The late great architect Geoffrey Bawa, famed as Sri Lanka’s ‘father of Tropical Modernism’, and elder brother Bevis grew up in a leafy suburb of Colombo during the final years of the British Empire.

The Telegraph UK is carrying a tribute to both brothers, in particular the wonderful gardens they were devoted to in their later years.

“Bevis died in 1992 and Geoffrey in 2003. They were competitive siblings and each made a garden, both distinctly different but with clear points in common.

“Determined to outdo his brother, Geoffrey bought an abandoned estate called Lunuganga on the far side of the Bentota river from Brief [Bevis’s garden] and set out to transform it into a landscaped garden.”

Geoffrey had previously trained and qualified (against his will) in England as a lawyer, and Lunuganga inspired him to return, this time to further his architectural studies.

He went on to become one of the most influential Asian architects of his generation and beyond, but over the next 40 years he still managed to devote all of his spare time and money to the improvement of his garden.

Lunuganga has come to be regarded as one of the most important gardens of the 20th century. For visiting information, visit

Read the full report here.

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