Clara Kraft 'Bawa's Garden'

This incredible arthouse movie is an emotional exploration and semi-autobiographical story of one woman's journey to find a garden which had captured her imagination years before when she saw it in a library book in London.

Clara Kraft gives some insight into her film released 75 years since Lunuganga first came into being.

Bawa's Garden Poster

Words by Clara Kraft, Film maker and Architect

As a budding architect, what was it about the Lunuganga photos you found in the book that you found so captivating?

I had never seen anything like it. It looked like an Italian renaissance garden lost in remote jungle. It made no sense and at the same time was completely captivating. I needed to find out who had designed such a place.

Lunuganga Clara Kraft

What made you decide to go on an odyssey to find it?

I was bored with architecture as a profession and needed to find something that would give me a reason to continue. I thought the garden would be that place and it was.

Lunuganga 2 Clara Kraft

Lunuganga Lake Clara Kraft


When you made the film, what did you discover about Bawa’s architecture that has stayed with you?

He built in often very tricky and demanding sites but made it look effortless. He really knew how to use the sites he worked in, and take advantage of their qualities, to the point that the building and site are completely dependant of each other. It’s an exquisite choreography.

Geoffrey Bawa Clara Kraft

No11 Geoffrey Bawa Clara Kraft

Your film is emotional and artistic - what was the message you want to convey ?

Architecture is fused with emotion, film should allow you to experience that. Unlike photographs, film is filled with time and atmosphere, what I try to do is express those qualities of architecture in my films.


Why do you think Bawa is so important in Sri Lankan architecture?

I think Bawa is important for the architects worldwide, because he taught us to be completely unique in our approach and reject established dogmas or passing trends.

Laki Clara Kraft

What did you discover about Sri Lanka during the making of the film?

The most amazing discovery was the people I met, from those that worked with Bawa, both established designers, architects and artists, to the large variety of local crafts people involved in his buildings. In my travels I came across a rich history of craft and artistry. Particularly the work of the textile designer Ena Da Silva.

Ena de Sila Clara Kraft

Clara Kraft Bio

Clara is an architect, filmmaker and educator. Together with Guan Lee and Satoshi Isono, she has been running ADS6 since 2013.

Clara has an Architectural Association (AA) Diploma (2000) and is a fully qualified and registered architect. She also completed an MA in filmmaking at the London Film School, where she was awarded the Skill Set Bursary. As a filmmaker she has directed, photographed and/or produced over 20 films. Her films have been screened in festivals internationally and have won several awards. Since 2000 she has taught architecture and/or filmmaking in various institutions including The Bartlett School of Architecture and Westminster University.

Clara Kraft

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