BAWA : The Genius of the Place

Our beautiful Sri Lanka in the BAWA film, showcasing some of his spectacular work such as Heritance Kandalama among other iconic properties.

Geoffrey Bawa (1919-2003) is widely regarded as one of South Asia’s most important architects of the 20th century – the equivalent of Frank Lloyd Wright in America, Luis Barragan in Mexico or Oscar Niemayer in Brazil.

Despite many challenges throughout the years – the restrictions of building materials in post-war Sri Lanka, a thirty year Civil War that fractured the country, opposition from environmental and religious groups to one of his projects, and a series of strokes that left him paralyzed – Bawa prevailed, creating a body of work that is legendary in scale, scope and ambition.

While his work has been celebrated in books, his work has been undiscovered by global audiences utilizing the medium of film. Using groundbreaking aerial photography, this film shows the deep inter-relationship between Sri Lanka’s beautiful landscapes and these stunning buildings which blur the line between the inside and the outside – one of his signature contributions sto the world of architecture and design.

Conceived and created by Sri Lankan filmmakers (and some wonderful allies), this project celebrates an icon and a hero for the country and it’s people.

This documentary celebrates five of his most important projects – ranging from ocean fortresses like the Lighthouse Hotel and jungle palaces like the Kandalama Hotel, to groundbreaking private houses like the Ena De Silva House and the Jayawardene ‘Red Cliffs’ House, to his magnum opus: his country estate Lunuganga, a fifty-year garden where his ashes are buried. In each location, we try to connect with ‘The Genius of the Place’ – the unique spirit which Bawa used as his inspiration.