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In today’s busy and stressed times, the world is full of people who appear to have everything, yet crave for a lifestyle which cannot be achieved merely by a fat bank balance. There are other people who are so weighed down with the stress of their everyday existence that they crave for a haven which will allow their souls to heal themselves. Still others would like to move away from the consumerism that overpowers the world economy to live a life of quiet balance with the environment.

Below, we carry a brief introduction to a place which can offer all this and more, for those who can afford to opt for a Lifestyle.

Let us look at the Philosophy that forms the corner stone of this rather unique enterprise.

In order to be able to provide for all the things as stated above, what is needed is to provide a social fabric and a culture. At the House Village and the Bloo Lagoon, this has been attempted by creating an entire village.

As described by the founders of this wonderful concept, House are inspired by meditation pavilions and the traditional Japanese tea house adapted for western needs.

Originator, international artist-architect, Tony Gwilliam explains “For years I have contained a simple house, maybe a Taoist’s home and many times I have sketched a simple structure–a space for conscious living. Whilst traveling in Bali I often found myself staying in simple pavilions amongst the rice fields. I felt happy there, protected from the sun and rain yet connected to the universe around me. Watching the moon, listening to the insects, feeling in touch with my essence. One day in
A welcoming home - simple and earthy  
1996, this brilliant yet simple house design came to me and the first house was soon hand-crafted in Ojai, California, later to be followed by others back in Indonesia, its birthplace. Each is imbued with its own feeling of place.”

The principles of Wabi-sabi are unconsciously followed in the design of this House. Wabi–sabi is described as the “beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional. Get rid of all that is unnecessary. Wabi–sabi means treading lightly on the planet and knowing how to appreciate whatever is encountered, no matter how trifling, whenever it is encoun-tered.
  A beautiful butterfly grill on the gate gives a glimpse of the peace within.
‘Material poverty, spiritual richness’ are  Wabi–sabi bywords.” Leonard Koren, Wabi–sabi, stone Bridge Press, Berkeley.

“The House village ‘ethos’ is to live in harmony with the natural surroundings and the town of Padangbai, preserving and enhancing the beauty and integrity of the local culture. The underlying aim of the House village is to improve the life of all participating individuals, the buyers, guests and villagers and life on the planet through following eco principals.”

For hot, balmy afternoon – a deep shade and a scenic view  
A symbiotic relation is nurtured between the natives and the guests, as described here -
“The Village aims to create a co-operative environment of mutual exchange where all parties benefit. This is supported by employing local village people wherever possible and exchanging our skills e.g.
The residents and guest can provide language teaching, diving, computer skills, cooking, health techniques, accounting skills, building skills and the villagers in their turn teach us their local language, ecology, Customs, craft ways, culture, religion, and smiling attitude.

  A home which opens up to the elements – wonderfully translucent.
A flexible creative environment has been created which enriches the lives of both the local Balinese and international guests through right development and sustainability techniques.”

The other important aspect of these tourism centres is the stress on environmentally sound design, which permeates through to the lifestyle. This is most evident in the theme and content of the ‘Bloo Lagoon’. In fact, their catch line is ‘Bloo is the new Green.’

For hot, balmy afternoon – a deep shade and a scenic view  

As explained on their site, “This play in words denotes our resolve to address environmental issues in a multifaceted way. In the Bloo Lagoon project we are very conscious of our relationship not only to the ‘green’ land ecosystem but also the ‘bloo’ ocean ecosystem below. Decisions that we make on land can have a big impact on the fish, turtles and living coral of the Lagoon.

In keeping with our existing practice of doing more with less and keeping our house consistently simple and small–but functional and spacious–we continue to incorporate relevant new technologies to make our projects more sustainable.”

  The river winds lazily through the settlement like a big, green snake

All the lighting fixtures in the project are light emitting diodes (LED’s) that give good balanced light whilst consuming only 4 watts each. Their initial higher cost is soon offset by the saving in electricity and very long life of the lamp. As they shall not need replacing for many years we are eliminating expensive fancy light fittings and building the lamps directly into the building structure.

The swimming poll uses ionization for water purification and minimizes chemicals use.

To decrease pollution and noise, cars and motorbikes are parked down the hill and circulation within and to the site and town is provided by electric cars.

Minimal intrusion into the site – this home allows shelter with least disturbance of the natural terrain  
For excavation and grading of the site manual labour has been opted for instead of heavy machinery to reduce pollution and distribute wealth more equitably.

Once again, this settlement does not ignore nor obliterate the local ethos–the people, their lives and problems. This can be seen in the contributions made towards trying to improve the standard of living of the natives.

