Design Thinking


Simplicity of water and greens

Lunuganga Estate by Geoffrey Bawa - Sri Lanka

Posted on June 14, 2019   |   By Kanwal Thareja Architects

It is almost like landform is melting down into the water bodies. Landscape design looks so natural and unbelievable the way the hard and soft surfaces flow into the water. During monsoons, steps finish in the sea and mortar gets covered with green grass and algae. Levels are broken into parts easy to walk and change direction along the land farm.

Steps flair in the waterbodies with interesting edges and corners. Dense grid pattern of pavement and grass loosen out while flowing towards the water bodies. It is difficult to miss as the water becomes green grass along the shallow water edges.

Outdoor sculptures placed at strategic points have weathered over several years of exposure to external elements. It is difficult to guess whether they are made of metal, cement or stone.

Steps under the semi covered outdoor space are so broad that they enhance the quality of the verandah and the volume of space. Light filters through the tree canopies and reflects beautifully off of the grass to make it seem like a bright green carpet.

Lunuganga Estate was built as the country home for and by the famous Sri Lankan Architect-Geoffrey Bawa. Started in 1947, the garden served as an experimental laboratory for new ideas for this lawyer turned architect. It was left to the Lunuganga Trust in 2003 after his demise, and later opened to public as a country house hotel.

Few of the cottages display the quality of indoor spaces with lots of natural light. Each piece of furniture is a work of art, crafted beautifully in local wood and polished to preserve its true character. White chess pattern flooring at a few places brings out a stunning contrast and makes the space a visual delight.

All in all, it is a place to appreciate nature and craftsmanship of the great architect Geoffrey Bawa.