Designed by Singapore-based SCDA Architects, renowned internationally for its highly original concepts, Alila Villas Soori is an inspired expression of contemporary Asian architecture that blends
seamlessly with the lush tropical beachfront setting.
Every one of its 48 luxurious pool villas connect living spaces to the soothing sights and sounds of the natural surrounds of the West Bali landscape. Each villa provides panoramic views of the azure Indian Ocean or emerald stretches of rice fields and comes with a vast open-air inner courtyard that lets in natural light and light ocean breezes, an
outdoor pavilion from which to enjoy the scenic views by day or night, and indoor and outdoor showers. The comforts within the villas are no less inviting. Custom designed interiors offer the absolute height in luxury and hi-tech functionality.
Chan Soo Khian, Principal Architect of Singapore-based SCDA architects was given free rein in the design and architecture of the property and with that, was able to create a truly inspired expression of contemporary Asian architecture. Tranquillity and calmness are the
central themes in his design style. To seamlessly blend into the rice fields and coastline, spaces were designed around lush gardens, water courts and air wells, thus sensuously engaging the elements of volume, light and surface. A prime example of this marriage of elements is Spa Alila. Located directly below the reflective pond at the reception, this
secluded sanctuary has an aqua roof that fills the spa with a soothing spectrum of watery light.
“I was trying to incorporate elements of the natural surrounding environment into an elegant expression of contemporary Asian design,” said Chan Soo Khian. “At the same time, blending it seamlessly into the landscape that surrounds this tropical retreat. This is achieved through multiple levels of interconnected space flow from the arrival courtyard right onto the beach. The interplay of fire and water in architectural features reveals a vibrant mix of moods and experiences. Tranquility and vitality, characteristics of Bali is clearly redefined at Alila Villas Soori.”
All the villas in this luxury all-pool villa property were sensitively designed to maximise views of the surrounding beach, sea and paddy fields, while still maintaining a sense of privacy and shelter. Interconnected spaces create a harmonious flow from the interior to exterior space. Buildings were orientated in a way to maximize views to the beach, the sea or the paddy fields while maintaining a sense of privacy and shelter. The orientation also encourages natural light to be filtered into the buildings while minimising heat gain during the daytime. Open courtyards provide natural light and ventilation into the interior spaces while the use of indigenous volcanic rock and the abundance of planters come together to organically cool the villa. With the natural cooling and fresh air circulation in the rooms maximised, the use of air conditioning systems is thus minimised.
Regarding the structure and flow, the resort was designed around the progression of the guest through a series of courtyards. The arrival area of the resort is designed specifically to create an impression instantly upon arrival. As guests enter the resort, they are greeted with the sight of an intimate water court, and as they progress through the arrival areas (especially the reception), a series of different spaces, views and vistas would unfold. Its spatial element and composition is inspired by Balinese palaces and temples.
Chan also took careful consideration in putting the finishing touches to the property, successfully integrating contemporary architecture with traditional Balinese elements. For instance, he specifically commissioned local terracotta artists to create lovely terracotta tiles
carved with traditional Balinese motifs for the resort.
The interior design of each of Alila Villas Soori’s villas is of course as luxurious and beautiful as the architecture of the property, from the play of textures from the different materials used to the choice of colours in the furnishings. Characterized by the interplay of materials which flow from the interior to exterior spaces, the villas’ smooth terrazzo walls and floors are combined with hand brushed natural timber screens, soft silk upholstery are combined with custom designed dark stained timber furniture.
But there is one feature that stands out from each of the rooms, and that is the Java Bed, designed by Chan and commissioned by Poliform, an Italian design company renowned for its sophisticated and original home furniture.
The Java Bed is the first Singaporean-designed furniture piece to be included in the Poliform collection. This sleek, beautifully designed four-poster bed creates an even further sense of elegance in the villas. This bed calls to mind the romance and formality of old European poster beds but it provides an air of simplicity and casualness that is associated with contemporary design language. A perfect amalgamation of East and West, modern and tradition, it is a perfect fit with the understated luxury of Alila Villas Soori.
“For the furnishings, I was adopting an interplay of textures,” added Chan. “Most of the building materials were sourced locally. Materials include terracotta tiles featuring traditional Balinese motif, timber, concrete, terrazzo, silk and volcanic lava stone. For example, I combined soft silk upholstery with custom-designed dark stained timber furniture.”
Lighting was an important factor to reinforce the design concept. For example, Spa Alila at Alila Villas Soori showcases both natural and artificial lighting located directly below the reflective pond at the reception and an aqua roof that fills the spa with a spectrum of watery light.
Lighting amidst the landscape also sets the mood in the evenings. A controlled level of luminance aids in the ambience of both the villas, and common areas like the restaurants and pool.
As with all Alila Villas properties, Alila Villas Soori is designed, constructed and managed in accordance with Green Globe’s rigorous benchmarks for environmental sensitivity. This is in line with Alila’s own long-standing philosophy of luxury living in natural environments while treading lightly to preserve the essence and splendor of the destination. Sensitive site planning, the use of local building materials and native landscaping ensures that the property delicately integrates into the environment.
EC3 Global (Green Design Specialists) was consulted early in the project to consider aspects of sustainable developments. This aided in the incorporation of existent cultural conditions on site – the site is used as an occasional procession route to the nearby temple by the neighbouring villagers.
Local indigenous materials such as Paras Kelating (sandstone from the Kelating district of Bali), Paras Kerobokan (sandstone distinct to the Kerobokan district of Bali), Batu Chandi (local volcanic rock) and Batu Kali (river stones) were used in the construction of the resort as they naturally respond to the local climate. Cool colours were also used as much as possible to promote a sense of tranquillity and spaciousness in addition to lowering the absorption of thermal energy.
Alila Villas Soori is exposed to relatively severe coastal conditions during certain times of the year. This calls for incorporation of a variety of indigenous local plants and coastal ‘hardy’ species, for example Ipomoea Pes-caprae, Scavola Taccada, Cocos Nucifera & Cerbera Odollam.
As mentioned above, the site was exposed to an aspect where the site was used as an occasional procession route to the nearby temple for the neighbouring villagers. The solution in site planning kept this route so as to maintain the existent cultural conditions before the development came onboard.