Architectural Insight: Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali


Have been back from Bali for almost a week already, and yet, I still couldn’t get off my mind from the splendid design and beauty of Alila Villas Uluwatu. It is one of the many villas and resorts I have explored in that particular company study trip to Bali last week. I had written a post on my outcome of learning various interesting details and designs from Bali (can scroll down for the post)  and now it’s time to expand and concentrate solely on Alila Villas Uluwatu , since it is the most outstanding based on my opinion.

The villas, located on the cliff near Jimbaran Bay on the island of Bali, Indonesia facing the southern Indian Ocean is designed by WOHA, an award-winning Singaporean architecture firm. It opened in June 2009, comprises of a 50-suite hotel and 35 residential villas. When I visited the villas, I am fascinated by:

(a) its picturesque setting (on a cliff facing the ocean) and how well it engages the site. Once you step pass the double-volume hotel’s lobby, the ocean’s horizon view is directly in front of you. Perfect view especially during sunset.

(b) its humble one-storey main block to greet visitors with many beautifully-proportioned cut-out boxes, each framing specific views onto something interesting. Playful yet elegant. A bit of disappointment is that the white facades look dirty and old.

(c) its interesting construction details. Impressed by the steel columns with lighting within, the sliding glass panels kept hidden at the side when not in use, treatment to corners of spaces, interesting outdoor-feel washrooms, blend of materials, iconic wood lattice works, etc. And I saw a door, frameless on all of its sides except a bold frame on its swing side, indicating users on where to push for the door to open.

(d) its poetic atmosphere. Its location helps a lot to bring up a very relaxing and pleasing environment beautified with the lovely design of the villas. We have floating boxes of interesting lattice works. We have infinity pool. We have beautiful ornamental pond. Many else. Lighting at night further enhances everything.

(e) its environmental-friendly design approach. After a bit of research on this particular villas, I realized that it is indeed a very ‘green’ building. Rainwater collection and water recycling systems, design following natural contours of land, huge overhangs for natural cooling, efficient grey water system, materials sourced locally, naturally ventilated public areas, low-energy lighting are some of the sustainable approaches by the villas.

Okay..enough of words. Here are some of the many images I took of the villas during the trip:

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You may read more info about the architecture of Alila Villas Uluwatu from this link: http://www.archdaily.com/59740/alila-villas-uluwatu-woha/. I couldn’t see the private villas and suites from the public spaces, the position where I couldn’t go in any further as I’m not the hotel guest. Those places were not visible from the front public spaces, as those are meant to be private. Staying one night there would cost you from at least 1000 USD to over 3000 USD. Only the rich can stay there. I wish too. When I stop by at this heavily-guarded villas (for maximum security and safety since it is located quite far away from town and in a secluded location within the forest), I saw a couple taking wedding pictures. Great choice of place for your wedding shoot. A romantic setting.

‘The design investigates the potential of the fusion of vernacular architecture with modernist design by combining the delights of traditional Balinese pavilion architecture and rural landscapes with modern dynamic treatment of space and form.’

(Copyright reserved to all images in this post)

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One Response to “Architectural Insight: Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali”

  1. This architect looks so different, something is so special in it might be its weird artistic design or construction. There is something that is intriguing me. Nice tough.

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