Keywords Change this

Modernism, Tropical Modernism

Project timeline

1949 – 1950


Private House

Location Change this

Albert Crescent
00200 Colombo
Sri Lanka

Architect Change this


Article last edited by Bostjan on
September 11th, 2019

The Coomaraswamy Twin Houses Change this

Colombo, Sri Lanka
by Minnette de Silva Change this

Around 1980

1 of 8

Description Change this

The Coomaraswamy Twin Houses in Albert Crescent were built in 1970 and seemed to herald a new chapter in Minnette’s work. They marked the end of her mainstream career. The design was one of Minnette’s most accomplished and was a successful fusion of Corbusian modernism with traditional Sinhalese vernacular.

Each house was on three storeys – a many living level, a bedroom level and an attic. The bedrooms were arranged in an ‘L’ around the triple height living space under a swooping tiled roof and were linked around the outside by a continuous balcony. The interiors remained cool throughout the year. Sometimes Geoffrey Bawa dropped in occasionally for a drink, simply because he admired the house and enjoyed sitting in its cavernous living room.

The houses were built by Colombo Commercial Company and the engineer was Chelvadurai, father of the architect C. Anjalendran. They were demolished in the mid-1990s. The architect Channa Daswatte bought the timber and used it in the construction of his own house.



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