Thursday, December 19, 2019

Back to Bawa

We left Sri Lanka last year promising ourselves that we would be back. We had just not had enough of the wonders that Bawa had scattered across the country. We managed to visit and stay at many of his building but Kandalama is now top of the list. We havnt managed to go back yet though. But what I had not expected was to experience this in Madurai!

This site visit was decided a few days before we were to drive down and we were totally caught up with work before leaving. Though a work visit, when Sai, Ally, Ananya and I travel, we always make sure to know of the place to see and the places to have food at (this is top priority). This trip though, our research was done on the drive down and when we read about the Heritage designed by Bawa, that instantly moved to the number 1 place to see!

We drove into Madurai around lunchtime and since we were all excited and not really tired, we decided to go for a site visit that evening. Imagine our surprise when we were talking to our clients about Heritage and wanting to see it and she says that its the next door property and whats more, that the site was part of the Heritage property and was recently sold off to the public!

Highlight of the next day was walking through Heritage, the gardens, the rooms so tastefully and thoughtfully renovated. The clubhouse was beautiful. I felt like I was back in Sri Lanka walking through the corridors ending in the best vistas and peppered with courtyard with gorgeous trees. the play of light and dark was just as it should be. The big difference in Madurai was his choice of local material but the spaces and the essence which had left us in awe in Sri Lanka were all there leaving us in wonder at the genius of this man!

Bawa was on ironically one of the biggest inspirations when we started designs on this house because we were still reeling from our trip to Sri Lanka. And here we are now with the splendid Heritage as out neighbour!

Hoping that this modest residence for two very private, simple people live upto its neighbour!

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