Idyllic villa in Bali

The triumph of natural textures in the Studio Jencquel project.


Architect Maximilian Zhenkel of Indonesian Studio Jencquel has restored a traditional Balinese vantilan house and filled it with natural wood, bamboo, jute and reeds. The building is located on a hill above the dense jungle.

Aware of the importance of protecting the rainforest, Zhenkel designed the house so that no tree would be harmed. The building is oriented to the east and overlooks the green sea of trees, the Campuhan mountain range and the Agung volcano. From here you can watch the rising of the moon at night, hence the name of the villa: Rumah Purnama (House of the Full Moon).

Thanks to the lush garden and the surrounding walls, the territory of the villa is safe from outsiders and protected from the outside world. Visitors enter the garden through the traditional Balinese Angkul Angkul gate, and a winding path leads to a bamboo staircase. The house with an expressive thatch roof (made from local grass called impera cylindrical) seems to be a natural element of the landscape.

Natural materials also define the look of the villa’s interiors. The door is made of solid tamarind, the ceilings in the bedrooms are paneled with local bankray wood and straw, rattan lamps hang over the dining table, the floors are covered with jute carpets, and the furniture is upholstered in linen fabrics. A palette of chocolate, cinnamon and sandy shades unites the spaces of the two-story house. Its layout is traditional: on the first floor there are a hall, a guest room, a living room, a kitchen and a dining room, and on the second there are bedrooms. The cobbled wood terrace features a lounge area and a view pool.

Zhenkel made the open-plan area calm and light by painting the walls and ceiling milky white, and covering the floor with white terrazzo. The long dining table is framed by a bench with white cushions and wooden chairs designed by the architect. The painting on the wall belongs to him. In the living room, Zhenkel put a laconic sofa upholstered in white linen and a massive teak and marble table, and over the sofa hung a large painting depicting a dove.

In the interior of the bedrooms, the architect used a time-tested combination: cozy canopy beds, jute carpets, carved wood objects and translucent curtains. Sculptures from the island of Kalimantan and small stone figurines by local craftsmen give an authentic flavor.

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