10 Facts About the Legend Geoffrey Bawa

Archi Facts Dated:  Sept. 23, 2015
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Architect Geoffrey Bawa, Srilanka

The 1919 born Geoffrey Manning Bawa, often referred as Bawa, could simply be considered equivalent to Sri Lankan Architecture. A lover of nature and his widely accepted concept- 'Tropical Modernism' in Lanka earned him the project- 'The Parliament building of Sri Lanka' which receives appreciation till date. One could say, the hotel tourism today in Lanka sources all credits to Bawa.

1. Geoffrey Manning Bawa studied English and Law, before he started his career in Architecture in 1957, at the age of thirty eight.


2. In Architectural Association (AA) London, where he studied Architecture, he is remembered as the tallest, oldest and the most outspoken student of his generation.

3. Well known as the 'Father of Sri Lankan Architecture', Bawa became an associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects before becoming one of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects.

Ar. Geoffrey BawaAr. Geoffrey Bawa
Image Source: https://archnet.org/authorities/56/publications/5101

4. Bawa was no great draftsman, he always made sketches of plans and sections in order to convey his ideas to his colleagues who drafted the drawings.

5. He tried his maximum to avoid being photographed and the only clear recording of his voice was discovered accidentally in London, after he died.

6. Inspite of his talent and recognition, he turned out to be a shy person who dreaded newspaper interviews.

Hotel KandalamaBird's eye view of Hotel Kandalama, designed by Geoffrey Bawa.
Image Source: https://vaumm.com/kandalama-by-geoffrey-bawa/

7. His brother Bevis Bawa, who was 6 feet and 7 inches tall was ten years older to him and was a famous Landscape Architect too.

8. The Bawa brothers were different from each other:
    'If Geoffrey didn't like something, you knew it. There would be Great Silence, capital G, capital S. 
    But, if Bevis didn't like something, he'd let you know, but in the nicest way.'
    (Source: Sundaytimes)

Architect Geoffrey BawaArchitect Geoffrey Bawa, Srilanka
Image Source: https://www.geoffreybawa.com/life/practice

9. Bawa owned a Silver Cloud Rolls–Royce car, which he would drive down South or back to Colombo.

10. He received the world renowned and prestigious Chairman's Award of the Aga Khan award for Architecture, in 2001,   after a stroke left him paralyzed and unable to speak.

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