In the lap of tropical luxury Bali home desig

Set within lush jungle in the Kenderaan village near Ubud and seated atop a steep slope, this house was developed out of its luxurious natural surroundings to serve as a private retreat, for relaxing and refuelling. The GM architects, who noted the beauty of the setting, the interest added by the hill slope, and the ancient Balinese temple on the site, decided to harness the classic tenets of organic architecture in designing the project so as to interfere as little as possible with the habitat.

Belonging to a retired Swiss businessman, the compound comprises the main building, which houses the living and dining quarters, studio mezzanine and kitchen; a separate structure for the bedrooms; and a guest house. As seen above, the main house has a clean geometric form highlighted by the low, sleek slope of the shingled roof. Its inlaid skylight of glass and wood augments the feel of the contemporary while providing ventilation upstairs and light in the living and dining areas downstairs.

The guest house (see left and overleaf), with its glass roof, is a distinctive feature built on two pyramid-like structures. The striking angularity of its walls is offset by the use of polimonon stone, and further enhanced by the horizontal teak inlays. Completing the jungle experience is the large, circular pool behind the main house: situated on the edge of the hill, the pool offers an excellent vantage point from which to soak in the view of the tropical surroundings.

Located next to the sitting area, this transition area to the outdoors features an impressive huge standing lamp. As in other parts of the house, wood and glass play a key role: glass sliding doors with teak frames fill in for the walls, and the wooden frame of the roof slopes over the patio. (See page 192 for credit details.)

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