Ulaman Eco-Luxury Resort

  • Location: Kaba Kaba, Bali
  • Building: Wellness Resort
  • Site Area: 7600 sqm
  • Total Floor Area: 3100 sqm

 

Nestled in the heart of Kaba-Kaba, Bali, the Ulaman Eco-Luxury Resort is a haven of tranquility that seamlessly connects with its natural surroundings. Surrounded by lush forests, picturesque rice fields, and a breathtaking river, the resort embodies a deep reverence for nature. Sustainability lies at the core of the resort’s ethos, evident in its design and operations. Harnessing the power of the river, a hydroelectric generator provides sustainable energy to the entire complex. Supplementary to the river, a swamp wasteland was completely revived, becoming a lake that functions as a reservoir for its hydroelectric turbines and has created a micro-ecosystem that adds light and ambiance to the site. Solar panels in the parking area further contribute to the resort’s sustainable energy sources.

Locally sourced materials, such as rammed earth, bamboo, natural stone, and recycled timbers not only enhance the resort’s low carbon status but also offer excellent insulation and structural properties. The earth used for the rammed earth was taken from the site and a team of local’s recruited and trained from the nearby village, resulting in great connection between the project and local community. In addition a materials and construction 3D physical model gallery is located at the reception of Ulaman as an educational tool to those who visit.

Bamboo, a remarkably sustainable material, is extensively used in the resort’s construction, showcasing the unique beauty of bamboo architecture which seamlessly blends with the surrounding vegetation, along with the warm tones of rammed earth, with curvilinear roof formations that can be admired from various angles and aspects. The yoga studio is a true architectural marvel, with its cantilevered structure supporting a parabolic bamboo pavilion, seemingly suspended on the edge of a cliff. The guest villas and rooms provide an eco-luxurious experience, enveloping guests in a nurturing and cocoon-like environment. The dining areas feature geometric pods that serve as mini holistic cathedrals, perched above a sacred junction of waterfalls.

The resort also incorporates composite SIP panels, which are visible in various roof structures and the spa building. These panels, made from recycled and recyclable EPS with earth-based, fiber-reinforced polymer renders, are lightweight, strong, and highly insulative. Ulaman Eco-Luxury Resort represents a harmonious blend of sustainable technologies and materials, showcasing a cohesive and innovative approach to eco-friendly practices. The extensive use of rammed earth within the project leads us to the conclusion that this is most likely the largest rammed earth project in Southeast Asia.

The eco-dreamscape that is Ulaman stands at the forefront of tropical sustainable design, its vision transcends the present, where sustainable design is no longer a distinct category, but rather an integral element in all building designs. The methods employed to preserve and revive the surrounding ecosystem have set the bar for what is possible when the architectural designer is dedicated to the pursuit of sustainability.

 

Sustainability

The Ulaman Eco-luxury resort was designed with the goal of serving as a global model for the harmonious integration of sustainable design elements and the practical means of achieving and implementing them. The primary impetus behind this design, as well as all of our others, was the rapid increase in unsustainable development on our island, which has resulted in significant problems with water scarcity and waste management.

Here are a few sustainable components and techniques from this project:
1. locally sourced widespread use, environmentally friendly, and low-carbon construction materials and techniques
2. Eco-design concepts (high insulation, maximizing natural ventilation, low energy applications, etc.)
3. Preservation and restoration of ecosystems and ecology (lakes and green roofs)
4. Lightweight & elevated structure building materials (SIP)
5. Sustainable technology (energy inverters, bio septic tanks, photovoltaic, solar thermal, hydroelectric & low-energy MEP systems)
6. Harvesting rainwater
7. Establishing a profound setting emphasizes the coexistence of architecture and nature
8. Communicating and educating visitors about these applications of green design

The project is sensitively situated on a former quarry, which then became a coconut grove, and is surrounded by much natural beauty. Within is a small river and a number of significant trees. We were able to preserve these trees by either building around them or integrating them into the building. A number of other trees were moved successfully and replanted on other areas of the site. Smaller bush and bramble were cleared, however more indigenous plant species were introduced in the landscaping as well on a number of green roofs. One part of the site was a swamp caused due to cutting off the river for agricultural purposes. We were able to reintroduce this former lake which also enabled this large water body to power the hydro electric generator. Other areas of the site have growing areas with fruit trees, herbs and vegetables which are integrated into the resorts cuisine.

The architecture itself tries to embody biophillic design in its form, identity, and materiality. The whole experience has been about bringing the building into balance with the surrounding natural surroundings and giving the occupant a strong sense of connection. Structures’ geometries adapt to natural references while also serving a functional purpose by providing canopies for natural ventilation and shade. Throughout, filtered natural light is utilised, negating the need for artificial lighting during the day. Natural materials permeate the project in a very tactile sense, allowing the occupant to appreciate their use and inspiring this type of building as an opulent alternative that greatly deviates from traditional luxury hospitality. The intention is to encourage visitors to feel at ease and to embrace this organic idealism on a physical level, which can lead them to further explore their own ideas about living.

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