Though the Heritance Kandalama hotel incorporates great tenets of Bawanesque design, the Lighthouse hotel in Galle is essentially my favorite of Bawa’s work. Its not so much of the architectural design features as such, the building doesn’t even look exceptionally stunning, but it is largely delightful and is composed of one of those rare happiness inducing quality in its spaces. It was by far my most favourite on the trail.
The entrance lobby leads one onto the grand metal art staircase that was commissioned by Bawa to portray the Portuguese’s coming to Sri Lanka. The swirling central staircase is topped by a dome with an occulus in Rome’s Pantheon, the classy touch of the Pantheon is widely beautifully crafted and endearing.
All the common areas of the hotel are then placed in the same vertical plane over the reception, all the spaces drawing in the balmy breeze of the majestic Indian Ocean. From the decks of the Lighthouse Galle one is staring into oblivion with the only other landmass being the continent of Antartica. The rooms are then laid out along singly loaded corridors overlooking the ocean. From every corner of the hotel one is treated to the active waters and the breeze I must say, never left my mane! The active breezy atmosphere of the hotel is its most stunning feature, its almost as if Bawa orchestrated the architectural masses as the sails of a ship that worked the breezes to their advantage and drew in literally the ocean currents.
With dabs of turquoise in the windows and the doors, a dash of yellow on the walls and furniture swathed in solid well made Burma teak the delightful quality of the spaces is extended into the interior rooms, mainly through the well balanced proportions. Garnering inspiration from the Galle Fort with all its ramparts Bawa captures the very essence of the charming and delightful town of Galle!
The rooms and the ensuite of this particular hotel deserves a special mention. They are indeed beautifully crafted.
The mischievous breeze also shattered our door glasses! And also brought with it the superstitious 7 years of good luck!
The study that is neatly tucked into a corner with an ocean view to die for! The most inspiring study, ever.