History of Kandy House


The Kandy House built by the British Architect Andrew Boyd in 1942. Built for the millionaire patron of the arts, Harold Peiris was also the owner of the famous and now demolished Alfred House. The Kandy House was built to accommodate the views of the City of Kandy and the mountain ranges of Hunasgiriya and Hantane.


Andrew Boyd, during his two-year period in Sri Lanka at the end of the 1930s and early 40s, designed four houses, three in Colombo and one in Kandy: a house in Colpetty; two semi-detached houses at Alfred House Gardens dated 1940; and Kandy House dated 1942. Of these, three have been demolished and only Kandy House remains. Its uniqueness derives from the fact that it is one of the earliest surviving examples of ‘modernist’ architecture in South and Southeast Asia and one of the most ‘Corbuserian’ designs by a mid-century British architect. With an attitude of the International Style using clean, crisp lines and materials such as concrete, glass and timber The Kandy house is really a work of art.


It is in itself a page in the history of 20th century architecture, and occupies a site with an extensive garden overlooking the Kandy Lake and city. It is described in the following way in the World Architecture Series:


“The house, with its spectacular views of Kandy, is noteworthy for its innovative planning and amazing sense of modern aesthetics-clearly ahead of its time in relation to architecture of the time on the sub continent.” [1]



Total extent of entire property - 174.6 perches

  Out of the entire property the Kandy House is built on a plot of 66 perches

  The floor area of the Kandy house is approximately 10,000 square feet and has an architectural history since it was built in 1942 by the British architect Andrew Boyd and was known as the White House in the past.

  The Spaces of Kandy House :  
  Ground Floor    
  2 carports and open parking area for approximately 5 cars.  
  A Bedsitter comprising of a study and a bedroom with attached bathroom on the ground floor. This study has a open terrace to the main garden  
  The kitchen unit for the Main house with access from Pantry on Upper floor has a large cooking area, 2 stores, pantry, a maids' quarter/ toilet with an open court.  
  A large garden (which was landscaped previously as a rose garden and fruit orchard. Also remains of an air raid shelter built for World War II)  
  Upper floor    
  A spacious dining and sitting hall connected to a large balcony overlooking the Kandy lake and temple of tooth relic.  
  The balcony is connected to the garden and terrace below.  
  Four Bedrooms, two large bathrooms, large open to sky shower and wash area  


Publications on Andrew Boyd:

  • Ted, H. 1962, Andrew Boyd Memorial Issue- Keystone Association of Building Technicians Journal, vol 36, no 03.
  • Anjalendran, C.2000, '50 years of architecture in Sri Lanka', SLIA, vol 102, no 03.
  • Anjalendran, C. and Wanasundera, R. 1990, 'Trends and Transitions', Architecture+ Design.
  • Robson, D. 2007, Beyond Bawa : modern masterworks of monsoon asia, Thames and Hudson.
  • Heuvel, D.V.D, Mesman, M. and Lemmens, B. 2008, The Challenge of Change: Dealing with the Legacy of the Modern Movement, IOS Press.
  • Frampton, K. and Mehrotra, R. 2000, 'World Architecture-A Critical Mosaic 1900-2000', Vol. 8, p.73.
  • Architectural Review July 1940
  • Architectural Review March 1947
  • Robson, D. 2009, Anjalendran-Architect of Sri Lanka, Turtle Publishing, p.223.


Publications on Kandy House and Andrew Boyd:


Publications by Andrew Boyd:

  • Andrew, B. 1939, Houses by the Road, Ceylon Observer Annual.
  • Andrew, B. 1947, A People's tradition, vol 01, no 02.
  • Andrew, B. 1962, Chinese Architecture and Town Planning: 1500 B.C. - A.D. 1911, Holmesdale Press Ltd., London.



  1.  Frampton, K. and Mehrotra, R. 2000, 'World Architecture-A Critical Mosaic 1900-2000', Vol. 8, p.73.
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