A surfer’s paradise is arguably the surf with its rolling waves. Of course, you would think that if you hadn’t seen Alexis Dornier’s three Uluwatu Surf Villas in Bali. The German architect took all the humble materials found in Bali and created living spaces that are a blend of indoor and outdoor—and are the perfect temptation to bring surfers in off the waves.
Dornier decked these villas out in natural limestone and reclaimed teak. Each of the houses has their own character and vibe. “Each project is new and different,” says Dornier, “but they all somehow derive from the question of what is good about the past, what is memorable and what do people associate with the place.” Dornier’s vision was to bring in the culture surrounding the resort, which is located in Uluwatu on the southernmost tip of Bali—an area renowned for big waves and surfing.
The first villa, the Carbon house, features a triangular pergola that extends out at an angle to offer shade for the swimming pool. “The wooden sun sail reaching over the diamond-shaped pool, partly abstracting and framing both the ocean view and the sky. It becomes the memorable object of this house,” says Dornier. The house is a single story building offering an open floor plan with four bedrooms, an open-air lounge, kitchen, and dining area.
The Aperture House is a treatise on privacy. “All facades are more or less equal, layered by the exterior shading elements,” says Dornier. “These filter the light, provide privacy, and give the user the opportunity to passively cool all rooms.” The walls of this home are essentially large windows, yet privacy is perfectly maintained by teak sunshades that can be opened or closed. “The reconfiguration of those elements throughout the day and night gives the small building an ever-changing appearance,” adds Dornier.
The final villa is the Puri Bukit. This house’s roof is set at a steep pitch, which is emphasized by its exposed structure and angular skylight. “The absence of suspended ceilings give each room a unique character. The skylight brings in natural light and gives the space a chapel-like feel,” explains Dornier. The house is set in a pentagonal plan with bedrooms organized around the perimeter.
Regardless of the villa you stay in, the Uluwatu Surf Villas are what they are designed to be—memorable.