Bali Building – Alila Villas Uluwatu, Indonesia

Bali Building, Alila Villas Uluwatu, Images, Architect, Info, Development, Photos

Bali Building : Alila Villas, Indonesia

Bukit Peninsular Project, Bali, southeast Asia – design by WOHA

10 Aug 2010

Alila Villas Uluwatu

Location: Bali, Indonesia


Design: WOHA Designs Pte Ltd

World Architecture Festival Awards 2010
WAF Awards : World’s Best Holiday Building


Alila Villas Uluwatu Alila Villas Uluwatu Alila Villas Uluwatu
photos : Patrick Bingham-Hall

This hotel and villa development is designed as an ecologically sustainable development. Located on the dry savannah landscape of the Bukit Peninsular on the dramatic southern cliffs of the Indonesian island of Bali, it comprises of a 50 suite hotel with 35 residential villas. The project is currently under construction.

Alila Villas Uluwatu Alila Villas Uluwatu
photos : Tim Griffith

Contribution to World Architecture Culture

The design investigates the potential of the fusion of vernacular architecture with modernist design. The design combines the delights of traditional Balinese pavilion architecture and rural landscapes with modern dynamic treatment of space and form. The design is based from first principles around the pleasures inhabiting the particular site, rather than assembling stereotypical images of Bali or generic resorts.

A unique design language was developed for the project. Rather than the typical  steep pitched Balinese pavilions, which would have blocked the views on the gentle slopes, and which are not local to the area, the buildings are instead inspired by the local farmers terraces of loose piled limestone boulders. A terraced low pitched roof was developed using Balinese volcanic pumice rock, which is a natural insulating material and can also support local ferns and succulents. These terraced roofs blend with the landscape, keeping the original wide open panoramas that make the site so unique.

Alila Villas Uluwatu Alila Villas Alila Villas Bali
photos : Tim Griffith

The hotel rooms are designed as inhabited gardens, rather than an interior room. The garden walls form the walls of the room, within which sleeping, eating, lounging and bathing occur in a garden environment. Every hotel villa has a pool with a cabana overlooking the sea.

The hillside villas are designed as pavilions linked by bridges across water gardens, tucked into the hillside as terraces. Each villa forms a landscape foreground for the villa behind it.

Alila Villas Indonesia Bali Villas Uluwatu Bali Villas Villas Indonesia
photos : Tim Griffith

Respect for Context / Planet

The design focused on preservation of the qualities of the site from the beginning.

The masterplan respects the contours to avoid cutting and fill. All large trees are maintained or transplanted. Site vegetation was surveyed and documented, with specimens sent to Kew Gardens for identification. A site nursery has been started, propagating the native plants which are being used in the landscape rather than exotic species from nurseries. The local plants are adapted to the dry savannah landscape by going dormant in the dry season and flowering spectacularly and will provide a unique seasonal display of flowers. These native gardens will require far less water, and will encourage local animals and birds to remain in the area.

Materials are all sourced locally – stone walls are using stone from the actual site from the road cuttings, while all other materials are either from Bali or the neighbouring island of Java. Sustainable timbers including coconut and bamboo are used. Craftsmen in Java and Bali are making the interior furniture, lamps and accessories. This strategy makes the development unique in terms of its materials, supports local skills and gives local materials prestige, promoting their use with the locals rather than them aspiring to expensive imported products.

Alila Villas Uluwatu Alila Villas Uluwatu Alila Villas Uluwatu Alila Villas Uluwatu
photos : Tim Griffith

Environmental Awareness

The development has been designed from the start to exceed Green Globe 21 requirements. An environmental consultant drafted an environmental plan from the design stage onwards. The contractor has committed to a environmental quality plan for the construction phase, and the hotel operator has also committed to environmental practices for the running of the hotel.

Environmental techniques used include:

· Design respects natural contours
· Rainwater collection and water recycling in retention ponds
· Aquifer recharging through soaks, swales and rain gardens
· All wastewater goes to grey water system for watering plants and toilet flushing
· All sewerage is treated and sewerage water recycled in grey water system
· Huge overhangs to allow natural cooling
· Water heating using heat pumps.
· Landscaping based on natural vegetation to encourage wildlife
· Landscaping based on dry-climate natural vegetation to save water
· Recycled and/or plantation and/or renewable timber
· Materials sourced locally and even on site (eg rubble walls)
· Saltwater pools rather than chlorine
· Waste separation and recycling
· Naturally ventilated public areas
· Non-chemical termite treatment
· Non-toxic preservative treatment to timber and bamboo
· Low energy lighting
· Nature awareness programs for guests
· Local community involvement in activities outside of the resort
· Employment for surrounding villagers


The development is an appropriate next step in resorts, where luxury does not mean excessive consumption, but instead delight and enjoyment of the natural beauty and sense of place. The development is gentle, embracing the landscape. It is located in an impoverished, dry, rural area, so replacing marginal agriculture with tourism that generates substantial employment and income for local people. It maintains local flora and fauna. Through showcasing local skills, materials and vernacular elements, it confirms the local people’s opinion that they live in a marvellous place that should be cherished and maintained.

Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia – Building Information

Project Location: Jalan Belimbing Sari, Banjar Tambyak Pecatu, Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
Design Inception: Oct 2003
Start of Construction: Jun 2005
Completion: Oct 2008 target date
Gross Floor Area: 26,595 sqm (excluding walls, gardens, walkways, circulation, pool decks, and paved areas.)
Built up Area: 58,635 sqm
Plot Area: 144,642 sqm

Architects: WOHA Designs Pte Ltd
Principal Architect: Wong Mun Summ, Richard Hassell

Alila Villas Uluwatu Alila Villas Uluwatu Alila Villas Uluwatu

Alila Villas Uluwatu Renders : WOHA

Alila Villas Uluwatu Bali images / information from WOHA Designs Pte Ltd Aug 2008

WOHA Designs

WAF Awards 2010 – Alila Villas Uluwatu shortlisted for the Holiday category

To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

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photo : Albert Lim KS

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Indonesian Architecture : British Embassy Jakarta

Comments / photos for the Alila Villas Uluwatu Architecture page welcome

Bali Villas Building