A Balinese Home Draws on a Tourist Industry Success
The use of local materials in building an elegant thatched resort in Bali became the inspiration behind this second home for American couple Mark and Mary Jane Edleson who have worked and vacationed on the island for many years.
They selected the Malaysian trained architect Yew Kuan Cheong because of his success in creating several large-scale tourist resorts using these principles. As president of the Asian hotel chain Alilia, Mark was familiar with Cheong’s work.
Attention to the small details of sustainable living nourishes Cheong’s vision of a local Balinese architectural vernacular. Traditionally, Balinese architecture is influenced by the Hindu tradition that arrived on the island via the Spice Islands and Java as well as by the much more ancient Polynesian style of building, that long predates the Indian influence.
The Edelson’s love of Indonesian textiles was the inspiration for this unique handcrafted brickwork creating textured walls that offset the rich woods of the paneling, using the light from above to cast the shadows on the relief.
A traditional Balinese kitchen forms the center of their new home. Throughout the house, the unselfconscious use of natural materials such as thatch roofing, bamboo poles, woven bamboo, coconut wood, and mud and stone, organic statements in complete harmony with the environment, marks this style of architecture.
A second kitchen is contemporary, with the latest high tech equipment, for Jane, who is a cooking enthusiast. But its light comes in filtered by the jungle through traditional bamboo window openings.
The Edlesons chose to make their island within the more traditional culture, in the inland jungle region of Ubud, far from the tourist mecca of palm lined beaches, tropical climate and modern resorts.
Traditional handcrafts such as this locally crafted bamboo-supported tropical wood table provide the decoration for their home, and the predominant colors are the warm, ethnic soft reds and browns of natural indonesian dyestuffs.
But their home is not alone in an isolated area of the jungle. The very affluent area has been the center of dance, art and music for over a century and continues to attract connoisseurs in literature, fine art, film and design.