Bawah Reserve

This eco-resort is located in Pulau Bawah in the Anambas Archipelago, a cluster of islands surrounding 2 lagoons.

The seclusion of the island and its rich flaura and fauna inspire a concept that the resort is part of a botanical expedition encamped on a lost island. The guest is the explorer botanist, his inner childhood is awakened by the design of the resort.

The remote setting initiated a vision for all the resort structure to be designed entirely in bamboo. These were harvested from plantations in java, prefabricated and shipped for assembly on the island. Once on site, the villa bamboo tented structures could be erected in a week.

The larger structure that houses the public facilities were inspired by the island silhouette, and sit upslope in clusters. The structure is reminiscent of the bivalve shell structure. The entire structure comes down on four points to make it easier to build on the hill gradient with the least earth work disruption. The engineering of the bamboo structure were done in collaboration with a professor from Bandung University.

This project was an exercise in experimentation and craft, where the structural solutions, materials and fixing methods are the features of the design. Its strength and fragility were issues that had to be reconciled in the design and tested by building physical model and prototypes.

It is a project that is painstaking, both in the process and execution.