Ondy Sweeting reads Building Your Bali Dream Villa by Guy Morgan and discovers a wealth of helpful tips on what to do – and more importantly what not to do – when it comes time to build your home here.
When it comes to building an Insta-perfect pad in Bali – there are few who are more informed than the island dwelling architect Guy Morgan.
Guy is an epic design practitioner who is able to take a narrative and massage it into contemporary technologies and unrepentant luxury using vernacular forms and regional traditions. He has worked with a large resort design company on such iconic properties as The Four Seasons Jimbaran – a fabulous building that has withstood the test of time with extraordinary grace and timeless beauty – as well as the Ayung Resort in Ubud and Taj Coral Reef Maldives.
He knows a thing or twenty about building in Bali and has distilled it with co-author Lynne Payne into a no-frills tool, which is a hugely relevant and useful book for anyone considering their first build in Bali. Those into property porn will love it, too as it is not only practical but is full of beautiful images from Morgan’s own labour of love – Tamu Seseh – his private villas on the west coast of Bali.
Building Your Bali Dream Villa is a DIY guide to create a sustainable, culturally sensitive and lux villa.
The book outline’s Guy’s early experiences as a newbie who came from Australia via a busy hotel and resort architectural practice in Jakarta. He is candid about the strange challenges such as how to move a temple from your newly acquired land or have your neighbours’ transition their pigs to another part of their property. It also explores how to work in tandem with the village as a concerned partner.
A chapter dedicated to the ‘ABC’ – administration, budget and construction – helps to bring reason about how to handle legalities, construction time, contracts, shanty towns that pop up as workers accommodation and how to manage time delays during the wet season.
Unsurprisingly design elements are a large component of the book with a ‘Design Diary’ running across two chapters kicking off as a guide to developing a brief and how to secure the right architect through to explorations – and revelations – about every possible room found in a Bali villa. This includes service areas, staff kitchens and maid quarters as much as living space, bedrooms, bathrooms and where security staff should be posted. He uncovers the importance of proper ventilation, floor covering issues, waste management and temple placement. There is a chapter on windows, walls, finishes and fans. Every page has a ‘notes’ section for users to annotate.
Building Your Bali Dream Villa is persuasive manifesto for being true to the beautiful residential style of Bali and the way traditional homes are built and how new builds can honour these ancient traditions in a sustainable way.