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Brief Garden of Bevis Bawa

The Brief Garden in Beruwala in Kalutara is a landscape garden and the former home of the internationally renowned landscape architect Bevis Bawa.
Brief Garden of Bevis Bawa
The Brief Garden is a landscape garden and the former home of the landscape architect Bevis Bawa. It is located in Beruwala in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka.

Bevis Bawa (1909-1992) was the son of Benjamin Bawa (1865-1923), a rich Colombo lawyer. He was also the brother of renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa [(1919-2003) Cooper, 2009]. After the death of Benjamin, the mother of Bevis gifted him a rubber state named "Brief" in 1928. That estate was known by that name because it had been acquired in lieu of payment of a legal brief (Cooper, 2009). It is said that Bevis's mother who was spending her final years at the Brief during the 1940s, encouraged Bevis to create a garden (Cooper, 2009). Bewis created the garden later, as he had enough time to do so because, by then, the rubber estate was making losses and his duties as equerry to the Governor-General were light (Cooper, 2009).

Donald Friend mural
Bevis's home also had space for his guests/friends such as Vivien Leigh (1913-1967), Laurence Oliver (1907-1989) and Agatha Christie (1980-1976), as well as artists including Barbara Sansoni and Donald Friend [(1915-1989) Gilber & Gollings, 2018]. The "bottle wall" at the Brief garden is said to be a creation of Sansoni and the mural on the wall inside the entrance to the house is a work by Friend (Gilber & Gollings, 2018). The entrance gate posts, many of the concrete and stone statues including the table tennis table on the lowest terrace are the works of both Bevis and Friend (Gilber & Gollings, 2018).

1) Cooper, D.E., 2009. Reviewed Work: Bawa: The Sri Lanka Gardens by David Robson, Dominic Sansoni. Garden History. Vol. 37, No. 1 (Summer 2009), pp. 126-128
2) Gilbert, J. and Gollings, J., 2018. Brief garden. Landscape Architecture Australia, (159), pp.49-54.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 10 April 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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