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Legendary Sri Lankan Gay Architect: Mr. Geoffrey Bawa.

Updated: Nov 18, 2020


Sri Lanka is a paradise for lovers of architecture. The island is dotted with villas and bungalows. The man Behind this is Geoffrey Bawa & here is some information regarding Sri Lanka and the work of Geoffrey Bawa.

Geoffrey Bawa was born on the 23rd of July 1919 in British Colonial Ceylon. Died on 27 May 2003 (aged 83) Colombo, Sri Lanka. His father, Justice Benjamin William Bawa was Sri Lankan and belongs to British parentage and mother Bertha Marianne was Scottish, and Belongs to Sinhalese descent. Geoffrey and his elder brother Bevis, enjoyed a privileged childhood. In a society where being of mixed race was historically often seen as an impediment to social acceptance. his flamboyant elder brother Bevis was a renowned landscape architect. Geoffrey initially followed the footsteps of his father. He studied in London to become a lawyer and was called to the bar in 1944. He returned to Colombo to work briefly in a law firm for sometime. after his mother’s passing in 1946 he decided to travel the world. in 1948 he Enticed by the beautiful gardens of Milan, and seriously considered spending the rest of his life there. but he returned to Ceylon where he bought Lunuganga. He Wanted to make Lunuganga an Italian garden but unable to do this because of his lack of technical knowledge. in 1951 he began a trial apprenticeship with Edwards, Reid and Begg. and in 1953 he applied to the Architectural Association School in London. Finally qualified as an ARCHITECT in 1957 at the age of 38. A natural eye for beauty and a deft cultural understanding led to Geoffrey quickly becoming one of Sri Lanka’s most prolific designers.he got so much appreciation on international level here are some of his

Awards and Fellowships:

*Pan Pacific Citation, Hawaii Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (1967).

*President, Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (1969).

*Inaugural Gold Medal at the Silver Jubilee Celebration of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (1982).

*Heritage Award of Recognition, for “Outstanding Architectural Design in the Tradition of Local Vernacular Architecture”, for the new Parliamentary Complex at Sri Jayawardenepura, Kotte from the Pacific Area Travel Association. (1983).

*Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects

Elected Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (1983).

*Awarded Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa), University of Ruhuna (14 September 2002).

Geoffrey Bawa's work was mainly in Sri Lanka, but he did nice work in several other countries as well: nine times in India, three times in Indonesia, twice in Mauritius and once in Japan, Pakistan, Fiji, Egypt and Singapore. His works include houses, hotels, schools, clubs, offices and government buildings, most notably the Sri Lankan Parliament Building. In Today time the Gallery Café on Paradise Road in Colombo is located in Bawa's former office building.

Some very special, gay friendly, iconic hotels designed by Mr. Geoffrey Bawa and very much enjoyed by our LGBTQ travellers to India and Sri Lanka.

Lunuganga Country Estate, Bentota, Sri Lanka.

Lunuganga is a beautiful country estate set in picturesque landscaped gardens, a short distance inland from Bentota and the south-west coast. Created in 1947 from a rubber and cinnamon plantation by Geoffrey Bawa, proved to be the catalyst that launched Bawa’s long and distinguished architectural career.


The Last House, Tangalle, Sri Lanka

The Last House is a quaint and colourful Sri Lankan house beside the sparsely populated Mawella Beach in Tangalle. Designed by architect Geoffrey Bawa The Last House is a fine example of local and traditional seaside dwellings, with striking yellow walls and turquoise door and window shutters oozing charm.


The Jetwing Lighthouse, Galle, Sri Lanka.

