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  • Geoffrey Bawa Architecture Tour
    Trip Length : 11 Days
    Availability : Throughout the year

Tour Description

Visit Sri Lanka for an educational, relaxing and fun tour of viewing masterpieces created by Geoffrey Bawa. Bawa is known to be one of the most influential Asian architects of his generation and is known globally as the man behind the principal force known as “Tropical Modernism”.

This 11 day tour is specially curated to accommodate architecture enthusiasts, Geoffrey Bawa fanatics as well as individuals and groups looking for a tropical getaway full of knowledge, sightseeing and fun. In other words – the best of both worlds!

The vacation begins when you arrive in sunny Sri Lanka, with a chauffeur to pick you up from the airport and bring you to Tharu Villa Lake Lodge; the family home of Nayantara ‘Taru’ Fonseka which mimics the Bawa style architecture – where you will spend your first night at after a sumptuous dinner at Paradise Road The Gallery Café, a former Bawa owned property.

Afterwards your Bawa centered vacation would begin with an excursion around Colombo to view some of his notable work in the city to be ended with another night at Tharu Villa. Next you will be lead you around the island – from Colombo to Dambulla to visit Kandalama Hotel, another notable work of Bawa’s with an overnight stay.

To add to the excitement you will be given a tour of the ancient kingdoms of Sri Lanka; Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura ended with a warm night at Kandalama. Next you will be taken to the holy city of Kandy to pay respect to the Temple of the Tooth Relic with a nightcap in the city. While in the central highlands you will be taken to visit the Good Shepherd Convent, Claughton House and The Last House with two nights at The Last House.

The final leg of the Bawa tour takes you the golden beaches of Sri Lanka – Dickwella, Tangalle, Galle, Bentota, Colombo and Negombo to view some of Bawa’s work along the coast line; Ruhuna University, Matara Office Building, Jetwing Lighthouse, Heritance Ahungalla, Club Villa, Lunuganga, Bentota Beach Hotel, Blue Water Hotel, Raffle House, Steel Corporation Office & Housing and Jetwing Lagoon with overnight stays at some of these Bawa designed hotels making this the perfect all in one holiday with travel and fun!

 

Summary of Geoffrey Bawa Tour

  • Day 1 – Arrival and overnight stay at Tharu Villa Lake Lodge

  • Day 2 – Tour of Colombo to visit Bawa’s Town House, New Parliament and Seema Malakaya

  • Day 3 – Tour of Kandalama Hotel in Dambulla

  • Day 4 – Visit to Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura with an overnight stay at Kandalama Hotel

  • Day 5 – Viewing of the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy

  • Day 6 – Tour of Kandy, Bandarawela and Tangalle with a visit to Good Shepherd Convent and check into The Last House

  • Day 7 – Exploring The Last House and Claughton House in the Southern Coast

  • Day 8 – Visiting Ruhuna University, Matara Office Building and Jetwing Lighthouse

  • Day 9 – Visiting Heritance Ahungalla, Club Villa and afternoon tea at Lunuganga with overnight stay at Bentota Beach

  • Day 10 – Visiting Blue Water Hotel, Raffle House, Steel Corporation Office and Jetwing Lagoon

  • Day 11 – Departure


Geoffrey Bawa Architecture Tour

 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

Upon your arrival to Sri Lanka, you will be picked up from the airport and driven by one of our chauffeurs to Tharu Villa Lake Lodge. Although this hotel is not a design of Bawa himself, this former family home of Nayantara “Taru” Fonseka, pays ho09mage to his unique style of architecture. Once you are refreshed and relaxed at the villa, you will be taken for an exclusive dinner at Paradise Road The Gallery Café, the former office of Bawa. After the  property was bought over by Shanth Fernando, the now owner of the property who is also the brainchild behind the exclusive lifestyle brand Paradise Road, Shanth too made his office at the café premises until recent times.

Day 2

After a refreshed night, wake up to have an adventurous ride around Colombo to visit some of Bawa’s work in the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. First stop is the Town House of Geoffrey Bawa down Bagatale Road, second visit is to the New Parliament Building in Kotte, which is the official capital of the country. The parliament is built on a 12 acre island in the midst of Diyawannawa Lake at a cost of over $25.4 million and was completed on schedule.  Your final stop for the day is the infamous Seema Malaka temple – a Buddhist temple originally built during the late 19th century. The temple is used mainly for meditation and rest rather than for worship and is situated in the Beira Lake and is part of the Gangaramaya Temple which is situated a few hundred meters away.

Day 3

On the third day you will leave Colombo for Dambulla to visit and stay at the Kandalama Hotel. The Heritance Kandalama Hotel was commissioned by the Aitken Spence Hotel Group to accommodate tourists visiting the nearby Sigiriya also known as the Lion Rock Fortress.  Aitken Spence originally intended to build the hotel adjacent to Sigiriya, but Bawa insistence for the hotel to be built eleven kilometers southeast of the fortress helped protect the immediate surroundings of the cultural site and allow for picturesque views of the monument across the horizon of the Kandalama Lake.

