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In June 2015 we visited the Lunuganga Estate just outside Bentota. Lununganga was the country home of the renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. Started in 1947, the garden led Bawa, a lawyer called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1940, to decide to become an architect. As he went on to become Sri Lanka’s and one of Asia’s most prolific and influential architects, the garden at the Lunuganga estate remained his first muse and experimental laboratory for new ideas.

When you walk around the estate garden, pavilions and intimate resting areas appear out of nowhere.

They say Bawa used to have his coffee in one these locations, a stone bench overlooking a well and some sort of small lake in the middle of the jungle that almost looked like it was created by nature. Here he could muse about his work.

lunuanga01IMG_1930IMG_1931IMG_1957
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IMG_1986One of Bawa’s achievements was that he always tried to integrate his work with the beauty of nature. Like in symbiosis, nature is never forced nor removed. In the contrary it is always present and enhances the man-made constructs.
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IMG_2005IMG_2058He continued to change and experiment with its spaces and structures throughout his life until his final illness in 1998. Left to the Lunuganga Trust on his demise in 2003, the gardens are now open to the public and the buildings on the estate are run as a country house hotel.
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The stuff that inspires – TRAVEL

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