Contemporary Balinese architecture is known for its combination of traditional aesthetic principles, rich use of natural wood and impressive roofs. It's a popular style of tropical Asian architecture that has come to set the standard for tropical, resort-style living.
So it's no surprise that architects beyond the little island have found inspiration in some of the key elements of this style. Today, we will explore one such home, designed by Japanese architect KobaHaus.
The wooden home is located in the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan. It was built for a small family and has two levels with a total floor area of 140 metres square. The spacious, luxurious feel of the home has clear links with contemporary Balinese design. But it's better to explore them in pictures, so come with us on a photo tour to learn more…
The large roof has been designed to be overwhelming in scale and provides the home with a distinctive tropical character. Large and impressive roof designs are often used in contemporary Balinese architecture. They are bold and contemporary. But they also have a practical purpose. Large roofs were developed to protect homes from the intense winds, rainfall and fierce heat of the South East Asian sun.
On entering the home, we are immediately struck by the dark and distinctive use of natural materials. These dominate the interior decor and reflect the importance of nature in traditional Balinese (and Japanese) architecture. Take note of the kitchen island on the right. We will use this to orientate ourselves as we move through the home.
As we move further inside, we come to a central area with an atrium. Directly in front, we can see the kitchen island we saw earlier and on our right is the living area we will examine in a moment.
Unlike western homes, Balinese ones were often arranged as a series of separate pavilions connected by small gates and courtyards brimming with natural beauty. Although this home is essentially one building mass, there's a similar aesthetic here. The large atrium here feeds lots of light into all these spaces, and infuses the home with an open, natural feel. It also serves as a transitional space and connects the separate, yet open living areas together.
In the living area we have a better sense of how the areas interlock together and work to create a communal feel. The area also offers a rich and interesting variety of natural colours, textures and heights. The ceiling is composed of a series of dark exposed timber beams that draw the eye upwards and create a feeling of openness. At the same time, the rich, warm golden palette offers a warm and cosy feeling to this space.
The galley-style kitchen has been designed to allow the chef maximum engagement with the court area and main traffic areas. At the same time, it has its own strong boundaries. This is largely due to the high slate wall to the right. The wall doesn't impede viewing, but hides the inevitable clutter of a busy kitchen from open view.
We will finish our tour in the elegant timber bathroom. There is a wall-to-wall vanity, handleless bathroom cabinets and a sleek design. There are also plenty of storage cabinets that are sure to help one avoid cluttering up the space. In all, it's the perfect tropical bathroom for such a home. It's warm, minimalist and feels a little bit luxurious.
We hope you enjoyed the journey! If you are interested in wooden homes, you'll love The Japanese Home with a Timber Glow.