Day 4

After enjoying the breathtaking views of Sigiriya from the confines of the hotel, the 4th day takes you on a tour of Cultural Triangle beginning with the Sigiriya  Rock Fortress. This is an ancient Sinhalese royal complex built during the 5th century AD with an architectural genius not even found today and caused the site to be considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka. Afterwards, you will be taken to Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, both former kingdoms of Sri Lanka, each with their own style of architecture and history of losses and triumphs. After an educational tour, you will be brought back to Heritance Kandalama Hotel for your final night at Dambulla.

Day 5

On the 5th day, you will leave Dambulla to go to the sacred hill capital Kandy, the last Kingdom of Sri Lanka, that is rich with influences of the of both Sinhalese as well as Indian influences as the final ruler of Sri Lanka was of Indian origin. You will be visiting the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, situated in the royal complex of the former kingdom. The which houses the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha and is visited every year by devout Buddhists to pay their respect. After paying homage to this World Heritage Site, you will be taken to the Suisse Hotel in Kandy which is situated right beside the historic and picturesque Kandy lake.

Day 6

On the 6th day you will leave for Bandarawela to visit the chapel of the Good Shepherd convent, a collaborative design of Bawa with Ulrik Plesner which was commissioned to him by the nuns of the convent in 1961. The chapel sits on a ridge above the town and consists of a solid hulk of rubble masonry in a square tower which acts as the skylight for the altar. The north side of the nave is fully glazed, its window frames forming the three crucifixes of the Calvary. The altar crucifix was designed by Laki Senanayake and the terra cotta Stations of the Cross by Barbara Sansoni., the founder of Barefoot Ceylon. You will end the day with an overnight stay at The Last House, by Bawa a 6 bedroom open and luxurious expanse with his quintessential touch sure to add that relaxing touch after much sightseeing.

Day 7

You will be given a tour of The Last so-called because it was his architectural swansong, is positioned on an idyllic strip of land – lagoon on one side, beach on the other – on the outskirts of Tangalle with large open spaces, courtyards, and verandas letting you relax and take in this tropical oasis. Afterwards, you will be taken on a tour to visit the Claughton House in the surf of Kaduwela Bay, in the town of Dickwella in the south of Sri Lanka. The property was built by Bawa to appreciate and compliment the stunning coastline whilst blending space, elegance and luxury to create a truly stunning beach house. After a relaxing time at Claughton House, you will be brought back to The Last House before leaving for Tangalle the following day.

Day 8

The 8th day of your vacation begins with a visit to the Ruhuna University, built by Geoffrey Bawa to celebrate the landscape of the south. Covering an area of 74 acres, and spanning across two hills with views across a lake towards the southern ocean, the university consists of pavilions and courtyards with breathtaking ocean views. Afterwards you will be visiting the public office building designed by Bawa in Matara and head over to the Galle Fort to the Jetwing Lighthouse boutique hotel, another architectural genius of Geoffrey Bawa. The lighthouse hotels conveys history with the Portuguese landing in Galle with the use of brass and bronze as well as batik demonstrating his skill at integrating architecture and history with landscape.

Day 9

After a relaxing night at Jetwing Lighthouse, you will be leaving for Bentota, first visiting Heritance Ahungalla for morning tea. With a long driveway, for a dramatic entrance coupled with views across the infinity pool edging the sea; Bawa uses his signature architectural style using plenty of the natural elements - the tropical sun, ocean breeze, lush greenery and flowing water to create a beautiful vista. You will be next taken to visit Club Villa, a boutique hotel located in the heart of Bentota with magnificent views. Next, you will visit Lunuganga for afternoon tea; an old rubber plantation transformed by Bawa into a haven of peace and tranquility which was also his country home and the first property designed by him which lead him to follow architecture. You will be calling it a day at the Bentota Beach Hotel, which is the first purpose built resort hotel in the island. Bawa’s style of architecture of the property aims to create a resemblance with the lost world of the ancient Sri Lankan kingdoms.

Day 10

The 10th day of the Bawa architecture tour first takes you to Blue Water Hotel in Wadduwa to witness his command interior design, landscape and architecture paired with terracotta tiles, frangipani trees, open space and lengthy corridors. Your next stop will be at the Raffle House, a former private residence of Chris and Carmen Raffle, was created with the functions of a small concert place in mind as the patron’s wife was a musician – with the ground floor to accommodate performances. Your third stop will be at the Steel Corporation Office in Oruwela, built in in 1966. The final stop will be at Jetwing Lagoon, another space designed by Bawa in Negombo where you will be spending your final night before departing Sri Lanka.

Day 11

After an exciting 10 days you will be driven back to the airport to catch your flight back home. Whilst the past few days would have flown with new knowledge and sites, we hope to have left you with fond memories and longing to return back to Sri Lanka to enjoy another one of our specially curated vacations.

 

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Hotline : (+94) 70 222 8 222
Office Address : 20/63, Fairfield Garden, Colombo 08, Sri Lanka