“Water is scarce in Padangbai and in order to insure a constant reserve we have constructed water catchment channels and reservoirs. We are using solar electricity to pump water and are also testing the viability of wind generated energy for water pumping.

  For a Zen experience Deep verandahs and deeper shadows, with simple furniture
To conserve water we channel rain and water from shower and sinks to an artificial lake and ponds which are planted with aquatic plants and fish giving us semi cleaned water for irrigation and toilet flushing.

The solid waste is disposed of in septic tanks connected to waste water gardens which use gravel and natural fibers for filtration and these gardens are planted with plant species that thrive in these nutrients thereby cleaning the water. The resulting effluent then flows into the ponds for more cleansing.”

Levels all the resident to interact with nature at different heights. The outer and inner sanctums screen without obstructing.  
Composting and improving the soil and planting vegetable gardens in each house and growing vegetables up the site’s stone walls is a way of life.

Excavation on the very rocky site enabled them to reuse the beautiful stones that were unearthed for building walls.

The site is a designated forestry conservation zone and is home to numerous acacias, cashews and other drought tolerant, shade providing species. The houses are carefully situated around the trees which are integrated into the layout. Landscaping with the same drought tolerant plants and plants that have proved to be well adapted to the windy and dry conditions of Padangbai has been adopted. The very rich ocean below is also very rightly designated a conservation zone which is consciously protected by the local fishermen, divers and community.

  Simple shelving create a shop selling wares
The locals teach the guest of their ways–their culture, foods, flora and fauna, and natural medicines and they in turn share with them their skills and give them little nudges as to how they might better recycle, conserve energy, materials and resources to counteract many of the negative results of industrialization.

Say the founders of this pristine paradise, “It is our obligation to preserve this beautiful site and its surrounding ocean with pristine marine life and coral for future generations and we welcome you to join us and give of your self.”

Scrumptious meals – food for the soul
And here is what the actual architecture is like. There are three basic house types which are modified to fit the specific demands of the site. Four Module single storey based on our successful houses in Lodtunduh. A two Storey stepped design used on the steeper slopes and a Custom house where circumstances demand a special design. Each home is different and will have its own unique personality.

  Inner reflections jostle with outer beauty in this glazed wall of a typical home.
Paddy fields stretch to the horizon, creating a lush and verdant setting for the evening cuppa.
All house are sold inclusive of furniture and fittings and houses are fully furnished/ready to live–in, with shared pool, gardens, club house, electric buggy transportation, biological waste water treatment, and services. A fully furnished ocean view house is made available to the interested for 50 years, as a place to hang out, work, relax or rent.

The design of all houses are designed to be fairly neutral–Zen not opulent. This allows a good dialog with the natural surroundings and enables the homeowner to more easily quietly personalize their home.

The winding path to a haven offering solace
In the Lodtunduh villages show this to be there is good approach as we create to integrate the tourist village fitting into the local culture and eco system whilst supporting homeowners to bring the best of their personal and international self into the local culture.

And naturally, in keeping with the overall theme of simple, green and culturally connected living, the homes are very literally down to earth. As their website announces, they are for the Connoisseur of the simple.

‘The Homes are minimalistic, traditional, contemporary, yet elegant is designed, set in beautiful landscaped gardens. All the homes in this project have really extensive ocean views and easy access to the beach and common areas. Preferring a more open and community ambiance we preserve privacy through land sculpting, and vegetation and avoid the walled in villa feeling.

  The open bath – alluring and enchanting the user to be one with nature
The land and facilities include, a lake, massage, yoga, meeting and performance space, restaurant, library and media center, gardens, swimming pools, sitting pavilions, dive shop, parking and roads. These facilities are designed for flexible use and can be changed to take into account and complement the wide range of offerings in the nearby town.The site has been developed very carefully to protect the trees, views and ecosystems. We shall recycle water from our water gardens to create topsoil, and to form fertile garden areas. Lots average around 200 sqm with the homes varying from 70 to 125sqm. We retain a lot of land for community use.

In the banana plantation – brilliant greens and deep browns – the colors of nature

The design uses a combination of very efficient and careful design, simplicity and local skills combined with long life materials and western detail. The structure is of ironwood or concrete, the roofs are of Alang  Alang thatch and bamboo. Solar, permaculture and biological waste water treatment and other self sustaining technologies are introduced wherever possible. The design philosophy both eliminates waste and allows us to use the earths’ resources much more frugally and sensitively.

  The tranquility of the water spills into the lifestyle

Tropical living allows you to use the outdoors as your living room, the terraces, gardens, decks and covered patios are your living space and wherever possible we integrate gardens into ‘rooms’. Kitchens and bathrooms usually have a garden. It’s fun to bathe in the garden.”

So, anybody–do you want to opt for a lifestyle?