Off-the-ground Structures with Light Materials and Minimum Footprint

Project: Lift Treetop Boutique Hotel, Ubud, Bali

Architects: Alexis Dornier, Indonesia

The project is a small experimental treetop boutique hotel located in a suburb of Ubud and Bali. The beginnings of the project were a testing ground for ideas on
how to lift structures off the ground, to have a less invasive footprint and impact, more cost effective and faster to build.

Many developments here on this island use high quantities of concrete, and the experience is often times the same. The architects wanted to challenge that and create light architecture while suggesting a surreal mix of industrial impermanent structures embedded into a tropical forest.

Each of the structures has a different organization, material and appearance. Somewhere stuck in the past and the future, it seeks to bridge different aspects of Bali into a memorable experience, and creates a backdrop for pictures to take or keep in mind. The park-like setting holds a small sauna, a little pool, bar, benches and small recreational areas. This, plus the yoga deck way above the ground provides enough reason to stay there for a couple of days. There is a plan on extending the hotel further down to the river. The aim was to create spaces where people could retrieve to, detached and off the ground, unpretentious and reduced to a minimum. The architects wanted to evoke a sense of impermanence and allow for other experimental structures to fill in the blanks in the future. The architects are now collaborating with other architects on experimenting with new shapes, materials and organizational ideas– all surrounding the idea of off-the-ground structures.

Taking advantage of the height on aspects like passive cooling and shading through adjacent trees, being away from mosquito shrub and simply enjoying another vantage point was only a few of the design drivers shaping this place. The architects are welcoming studios to chip in their ideas in form of a small competition that will be launched soon.

Photo credit: kiearch


Architectural and Interior Design: Alexis Dornier

Year of completion: 2019