Saturday, 1 February 2014

I N    S Y M P H O N Y    W I T H    N A T U R E

Our living environments are a reflection of who we are as individuals, as a society. 
The spaces we inhabit have the power to shape how we think, act and live. 

Great Eras in history are identified by their architecture, be it the early Roman, Egyptian civilizations or the more recent Renaissance and Mughal. We see a reflection of the sum total of all that exists in an Era’s architecture. A towering example is the Pyramids of Giza - a product of advanced application of mathematics, science, art and astronomy of the times. They are a living proof of the prowess of man’s mind and will. No wonder then that Architecture is called the mother of all Arts!

Great architecture is given shape by exemplary minds and today's feature talks about one of them – Geoffery Bawa. Based in Srilanka, he was one of the most recognized & renowned Asian architects of his times.
 Images: 1. horvath bence @ flickr;   2.

A beautiful, complete home is one which is a part of it’s inhabitants lives, an expression of who they are, a reflection of their beliefs & ideologies. A house can be built in a few months, but it takes many more to make it “home”. The subject of this feature, Geoffery Bawa’s home is a peek into his life as an architect & artist. It comes across as a wondrous, lived-in space, lovingly & passionately created over a life time.

Images: 3.;    4, 5. Nishan Magodaratna;   6.

The residence, No. 11, 33rd lane in Kollupitiya, Colombo evolved over a period of time. Four row houses were gradually acquired & amalgamated to create a whole, holding within a series of eclectic spaces.

 Images: 7. Nishan Magodaratna;   8.

Outdoor & Indoor lose meaning here, with gardens merging seamlessly with enclosed spaces. The house is predominately white, deliberately so, to serve as a neutral backdrop for Geoffery Bawa’s rich collection of art & artifacts.

 Images: 9. WOONDER @flickr;   10. Nishan Magodaratna;   11.

“Bawa’s work is characterised by sensitivity to site and context….. His designs broke down the barriers between inside and outside, between interior design and landscape architecture and reduced buildings to a series of scenographically conceived spaces separated by courtyards and gardens.”

Images: 12. Nishan Magodaratna;   13, 14.

Practically every living area overlooks a patch of green, bringing calm & repose to busy spaces that are a collage of art, sculpture & architecture.

 Images: 15.;   16, 17: Nishan Magodaratna

 Images: 18, 19, 20. Nishan Magodaratna

Ornate wooden columns, modern art, painted & metal doors, traditional artifacts, all find their spot in this delightful labyrinth of spaces. The house practically served as the architect’s drawing board, where he experimented with design ideas for many years. The Geoffery Bawa Trust now offers a few rooms in the residence for stay. 

Read more about Bawa's life and work here.
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