Settled on a clifftop, high above the sea and within the dry savannah landscape of the Bukit Peninsular on the Indonesian island of Bali, sits the lush oasis of Alila Villas. An exotic hotel comprising of 50 hotel suites and 35 residential villas.
Alila Villas create something truly special through the fusion of vernacular architecture, modernist design and sublime Landscape Architecture. The traditions of Balinese pavilion architecture are achieved through a composed and well considered series of semi-transparent rectangular boxes, with delicate timber screens working their way from floor to ceiling. The effect allows the water views to always remain the focal point. The internal and external architecture of the space responds to the site, responds to the natural environment and delivers a design not considered typical for the Balinese resorts known by many.
Designed by Singapore based architecture practice WOHA, the Alila Villas in Uluwatu is the first hotel in Bali to receive the highest level of certification for environmentally sustainable design (ESD). This was achieved through a number of sustainability initiatives such as; design respecting natural contours, rainwater collection, recycling, and retention ponds, overhangs allowing for natural cooling, natural saltwater pools, low energy lighting and engagement with the local community as well as employment for surrounding villagers.
The architects have been able to create the design in such a way that the landscape architecture seamlessly flows itself into the interior spaces. The use of water within the landscape acts as a mirror, reflecting lush palm trees and greenery. This technique helps to blur the border between the internal and external spaces of the villas.
Extending beyond the physical arrangement of this resort, WOHA launched a homewares brand WOHAbeing at the 2017 Maison&Objet with key pieces of the collection based on, and used within the Alila Villas. Included within the collection were lighting pieces as well as bathroom décor. Through the use of custom designed furniture, the villas are able become an all-encompassing design ethos and experience.
The Alila Villas position themselves as an appropriate next step in resort and lifestyle living. The villas demonstrate how lux does not necessarily have to align itself with consumption. They prove that environmental and social sustainability can be at the forefront of a design and that the outcomes can still result in a beautiful, well refined experience. The architect’s ability to incorporate local vernacular and a contemporary design strategy help make Alila Villas at Uluwatu a destination within itself.