by Alejandra Cisneros | Seen | Unseen: Embracing Natural Home Design in Bali
The strength of one’s works lies in its uniqueness how it impacts and inspires many people. For Alejandra Cisneros, it is the Flora Natural Villas. Through BV C-Talk #4 on 29 October 2020, Alejandra shared her thoughts, journey, experiences, and stories about how she inspired many people through her work.
Alejandra Cisneros is a connoisseur of architectural design and a wonderful Airbnb Host. She has lived and enjoyed her life in Bali for 17 years. The extraordinary local culture on this island made her fall in love with Bali. She even sold all her houses in America so that she can move to Bali.
At the beginning of her life in Bali, Alejandra did not work in property design as she did when she was still in America. She started her career as a clothing designer. Her clothing design business was quite successful at that time. Until the 2008 financial crisis hit her business and regular clients started canceling their orders. For a year, no income came in, no clients came back, and she was unemployed.
She has a house that has been neglected for a long time, and her manager says that the house is not worth selling in Bali. She didn’t know what to do with the house because she didn’t have money to renovate it. At an unexpected time, her manager lent her money on the grounds that Alejandra would finish building her house. Then she built her first house with a local concept, synonymous with Balinese culture, a traditional house but still has the function of modernity in every facility. From there Alejandra’s architectural work began in Bali.
How Bali inspired Alejandra to build.
Alejandra can bring out the best in the Balinese craftsman. She was fascinated by the atmosphere and lifestyle of the Balinese people. How the local people sleep with animal noises at night, their hobby in making local handicrafts, and their simplicity of life. These things have inspired her to build a house in Bali by adapting the design to the atmosphere, environment, and lifestyle of Bali. She used her knowledge of local creativity as an asset to design distinctive properties.
Through the lodging properties that she has built, Alejandra seems to bring her clients to dive right into the real Bali and bring them closer to the natural environment of the property. And this has been a memorable experience for her clients. This is one of the keys to building a lodging property. We must adapt the design of the property to the environment and local culture. Beauty arises when the property blends into the setting, becoming part of the indigenous peoples of the area.
“This is a lesson for us, that we need to know and learn about the characteristics of the local environment and culture, so we can thinking about the design of the building to be designed.” -Alejandra Cisneros
One thing that is interesting about Alejandra’s house design is the use of large windows that allow the wind to flow smoothly throughout the house. Finally, clients don’t need to use AC too often. One of Alejandra’s projects that best shows her abilities and talents is Flora Natural Villas which consists of 4 complexes: Passiflora, Jazmin, Marguerite, and Together. The project is located in Penestanan Kaja, in a carless village located on a hill west of Ubud.
Why did Alejandra name her villa Flora Natural Villas? Because it is designed like a traditional house that blends with the natural environment. Therefore, the property model is completely synonymous with local houses, environmentally friendly, yet modern in terms of facilities. Here’s a brief description of some of Alejandra’s properties:
Passiflora is Alejandra and her team’s architect-designed natural villa number 1. It is a 100-year-old hand-hewn teak Joglo, brought timber by timber from Central Java and then remodeled. Passiflora is both traditional and fresh, open and minimal.
Jazmin is their natural designed villa number 2 of a 100-year-old hand-hewn Joglo from Central Java. This property consists of 3 houses with shared swimming pools and manicured gardens. One of the concepts contained in this property is the kitchen overlooking the garden, so you can cook while enjoying the view of the natural green garden.
Marguerite is their architect-designed natural villa number 3. Marguerite is a remodeled Balinese bungalow. It is a two-story property loft. On the top floor, you will feel like you are in a jungle. The upper and lower floors both have double beds, which make the Marguerite suitable for small families.
Bareng-Bareng is the latest addition to their collection. It is an architect-designed natural villa number 4. Bareng-Bareng is a reclaimed, repurposed, and redesigned Limasan from Java. Limasan is a traditional Javanese house that was brought timber by timber from Java. Made from solid teaks that are over 100 years old.
Tiny Tall House
Alejandra and her team also created a house with the concept of a Japanese small house called “Tiny Tall House”. This house has views of the rice fields. In this house, the stairs lead directly to the ‘bedroom’. This type of house makes the best use of the existing space while still providing free space for movement even though the size of the building is small.
Alejandra’s works are reflected in her book entitled “Seen | Unseen: Embracing Natural Home Design in Bali”. In this book, Alejandra describes her design background which is influenced by Tri Hita Karana, a philosophy of balance in the life of Balinese people. He also explained how the design fits the Balinese culture, traditions, and environment. There is also some useful information such as the architectural design in tropical climates, spatial and interior design, cultural tourists in Bali, etc. If you are interested in finding out more about Alejandra, you can order this book through Amazon’s online bookstore. Click the link below:
“I really feel privileged to be living in Bali and I believe that more people will visit Bali over a long period of time to experience Balinese culture. The Balinese people really have something special about their relationship with their land. ”Alejandra Cisneros
“If you are respectful of the Balinese culture, you end up being respectful of this land as well. People who vacation in Bali are those who make important decisions to move forward. So, respect for the Balinese culture which culminates in the respect for the land and treats Bali well when you arrive here to this island.”Alejandra Cisneros
Alejandra is a woman with a passion for architecture. Contact us to help you connect with Alejandra. To find out more about Alejandra’s work, visit this page:
You can listen to the whole story on BV C-Talk #4 with Alejandra Cisneros, only on Bukit Vista Hospitality Services YouTube Channel: