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Experiencing the aesthetic genius of Geoffrey and Bewis Bawa

March 18, 2016

What are the odds of having not one but two aesthetic geniuses in the family?  Geoffrey Bawa helped define what has come to be known as tropical modern design, a blend of native, colonial, and contemporary materials, concerns, and aesthetics. Geoffrey Bawa’s influence may be found in resorts and villas across Asia including Sri Lanka.  Geoffrey Bawa’s brother was similarly talented.  A key interest of both Bawas was the blurring of indoor and outdoor spaces.


The Bawas were from a cosmopolitan and eccentric family.  That worldliness and eccentricity is reflected in their artistic creations.  Michael Ondaatje’s insightful and entertaining Running in the Family provides a great feel for the sort of background in which the Bawas were raised.


To experience the genius of the Bawa brothers, we suggest a visit to Bewis Bawa’s masterpiece, Brief Garden, in the morning. 

After an hour or two at Brief Garden, head to Lunagunga, Geoffrey Bawa’s retreat.  You might want to have lunch at Lunagunga and then look around Lunagunga in the afternoon.


Brief Garden is located near Bentota and it will take about 2 hours to get from Negombo to Brief Garden.

From Brief Garden to Lunagunga will take about 30 minutes.

Both Brief Garden and Lunagunga charge an entry fee.

Brief Garden


‪Kalawila Village, Beruwala; Sri Lanka

+ 94 77 350 9290; +94 34 227 4462

GPS: 6.457244, 80.037672

Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm

Admission: 1,000 LKR per person




Bentota; Sri Lanka


+94 34 428 7056

GPS: 6.403715, 80.022097

Hours: 11:00am - 3:00pm

Admission: 1,300 LKR per person



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