Book on 500 house plans by 88-year old Architect | Sunday Observer

Book on 500 house plans by 88-year old Architect

16 September, 2018

“Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.” - Julia Morgan

It is very notable to see 88-year old Architect Siddick Sultan Bawa still designing beautiful and decorative houses.

The book “House Plans” economically designed by Architect Bawa is a unique exercise of designing compact houses. Over 500 plans of two bedrooms to eight bedrooms, single storey houses, apartments and houses with internal gardens designed at his age of 88 is a real achievement.

None has produced a book of this calibre in the past or in the recent years. This is the first time a 500 House Plan Book was compiled by an architect, he claims. Sunday Observer spoke to the architect who believes he should have a Guinness Book entry.

“I started my career at the age of 20 at the Chief Architect’s Office, Public Works Department in 1950. After working for eight years, in 1958 I proceeded to United Kingdom for architectural studies. I passed the Inter Royal Institute of British Architects in one year in 1959 and was awarded the best student of the year prize in my school,” he says with a smile.

He said that he has worked in private architect’s offices and later joined the London Country Council Housing Division. He worked at the Council for three and a half years and during his term in this office, he was awarded the best worker prize.

In 1965, he had to rush by to Sri Lanka as his father was seriously ill. On return he got married and was practicing as a freelance architect in Colombo. During this period, he designed an eight-bedroom house in Galle with a glass staircase. The “House Plans” Book cover shows him with the glass stairs. “This home is now 26 years old,” he said.

His leisure time activity is designing small houses in imaginary sites. He works in the night and has compiled all his plans into the book “House Plans.” The book is divided into four categories such as two bedrooms to eight bedroom houses, single storey houses, apartments and houses with natural internal gardens. He has printed a few copies for the beginning and would print more according to the demand. The printing cost is very high; yet he has printed to help the younger generation to benefit by his book.

Students of architecture should buy his book as they could learn to design compact plans to cost less than the present trend. Economically planning is his advice to architects of the future bearing in mind the cost of building. He says that he his older than Sri Lanka Institute of Architects as he started his career in 1950.

Bawa is actively doing the designing work at the age of 88 and his experience of 67 years in the field is excellent and something to be appreciated. Bawa works from his home.