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Architect Till Marzloff (www.marzloff.eu) & Interior Design Retreats co-founder Anna Powers (www.interiordesignretreats.com) in conversation.

Till: Do you remember how we met?

Anna: Oh I remember that day perfectly. About two years ago, when you came to see some land I wanted to lease and have you design and build a home for me. The minute you left, I told my boyfriend: ‘He and I are going to be friends ‘.

Till: I remember very clearly thinking to myself how we must work together and all the ways I am going to convince you not to build that “Mediterranean” dream villa that everyone in Bali wants to build. I knew we could do something much more interesting!

Anna: Ha! Well lucky for you, the land fell through. And my Mediterranean dream was forgotten! But I feel so lucky to have gained a friend with whom I can sit for hours discussing architecture, design trends, interiors, furniture and all of the interesting personalities we encounter in our Bali design life. Speaking of Bali life, I can’t remember how many years you have actually lived in Bali.

Till: I started my Indonesian journey in 2009 moving to Bandung, West Java, where I worked as an architect for six years. I travelled to Bali on many weekends and fell in love with the island. I knew I needed to make it my future home. Seven years ago, I moved my practice to Bali. Fast forward to today … I have 15 architects working for me – and a life I love. My Bali dream really came true.

Anna: Is your Bali dream in five years the same Bali dream you are living now?

Till: Honestly, I am living the dream already, having clients in the Maldives, Europe and all over Indonesia. It is amazing how for the first time in my life, I am not yearning for more. I can finally say, at the age of 46, that I am content in my professional and personal life. All I want is to rest assured that the clients I meet will continue to trust me to design their properties. So tell me, what kind of people are coming on your design tours and do they all share similar aesthetics?

Anna: Since Henne Mercer and I launched our Interior Design Retreats and day tours, we have met so many fascinating people. Most of these people who are living in Bali, either building or renovating, join our tours for inspiration. Their aesthetics are all very different. Some love old school Bali. Some want massive white square monsters. Some want Jakarta style luxury. Some want elegant mud homes. And some still love their Mediterranean chic! Not to mention the purest who love their sustainable bamboo … a trend that is very much thriving.

Till: That makes me very happy to hear. Part of my joy as an architect is having all different styles to choose from when we design buildings. I would be just as excited to design a traditional wooden home as I would be to design a modern white monster!

Anna: But personally, what is your favourite design aesthetic Till?

Till: I am in love with the Balinese design narrative. For me the buildings we design here should feel Bali. Bali is a brand. And there is a modern or a traditional way to incorporate Bali style into all styles of architecture. My job is to take my clients’ taste and turn it into a functioning long-lasting structure within our tropical environment. And of course to make the process enjoyable for all! So many architects are too serious. Too focused on their own personal aesthetic. I choose to be the architect with the infectious laugh that can create not only a beautiful, practical structure, but who can also make the process fun.

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