Architecture of Geoffrey Bawa : Kandalama Hotel - 2 (Kandalama, Sri Lanka)

In contrast with a semi-outdoors open space and public areas, which was realized because the hotel is located in the torrid zone, a guest room is closed.

The big window looking at the landscape of the tank is obliged to close at all times. The reason is simple. It is because the monkey's army came in and out. Even in the 5th floor’s room on the top floor, they appears next to next like a successive attack、going up the green curtain at the end of the terrace. Though a window was not closed perfectly and only a little clearance was opened, monkeys intruded into the room when I noticed. Monkeys who are awesome ! Monkeys who are nimble ! Monkeys who ran away in no time !

After all, while staying in a comfortable nature, I had to stay with the air conditioner on and being isolated from nature. That disappointed me a little because the room was similar to one in the city hotel. Would not there be any other solution?

The majority of the public areas are finished with concrete floors. There, the hotel staffs walked barefoot. I also tried what they were doing. Since the cleaning is perfect, the sole of the foot did not get dirty. In the tropical climate, the concrete is slightly warm and the sole of the foot was comfortable because of its gentle touch. My fellow traveler told me that a guest did not walk with barefoot, but once I knew this comfort, I could not stop that. While staying, I passed barefoot,. Western Europeans, who were the majority of guests, might regard a barefoot Asian as a minor servant.

There are rocks exposed in the interior here and there in the hotel. Rocks appear roughly in the open spaces or in the entrance. The tunnel connecting the entrance and the salon seemed that both points were decided based on the position of a rock rather than passed through the tunnel aiming rocks.

There are many places related to a rock in Sri Lanka as this “Time of Travel” introduced already in the articles preceding Kandarama Hotel. When I found rocks in Kanadalama Hotel, it seemed to me that the spirit of the Sri Lankan people on the topography related to a rock remained in Bawa. After that, I will encounter with a rock repeatedly in the architectures of Bawa that I will visit.

Even if that is a tiny thing, a rock, which connects all from ancient ruins to modern report hotels, is interesting mediation to understand Sri Lanka.

To Japanese Version

Google Maps

10 minutes by car from Dambulla.

Kandalama Hotel

Kandalama Hotel

Geoffrey Bawa the Complete Works (David Robson, Thames & Hudson, 2002)

2008.02 Photos in English version, and photos and text in Japanese version

2018.01 Change of photos and English text

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Kandalama Hotel (1994) - Corridor and Open Space

Kandalama Hotel (1994) - Guest Room

Photo by Daigo Ishii