Steeped in Balinese tradition


Unlike other holiday villas in Bali that combine the western concept of a retreat with Balinese exoticism, the DRA House in Sanur, a recent masterpiece of d-associates, is a vacation home crafted with simplicity and an understanding of the philosophy of the traditional Balinese compound, resulting in a humble abode fit for a tranquil time in the island.

Photo by Mario Wibowo Photography

Located in Sanur, Bali, this holiday home is designed as a family retreat that stands in contrast with the owner’s private residence in Jakarta in terms of theme and physical shape. The team at d-associates offered an approach through that stemmed from the general rules observed in creating a Balinese traditional compound. Implementation at the villa can be seen both philosophically and visually through the breakdown of its shape and the conceptual separation between the outside and the inside areas.

The two-story villa stands on a site of 1,277 sqm that stretches to the back. On the elongated side of the site, d-associates created a building mass on the left while the right houses an open area that functions as a foyer, garden and swimming pool. With this kind of zoning, the main rooms, namely the four bedrooms, living room and dining area can enjoy large openings towards the north and south without being bothered by the incoming rays of the sun.

The main structure of the home’s interior is split into two, both vertically and horizontally. Vertically, the house features a solid box shape on the top floor with opening panels along the side of the house, indicating the position of the main private rooms. This is in contrast to the open and transparent floor below, where the common room is located. Horizontally, a large mass can be seen, clearly zoned into two areas: the public and semi-public areas as well as the more private area on the ground floor.

Entering the site, we will be directed toward the foyer on the right that takes its inspiration from the aling-aling, a structure commonly found in traditional Balinese houses, which is made of recycled ulin timber. Following the meandering path leading toward the left side of the building, we can see the focal point of the site in the form of a garden and a swimming pool on the left that runs along the length of the site. For occupants, there is a small access on the south from the garage into the kitchen that connects with the dining area.

The public and semi-public areas are brilliantly segregated by d-associates by a semi-open space with a private area at the back of the site towards the west. Visually, the two functions do not appear to be separated, thanks to the use of the same material for the roofs. Only on a closer inspection can we see the transparent pattern that is applied in the transitional room.

Going towards the back, right beside the swimming pool, is a living room that is adjacent to the staircase to the second floor. Also on this floor is a guest bedroom located at the rear. The entire second level is used for bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, including a master bedroom that is positioned at the front, right above the dining area. A “bridge” was made to connect the two masses on the second floor and are separated by a transitional room that is clad with a transparent skin.

The holiday home also has a basement area that is designated as a service area at the front and an entertainment room that can be accessed from a flight of stairs at the end of the pool. The placement of the two massive functions on the basement allows the overall ground level of the house to stay transparent and open, in support of the more solid second floor. Seen from the side, the elongated house bears a close resemblance to a house on stilts.

Timber and stone dominate the materials in this 897-sqm house. The two natural elements provide warmth, as well as a tranquil, simple and humble ambience. The natural colours of the materials continue the colour scheme of the design, including unembellished finishing for some walls and the white shade found in several corners of the house. The serenity of the house lies in perfect synergy between the architecture and the impressive interior design of Grahacipta Hadiprana.

From the street, the building looks unassuming and understated for a two-story holiday house or villa. The play of land elevation and mass in the hidden carport area, the front landscape adorned with a pond and the separate foyer are examples of strategic configuration that allows the main gate area, which leads to the main building, to blend seamlessly with the main street in front. In addition, the wooden roof, choice of materials and colours as well as the simple design ensures that the humble appearance for this vacation home offers the privacy and warmth requested by the owner. It is the perfect family retreat, where the occupants can escape from the complexity of life in the capital.

Project Name

DRA House


Sanur, Bali

Land Area

1,277 sqm

Gross Floor Area

897 sqm

Architecture Consultant & Lighting Designer


Principal In-Charge

Gregorius Supie Yolodi

Partner In-Charge

Maria Rosantina

Senior Project Architect

Kunti Dewanggani

Interior Design Consultant

Sammy Hendramianto for Grahacipta Hadiprana

MEP Consultant

Rusman Riady

Civil & Structural Consultant

Krisna Triadi

Main Contractor

Paul Tendean (PT CKBP)





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Anton Adianto
Anton Adianto graduated from Parahyangan Catholic University majoring in architecture. His passion for writing, watching movies, listening to music, uncovering design, exploring the culinary world, traveling, delving into the philosophy of life, meeting people and disclosing all matters related to technology feeds his curiosity. Currently he resides in both Jakarta and Bandung.