Designed by master Sri Lankan architect the late Geoffrey Bawa, this private home turned luxury villa atop the red cliffs of Mirissa on Sri Lanka’s south coast looks, from the outside, to be little more than a roof floating among the coconut palms. Yet this minimalist marvel, crafted from steel and glass, is arguably one of the architects most important works – a late example of Bawa’s tropical modernism, for which he was so renowned. In his signature style, it blends into the natural environment around it – creating a space that moves seamlessly from indoor to out.
Built on the site of the former holiday home of former president and prime minister of Sri Lanka JR Jayawardene, it is this openness and simplicity that enables the property to showcase the drama of the topography. The bluff-top vantage point offering unrivalled views, the edges of the property seeming to fall away, leaving only sweeping sea vistas out over Weligama Bay – best enjoyed from the corner infinity pool that seems to hang over the ocean.
The whole effect of Bawa’s design fuses indoor and outdoor living to create a modern yet liveable space that immerses you in the natural environment around you. Spread across two levels, the villa feels expansive, with a large open-air pavilion providing the main living space from which you can soak up the ocean vistas. The villa’s three bedrooms, each boast their own en-suites and distinctive character – a king-sized master on the first floor, and another king and twin on the lower level of the property. There is a large well-equipped kitchen, but the villa also comes with a fantastic chef who will cook breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout your stay.
While the design of the villa may be modern, a walk around the landscaped gardens will transport you back in time, with a historic temple hidden within the grounds, and families of monkeys playing in the trees above you. At the bottom of the garden, a private staircase of around 100 well-built steps lead down to a private section of beach located at the bottom of the cliffs, with another small beach just a few minutes walk away.
Located on the northern outskirts of Mirissa, the location affords not only fantastic views but easy access to some the very best the region has to offer. Whale watching tours depart from nearby Mirissa Bay, one of the most reliable places in the world to see Blue Whales, while the exotic fort town of Galle is under an hour away. Tempted? Read our article here for seven more reasons to visit Sri Lanka’s south coast.
Red Cliffs Villa is available to book through Eden Villas in Sri Lanka (www.evinsl.com) and starts from $450 USD per night based on 6 people.