The Jetwing Lighthouse sits atop a small rocky promontory commanding superb views across the blue waters of the Indian Ocean just two kilometres from the town of Galle Its an elegant hotel with a touch of history and class, the architectural triumph of Geoffrey Bawa


Heritance Ahungalla, Bentota, Sri Lanka

The Heritance Ahungalla is a five star luxury resort hotel located on a 15 acre beach front estate on Sri Lanka’s south-west coast. A sense of grandeur greets you at the entrance as your eyes are drawn across tranquil water pools and gracious columns to the Indian Ocean. Originally designed by the architect Geoffrey Bawa as the Triton Hotel, its most stunning feature is the aquamarine infinity pool, which appears to drop straight into the sea.


Hotel Club Villa, Bentota, Sri Lanka

Nestled amidst a coconut plantation, just metres from the beach, the unpretentious Club Villa encourages its guests to relax and treat it like home. Re-designed in 1980 by renowned architect, Geoffrey Bawa, this 19th century Dutch colonial villa blends traditional period design with post-modern touches.


Heritance Kandlama, Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Heritance Kandalama Hotel is a truly amazing eco-cultural experience, award-winning and unique. If you love nature, outdoor activities, visiting cultural sites and hot weather, we urge you to stay a while. Designed by Sri Lanka’s renowned architect, Geoffrey Bawa, Heritance Kandalama Hotel is a masterpiece of modern resort luxury that blends seamlessly with its natural environment, Spread along the edge of an escarpment facing Kandalama Tank (lake), with views to Sigiriya Rock.


The Blue Water, Wadduwa, Sri Lanka

The Blue Water Hotel has a unique culture of embracing staff and guests alike, with many of the existing staff being part of the extended family since the hotels inception. It’s among the best Sri Lanka beach hotels, marries luxury and comfort with iconic scenery and endless tropical hospitality. Resort’s giant swimming pool winding through the main lobby area and through to the fabulous manicured gardens underneath the coconut palms. The Blue Water Hotel is designed by the iconic Geoffrey Bawa witch operative since 1997.


Paradise Road, The Villa Bentota, Sri Lanka

Paradise Road - The Villa Bentota is housed in the restored Mohotti Walauwa, an 1880s Dutch ancestral home. This was converted into Sri Lanka’s first boutique hotel by renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa at the end of the 1970s and retains many of his signature designs.


Grand Oriental, Colombo, Sri Lanka

The Grand Oriental Hotel was officially opened on 5 November 1875, and had 154 luxury and semi-luxury room In 1966 Geoffrey Bawa was appointed to remodel the hotel, During this period the hotel went through major changes with the bank taking over a section of the hotel. The hotel was reduced to 54 rooms and the garden too disappeared. Geoffrey Bawa creating the Harbour Room, a restaurant on the fourth floor directly overlooking the Colombo Harbour. During this period the hotel's original was restored and the country's first night club, the Blue Leopard, located in the basement of the hotel opened.


Taj Connemara, Chennai, India

The tower block and linking pool was designed by architect Geoffrey Bawa in 1974, and the work was completed in 1977 The deluxe wing of the hotel was destroyed almost completely in the "Friday the Thirteenth" fire in February 1981 However the main building of the hotel remained unharmed because of the high-rise wall in between the two buildings In 1984 the Taj Group of Hotels acquired the hotel for a 100-year lease from the Spencer's Group.The oldest part of the hotel is that built in the 1880s and 1890s.


Heritage Madurai, Madurai, India

Heritage Madurai was built in 1923 as the residence for the British officers of the Madura coats In the 1970s the renowned Sri lankan architect. Geoffery Bawa built the club house on the grounds of the officer’s bungalows within 20 miles of Madurai he created a landmark Bawa structure 17-acre resort, and experience the Madurai of distant past. It's a signature Luxury Resort in the ‘Temple City’, Madurai in Tamil Nadu, South India Within a career that spanned 40 years Geoffrey Bawa came to be regarded as one of the most respected and inspired architects in the world. Bawa excelled in building in a natural environment, creating spaces that blended the outside with the inside.

If you wish to explore gay friendly destinations, gay information, private gay friendly car rental or gay group tours/personal gay tours to Sri Lanka please visit our website


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