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The life and works of Geoffrey Bawa – Colombo

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Sri Lanka’s most beloved and iconic architect, Geoffrey Bawa is renowned across the world for his incredible designs which won him the title ‘father of Asian architecture’. Although Bawa’s legacy is scattered across the island – beautiful buildings which are now enchanting hotels – he lived and worked in Colombo for many years. This guided tour gives you an insight in Bawa’s city life – where he lived and where he worked – and also covers the work of some of his notable friends who were leading figures in various arts industries, including Barbara, the founder of Barefoot; Mineete, Sri Lanka’s first female architect, and Ena de Silva who specialised in creating beautiful batiks. Finish the tour with a visit to the stunning Gallery Café before marvelling at the stunning Seema Malaka Temple, which appears to float on Beira Lake.

Experience Overview

This guided tour of ‘Bawa’s Colombo’ is led by a local who is very knowledgeable about Geoffrey Bawa and has taken a great interest in his works. It begins at his residency, Number 11, the centre-point of his city life, where you will hear many fascinating stories about his time here. You will then wend your way to Gallery Café, which was once Bawa’s studio and is now one of Colombo’s most coveted restaurants, for a drink and a chance to see the magnificence of his designs with your own eyes. Finally, journey to the Seema Malaka Temple of Beira Lake, one of the city’s most iconic cultural sites which appears to be floating serenely on top of the water, before heading to Barefoot for either an exhibition (if one is running), some shopping or lunch in the delightful courtyard café

Includes: - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style

host, a drink at Gallery Café, entrance to Number 11

Suitable for children?  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style
Suitable for children?

The tour can be tailored to older kids

What to wear or bring along:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style
What to wear or bring along:

Light, cool clothing, and a hat. A camera.

Duration: - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style

2-2.5 hours

About the Host

Your host’s family, who are originally from Belgium, came to Ceylon in the 19th century. She has lived in both Sri Lanka and the UK, and studied photography at two universities in London. Over the last 20 years, she has taught photography and shown her work in international exhibitions, which tell the stories of people from a variety of communities. Her passion for and knowledge in artistry in Sri Lanka makes her a highly-engaging tour guide.




Managing Expectations

It is important to remember that, whilst they are experts in their field, the people who run or host our experiences are not necessarily used to working in the tourism industry and may not offer the level of service you would find at a five-star hotel. For example, instead of a formal lecture, you may get a relaxed conversation where open discussion is encouraged. All of our hosts are, however, extremely engaging, knowledgeable and passionate about educating visitors about their chosen subject and we have worked with them to ensure that they deliver worthwhile, fulfilling experiences. We welcome feedback, so please let us know what you thought and if you think any improvements could be made to the experiences we offer.

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