Geoffrey Bawa House
The Famous ‘Number 11’
Geoffrey Bawa was a Sri Lankan architect who lived between 1919 and 2003, and one of the most influential architects in the region at the time. His works include the Sri Lankan Parliament Complex; the Seema Malakaya Meditation Centre; and the design of his own house on 33rd Lane in Colombo, known to locals simply as “Number 11” or the “Geoffrey Bawa House”.
Number 11 is a three-storey villa that was built over the span of more than a decade, and showcases classic Bawa features such as open courtyards and verandas from his principles of “tropical modernism”. In 1958, Bawa purchased the third house in an identical row of four and renovated it into a home with a bedroom, living room, kitchen and servant’s room. When the fourth house in the row went up for sale, he bought it to convert into his dining room and second living room. By 1969, he had acquired the last two houses in the row and added them to the design. Bawa lived at this house for forty years.
Touring Bawa’s Home
Today, Number 11 is managed by the Geoffrey Bawa Trust, which conducts regular tours of the famous architect’s home throughout the week and cares for its upkeep. Up to three guests (aged 17 and older in order to preserve the delicate interiors of the house) may apply to stay at the Visitor’s Suite on the first floor, which consists of two bedrooms, a common bathroom and a spacious sitting room. The third floor is a loggia, while the fourth features a rooftop terrace.