Mr. Bawa, I Presume
Chiara Carpenter & Giovanna Silva (eds.)
Hatje Cantz, 2020
His home in Lunuganga, sixty kilometers south of Colombo, was his journeyman work , and the five-star hotel in Kandalama was one of his masterpieces. In Europe the name Geoffrey Bawa is still only known to insiders, but in the Asian region he has long been one of the most celebrated cult figures in architecture. Anyone traveling through Sri Lanka will find themselves unable to avoid his much-copied architectural style. Bawa developed what is known today as tropical modernism : minimalist, reductionist concrete structures that feature traditional craftsmanship and natural materials, while also leaving as much room as possible for nature. Bawa practiced what has now become a global trend since the 1950s: green architecture, environmentally friendly construction. One of his most important architectural principles is the fascinating sightline. The photographer Giovanna Silva impressively documents the private houses, schools, and hotels Bawa designed, which we encounter on the way through Sri Lanka’s jungle.