Bali-based architect Alexis Dornier has designed Lift, a small experimental treetop boutique hotel located in a suburb of Ubud in Bali, Indonesia. “Our architecture studio is in close proximity to it, and 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,” says Dornier.
Most developments in Bali use high quantities of concrete, and there is no novelty in terms of experience. “We wanted to challenge that and create light architecture while suggesting a surreal mix of industrial impermanent structures embedded into a tropical forest,” explains Dornier. Each of the structures has a different organisation, material and appearance.
Straddling the past and the future, the project 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 and pool, bar, benches and small recreational areas. The yoga deck is built on a raised platform. With a successful outcome, the architecture firm is planning on extending the hotel further down to the river.
“Our aim was to create spaces where people could retire to, detached and off the ground, unpretentious and reduced to a minimum. We wanted to evoke a sense of impermanence and allow for other experimental structures to fill in the blanks in the future. We are now collaborating with other architects on experimenting with new shapes, materials and organisational ideas – all surrounding the idea of off-the-ground structures.” – Alexis Dornier
Taking advantage of the height on aspects like passive cooling, passive shading through adjacent trees, being away from mosquito-ridden shrubbery and simply enjoying another vantage point was only a few of the design drivers shaping this place. The practice is inviting other studios to chip in their ideas in the form of a small competition that Alexis Dornier Architects will be launching soon.