Bentota, Galle and the South Coast, Sri Lanka

When Geoffrey Bawa purchased an old abandoned rubber plantation in 1948, he renamed it Lunuganga and hoped to reimagine it in his vision. Limited by a lack of technical architectural knowledge and skill, Geoffrey first took up an apprenticeship with an architectural firm in Colombo and later retained from his original vocation of a barrister to become a fully qualified architect. An illustrious, award-winning architectural career followed, but Lunuganga remained a focal point for Geoffrey Bawa's attention and dedication. 

In 1982, Geoffrey Bawa established The Geoffrey Bawa Trusta non-profit, public trust and passed Lunaganga and other properties in Bentota and Colombo to it to further architectural design, the fine arts and ecological and environmental Studies. 

Since his passing in 2003, the Trust has maintained these historic houses, and this year, on the 75th anniversary of Lunaganga, the Trust has opened several homes for day visits and inspirational overnight stays, opening a window into the mind of their famous creator.

Today, the house is an elegant and luxurious setting from which to explore the rolling hills of Sri Lanka. A destination in itself, Lunuganga and its gardens evolved over 40 years and are a revelation of Bawa's architectural evolution, where many of his trademark innovations sit alongside experimental flourishes. The house and gardens deserve slow and gentle exploration to appreciate the full artistry that went into the evolution of the iconic country house, and guests are encouraged to wander through it on hosted tours. In-house guests can walk through themselves for private explorations.

Those keen on architectural design, and in particular Geoffrey Bawa, may also enjoy visiting sister properties nearby, including: 

Number 05 at Lunuganga, the house belonging to Ena de Silva and her husband, close friends of Geoffrey Bawa, was initially commissioned and built on a modest plot in the heart of Colombo. Bawa developed the radically modern property for his dear friends, drawing inspiration from traditional architectural tropes in Sri Lanka. The design's success made the house a pivotal project in Bawa's career. When Ena wished to sell the Colombo plot in 2009, the Trust engaged archaeologists and engineers to carefully disassemble the house and rebuild it stone by stone at Lunuganga, where it stands today.  

Brief, a simple, low-slung house close to Lunaganga, brimming with murals, statues, and colonial-era antiques with beautifully structured gardens belonging to Bawa's brother, Bevis. 

The gardens of Boutique 87, an elegant early 18th-century former shopfront set in tranquil lakeside gardens, are well worth a visit to appreciate more of Geoffrey Bawa's visionary handiwork as is 

If passing through Colombo, consider staying at or visiting two other properties under the care of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust, Number 11, Colombo and De Saram House, Colombo.

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