It is Essential to be There: Drawing from the Geoffrey Bawa Archive

House in Mirissa: Site Plan, drawing by Waruna Gomis, 1997

Geoffrey Bawa’s distinctive career as an architect began with the purchase of an abandoned rubber and cinnamon estate, which he would transform into the garden that is now Lunuganga, in 1948 – in the wake of the country’s newly gained independence from the British Empire. From this very first endeavour the practice is marked by architecture that seeks to understand the notion of place.

In seeking to understand Bawa’s work through the lens of the Archives, comprised primarily of architectural drawings, a portrait of the practice comes into focus. The drawings are unusually descriptive of place, beyond its location on a map, and place is explored in the many layers of culture, history and environment that characterize a site.

Although Bawa’s work has been exhibited in multiple venues in the UK, USA, Australia, India, Brazil, Singapore and Germany, this is the first exhibition on Bawa’s work to be shown in Sri Lanka.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue publication including essays by Geoffrey Bawa, Sean Anderson, Shirley Surya, Tariq Jazeel, Jyoti Dhar, Meghal Perera, Shayari de Silva and a foreward by Channa Daswatte.


Dates and Venue to be re:confirmed due to Covid-19.

Primary Partner:

Exhibition Curator:
Shayari de Silva

Exhibition team:
Shanika Perera, Thilini Perera & Chris Silva 

Exhibition Interns:
Meghal Perera, Indeera Lokuliyana & Arundhika Weerasekera