Surya Praphulla Kumar | THEHINDU | UPDATED: JULY 13, 2019 15:03 IST
My introduction to Geoffrey Bawa was over a decade ago, at Number 11 in Colombo, a gnarly plumeria standing guard outside. Inside, stark white walls, illuminated by skylights and courtyards, drew the eye, as did the painted door by Australian artist Donald Friend, the mix of antique and contemporary furniture, and the textures of the ceilings and red oxide floors.
Rejecting ornamentation, embracing minimalism, and drawing from the environment around him, the father of Tropical Modernism (born on July 23) showed generations of Southeast Asian designers how to stay local, indigenous and yet be international. “He helped us build a sense of pride in tradition-inspired modern architecture,” says Goa-based architect Raya Shankhwalker, who is most impressed by Lunuganga, the 25-acre country estate created over 40 years where Bawa tinkered and tried out his architectural ideas until his death in 2003. Did you know he had 14 bells scattered throughout the property, each with a different sound, to summon meals and beverages to specific spots?
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