Geoffrey Bawa’s Last House Tangalle

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Words : Indika Madapatha Sellahewa
Photos : Nirmala Dhananjaya

A forty five minute drive took us to Tangalle from Mirissa. We missed the turn the first time trying to rely on Google Maps to direct us and ended up near the old Bay Hotel in Tangalle. After a call to the property manager Ananda, we learnt that it was eight kilometres backwards towards Matara on Galle road.

At the turn we had to drive about another 400 meters through forest on both sides. It seemed like a very private road leading to our destination. On our left was a lagoon which was not too visible due to thick vegetation. I’m a bit of a dreamer, so it felt as if we were in a dream land. We passed the most gigantic Neem trees (Azadirachta indica), I had ever seen. The coconut and king coconut trees seem to grow quite lusciously as well, and so much greenery.
It did actually feel like you were entering a different world after the commotion from Colombo and the rest of the way. I was thinking to myself, “no wonder Geoffrey Bawa selected this place”,. I wasn’t actually prepared for what I saw when reaching our destination finally. “The Last House,” sprawled along nearly 2 acres of land was bordered by the most beautiful beach. This I learnt, was called, “Mawella Beach,” Seenimodera, a two kilometre stretch.

For me, this seemed a bit of a modern version of a colonial bungalow (walawwa), with a “meda midula”, lots of open living spaces and a pool. Everything about the house had a rustic look and feel. Beautifully and artistically furnished using earthy colours adorned with antique style furniture from the verandahs to the living areas, bedrooms, kitchen, and even the bathrooms, the house emanated an aura of tranquility and simplicity with a touch of elegance. Each suite had a unique name of its own. Some, named after local flowers; Atteriya and Moonamal. The Cinnamon Hill suite is the master bedroom and connected to twin bedrooms upstairs, …
Continued to next month…

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