A Vernacular Paradise in Bali
Ulaman Wellness Retreat, a carbon zero-project, is created with locally available materials and built by workmen from the vicinity of Kaba Kaba, Bali, Indonesia.
Nestled deep in the rice and paddy fields of Bali, is Ulaman Wellness Resort, a paradise on earth, with flowing light structures deeply engaging with its surroundings. Located inland in Bali, the Ulaman retreat is integrated into a forest that borders luscious rice fields on one side and a dramatic river on the other. The river converges water from the whole area creating a junction of small waterfalls that produces enough flow to power a hydroelectric generator that sustains the power of the buildings within the complex. Merging with nature has been at the forefront in the approach to the design, according to Inspiral Architecture and Design Studio, “not just by operation but by using materials found directly on the site and the immediate locality, therefore enabling the resort to become fully carbon zero.”
The first instigation of this can be seen in the dramatic use of rammed earth for all ground-level walls. “Being located on a hill required significant groundworks, therefore with much excess soil, creating these significant masses of curved walls was easily justified. Along with being able to connect the occupant to the beauty of rammed earth with its physicality and layered colouring, it also maintains superior insulation and structural properties.”
The project was truly vernacular, using material from around the site and using labour from the nearby areas in the construction process, “Being very intensive to build we were able to recruit the nearby village to work on what has become the most substantial rammed earth project in Indonesia,” they say.
“Not only is this fast-growing material incredibly sustainable, its flexibility means were able to create spaces that echo the abundance of life in the tropics. Built objects have been created which seek to biologically morph from the surrounding elements, in effect growing from the ground and sprouting among the rich vegetation. One such building is the yoga studio which literally floats from the cliff’s edge with a cantilevered structure supporting a parabolic bamboo pavilion,” explains the architects.
The rooms themselves are luxurious while giving a cocoon-like effect. The guest villas are also finished in bamboo and the warming tones of rammed earth add to the familiarity the place evokes. The curvilinear formations of the roofs can be admired from different heights and angles while the reflections from the meandering pool below add to the effect.
Inspiral architects have built eight guest rooms and one large, three-bedroom residence for Ulaman Eco Retreat, all of which are characterized by an eco-luxury aesthetic. The curvilinear formations of the roofs can be admired from different heights and angles, while the reflections from the meandering pool below add to the effect. the prospect for phase two will see a featured restaurant, river spa, and elevated pod rooms intertwined with the existing trees.
Project Name: Ulaman Retreat
Architecture Firm: Inspiral Architecture and Design Studio
Contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Firm Location: Bali, Indonesia
Site Area : 3500 sqm
Total floor area : 980 sqm
Completion Year: 2020
Gross Built Area:980 sqm
Project location: Kaba Kaba, Bali, Indonesia
Lead Architects: Charlie Hearn, Laura TikaMEDIA PROVIDER:
Photo credits: Mati Allendes
Photographer’s website: matiallendes.com