The new normal has given us a new perspective on the value of nature in our lives, we have longed to be outdoors freely and breathe in fresh air without any worries. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we must take care of our environment because it does have the ability to heal if given time and space – this is why a sustainable lifestyle is now more crucial than ever as we still may have a chance to slow down the climate crisis. However, when most people think about living sustainably, they think it means sacrificing luxury but the Ulaman Eco-Retreat Resort made mostly from bamboo is here to show you that sustainability can be well integrated into luxury.
Designed by Inspiral Architects, this eco-resort is located in Bali’s Kaba-Kaba village. It has been constructed using materials found directly on the site and the immediate locality which helped the resort become completely carbon zero. Apart from bamboo, rammed earth has been used for the resort‘s ground-level walls. Rammed earth is a wonderful green alternative to concrete which is responsible for more than 8% of the construction industry’s emissions which contributes to 30% of global greenhouse emissions. Traditional rammed earth is made from clay-rich soil, water, and natural stabilizers like animal blood or urine and plant fibers that have been packed down tightly for durability. The resort showcases the qualities of rammed earth in a luxury setting and shines more light on it in hopes to make it a popular choice as we work towards reducing emissions. Each guest villa has a curvilinear roof that looks like art from any height or angle.
“We need to be inspired by the spaces we live in, both the built environment, the natural, and their harmonious existence,” says the team at Inspiral. By harnessing available natural resources like the nearby river’s flow, the resort is able to power a hydroelectric generator that sustains the buildings within the resort. “Being very intensive to build, we were able to recruit the nearby village to work on what has become the most substantial rammed earth project in Indonesia,” explains the Balinese architectural collective when describing the curved walls on the ground level. Bamboo was the right choice for this tropical resort as it is sustainable, flexible, cost-effective, seismic-resistant, and fire-resistant. It also brings a cultural element of abundance and good luck to the space which makes it more authentic. The luxury resort includes all amenities but the two most interesting ones are the yoga studio and pool. The yoga studio floats from the cliff’s edge with a cantilevered structure supporting a parabolic bamboo pavilion and the meandering pool resembles the river nearby that also powers the resort. The Ulaman team hopes to expand their retreat with a river spa and suspended pods to further immerse guests in their lush natural surroundings.
Designer: Inspiral Architects