Page N1.1 . 30 January 2002                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
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Geoffrey Bawa Appreciation

by ArchitectureWeek

Geoffrey Bawa is Sri Lanka's most prolific architect and a master at merging disparate cultures through design. The London-educated architect has blended traditional Sri Lankan and South Indian architecture with modern. His work has had tremendous influence on architecture throughout Asia.

Surprisingly, despite critical acclaim worldwide, Bawa's work has not received the degree of attention it deserves. But this changed recently when he became one of only three people ever to receive the special Chairman's Award of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

East And West

Born in 1919 in what was then the British colony of Ceylon, Bawa came to architecture by a circuitous path, qualifying as an architect in 1957 at the age of 38. Returning to Ceylon from his London education, he gathered together a group of talented young designers and artists who shared his growing interest in Ceylon's forgotten architectural heritage and his ambition to develop new ways of making and building.

Working within the respectable but dying practice of Edwards, Reid and Begg, they soon made it into the most prolific firm in Sri Lanka, with a portfolio that included religious, social, cultural, educational, governmental, commercial, and residential buildings, creating a canon of prototypes in each of these areas, and becoming a springboard for a new generation of young Sri Lankan architects.   >>>



ArchWeek Image

University of Ruhunu, southern Sri Lanka, 1984, by Geoffrey Bawa.
Photo: Christian Richters/ Aga Khan Award for Architecture

ArchWeek Image

Blue Water Hotel, Wadduwa, Sri Lanka, 1997.
Photo: Christian Richters/ Aga Khan Award for Architecture


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