17 episodes

The Sri Lankan Architect Geoffrey Bawa is one of the most important and influential Asian architects of the 20th century. The podcast of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust builds on the repository of information available on Bawa and his practice, as well as the discourse on art and architecture in the island, through oral histories, lectures and discussions.

Geoffrey Bawa Trus‪t‬ Geoffrey Bawa Trust

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 8 Ratings

The Sri Lankan Architect Geoffrey Bawa is one of the most important and influential Asian architects of the 20th century. The podcast of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust builds on the repository of information available on Bawa and his practice, as well as the discourse on art and architecture in the island, through oral histories, lectures and discussions.

    Oral Histories: Amila de Mel, Channa Daswatte, Jaime de la Peña & Sumangala Jayatillaka

    Oral Histories: Amila de Mel, Channa Daswatte, Jaime de la Peña & Sumangala Jayatillaka

    This special episode on our Oral Histories podcast series features a conversation with 4 close friends–architects Amila de Mel, Channa Daswatte, Jaime de la Pena and Sumangala Jayathilake. The conversation takes place at Number 11, Geoffrey Bawa’s residence, in the office; the same space in which they all worked with Geoffrey as young architects in the late ’80s and early ’90s. They discussed their experience of working on landmark projects such as the Kandalama Hotel and the Singapore Cloud Centre, and the atmosphere of working in the office at this time; the last phase of Bawa’s practice and a unique period in which several important projects were designed.

    The Oral Histories Project is an ongoing endeavour that will continue after the centenary year celebrations, and the Trust encourages submissions of potential historians and anecdotes to archives@gbtrust.net.

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Oral Histories: Channa Daswatte

    Oral Histories: Channa Daswatte

    Channa Daswatte is the current Chairperson of the Geoffrey Bawa and Lunuganga Trusts. Channa worked with Geoffrey in his later years, starting with the landmark project which is the Kandalama Hotel. He was also an equal partner in Geoffrey Bawa Associates, which was founded after the closure of Edwards, Reid & Begg.

    Channa, together with Murad Ismail, then went on to set up the practice MICD Associates. The practice is responsible for many iconic buildings both in Sri Lanka and overseas, most recently having completed the renovation of the Bentota Beach Hotel. He is the author of the publications ‘Sri Lanka Style: Tropical Design & Architecture’ and ‘Colonial Period Furniture in the Geoffrey Bawa Collection’. Channa recalls with humour and detail, the experience of being a young architect in Geoffrey’s office, while shedding light on Geoffrey’s process of design, including the theatricality of his conception of space and place.

    The Oral Histories Project is an ongoing endeavour that will continue after the centenary year celebrations, and the Trust encourages submissions of potential historians and anecdotes to archives@gbtrust.net.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Oral Histories: Philip Fowler

    Oral Histories: Philip Fowler

    Philip Fowler was one of the four young Indian architects who were hired by Geoffrey Bawa’s practice, Edwards, Reid and Begg in the 1980s to assist on the design of the new Sri Lankan Parliament. Philip ended up staying on for 7 years; working  on the Triton Hotel, the Druvi de Saram house and the Horagolla Stables, amongst other projects.
    He returned to India in 1987 and joined Sankar & Associates. In 2007, Philip, together with his wife Mini, founded the practice Fowler & Fowler. Philip is a keen conservationist and completed the listing of the major heritage buildings of Coimbatore for the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, and was instrumental in saving the (now restored) Victoria Town Hall from destruction. Philip recounts many amusing stories from his time at Edwards, Reid and Begg and speaks about the symbiotic relationship between Geoffrey and his partner at the firm, Dr. Poologasundaram.

    The Oral Histories Project is an ongoing endeavour that will continue after the centenary year celebrations, and the Trust encourages submissions of potential historians and anecdotes to archives@gbtrust.net.

    • 55 min
    Oral Histories: Suhanya Raffel & Michael Snelling

    Oral Histories: Suhanya Raffel & Michael Snelling

    Suhanya Raffel and her husband Michael Snelling; Suhanya is the executive director of the M+ Museum in the West Kowloon Cultural District of Hong Kong, and a Trustee of the Geoffrey Bawa and Lunuganga Trusts. She has previously held many senior positions at major art institutions in Sydney and Brisbane. Growing up in the Raffel House that was designed by Geoffrey, Suhanya reflects on her friendship with the architect who became a lifelong family friend after the commission of the house.

    Michael Snelling has an extensive professional background in arts management, artistic direction and education. Most recently, he was Director and CEO of the National Art School in Sydney. He was founding director of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and Artistic Director of the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane.
    He is also a photographer, writer and curator, and has held lecturing positions at universities in Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane. He has been publisher and editor of titles in the areas of art history and criticism and numerous exhibition catalogues. Michael Snelling recalls an amusing story from his first meeting with Geoffrey and of the ease in which he is able to photograph spaces designed by the architect.

    In this episode, you will hear excerpts from my interviews with Suhanya and Michael individually first and then together.

    The Oral Histories Project is an ongoing endeavour that will continue after the centenary year celebrations, and the Trust encourages submissions of potential historians and anecdotes to archives@gbtrust.net.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Oral Histories: David Robson

    Oral Histories: David Robson

    British architect and educator David Robson authored a number of publications on Geoffrey Bawa and he has also been documenting the architectural landscape in Sri Lanka and southeast Asia.

    David recalls meeting Geoffrey for the first time at the age of 25, when he came to Sri Lanka from England as a lecturer for the Department of Architecture, which was under the Faculty of Natural Sciences in Colombo. I met him at the guest suite at Number 11, Geoffrey Bawa’s residence in Colombo, where David himself had spent many days while working on his books. He discussed how his first publication titled Geoffrey Bawa: the Complete Works came into being, and how Geoffrey and his work have continued to fascinate him over the many years of his research. David remains amazed at the fact that Geoffrey Bawa took up architecture relatively late in life; having qualified as an architect at the age of 38, after first qualifying and practising as a lawyer. He describes the unique style of architectural drawing that comes of Geoffrey’s practice and their continued influence. David also acknowledges the many engineers and architects that were an integral component of Geoffrey’s practice and were in fact the reason some of the bigger projects like the Parliament, Ruhunu University and Kandalama Hotel could be realised.

    The Oral Histories Project is an ongoing endeavour that will continue after the centenary year celebrations, and the Trust encourages submissions of potential historians and anecdotes to archives@gbtrust.net.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Oral Histories: Dominic Sansoni

    Oral Histories: Dominic Sansoni

    Dominic Sansoni knew Geoffrey Bawa from a very early age, as his mother, artist and textile designer Barbara Sansoni, was a close friend and collaborator of Geoffrey’s. Dominic spends much of his time adding to and cataloguing his extensive archive of work, spanning the last 30 years from Sri Lanka, India, Mauritius, the Maldives, Nepal, Yemen and others

    Dominic discusses—often in amusing detail—his collaboration with Swiss architect Christoph Bon on the publication ‘Lunuganga’: a book which documents and explores Bawa's garden at Bentota, which was first released in 1990. It was Christoph Bon, along with Joe Chamberlain and Geoffrey Powell, who were responsible for the design of the Barbican Arts Centre in London.

    Dominic also talks about the joy of revisiting Lunuganga over the past 3 decades, and on his recent installation for “The Gift”, as part of the Bawa 100 programme, a celebration of Geoffrey’s centennial birth anniversary.

    The Oral Histories Project is an ongoing endeavour that will continue after the centenary year celebrations, and the Trust encourages submissions of potential historians and anecdotes to archives@gbtrust.net.

    • 50 min

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8 Ratings

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