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+