To our minds, there still isn’t a hotel that’s been built in Bali that comes close to the perfection of Amandari in Ubud. Designed by Australian architect, Peter Muller, and supported by the then-owner, Adrian Zecha, it was a conscious decision to choose to create a pared-down hotel experience. The overall concept was that the property needed to be in harmony with the landscape of the location in which it was built, as well as to follow Balinese philosophy in its features and planning. (To learn more about the subtle delights of the Amandari Hotel from a guest who grew to appreciate the “understated elegance” of the hotel, click here.)
By understanding, incorporating and interpreting anew many features of traditional Balinese construction and crafts, Peter Muller and his team of fellow architects almost single-handedly created “Bali Style”, elements of which can now be found in almost every other tropical location around the world.
Using locally-procured materials and talent, much still had to be tweaked to suit the construction needs of a hotel that catered to the Western traveler and one of the simplest innovations was the addition of a small wooden box at the top of building columns that provided subtle exterior down-lighting and hid a naked bulb.
In this part of the world, adding exterior lighting in this manner is still a common feature in many of our structures, both in hotels and private homes. It gives a romantic look to a property at night whilst still providing safety by having lighting on during the evening. Even better, with the advent of energy-saver light bulbs (which have a rather unappealing look but can last for up to 3 years even with daily use) the box allows them to remain nicely hidden so one can save on electricity bills as well.
We wonder, did Mr. Muller ever imagine that his simple wooden box put in the right place could still give benefits to construction design today? Soft lighting, elegance and now, even a great way to save on power bills without sacrificing beauty in design – such a simple yet timeless innovation.