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Competition: Jimbaran cultural centre, Bali

Property developer Jimbaran Hijau has launched an international ideas competition for a new cultural centre and arts market in Bali, Indonesia (Deadline: 5 November)

The competition, organised by the Indonesian Institute of Architects, seeks proposals for an iconic structure to occupy a 36,180m² site within the developer’s Bali International Park masterplan.

The project aims to harness the ‘noble values and wisdom’ of traditional Balinese architectural techniques to create a new centre for international tourism.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia

Source: Image by astama81


According to the brief: ‘This competition is intended to create an art and cultural centre located in Jimbaran that will accommodate museums, galleries and a performing arts centre as its main function, and facilities of cultural education and training of arts, art market, art room as well as artist residences as the supporting function.

‘To that end, the design of the art and cultural centre area should be able to accommodate all activities of the regional community. Through this activity, designers are expected to contribute in finding solutions to the problems of site and the environment that will be applied in the form of design.’

Jimbaran, on Bali’s South Kuta archipelago, is a fishing village and tourist resort popular for its large beach, calm waters and seafood restaurants known as ‘warungs’ (pictured).

Eleven years ago suicide bombers struck two warungs in the area, killing 20 people, injuring 100 others and severely affecting local tourism which has since recovered.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia

Competition site

The 250 hectare Bali International Park development aims to deliver new housing, retirement homes, hotel accommodation, a school, theme park, health facilities and gardens surrounding the settlement.

Proposals for the new building are encouraged to harness the Balinese ‘Sanga Mandala’ concept, which promotes an intuitive and holistic approach to spatial layout and site landscaping.

The planning method designates nine regions with separate spiritual values – north-east being the most sacred and south-west the most profane while the middle areas have a medium ranking.

The competition plot neighbours a recently completed retail building and marketing pavilion, the Jimbaran Hub, along with an access road, highway and nearby resorts.

Landmark buildings in the area include the new Banjar Gerenceng Hindu temple completed by local architect Anak Agung Yoko Sara 10 years ago.

Participating teams must be led by a member of either the Indonesia Architecture Institute or an Arcasia body. Five finalists will be invited to present their schemes to the jury at the Hotel Grand Bali Beach on 17 December, with the winner announced on the same day.

The winner will take home around 75 million Indonesian Rupiah (£4,500), while a second place prize of approximately 35 million IDR (£2,100) and third place prize worth about 25 million IDR (£1,500) will also be awarded.

How to apply


The registration deadline is 5 November and submissions must be completed by 3 December.


Regular registration from 15 September to 5 November: 300,000 IDR (aprox £18)

Contact details

Jimbaran Hijau at Jalan Karangmas
Jimbaran Hub
J Loft 2D
Bali 80361

Tel: +62 81805454184 / +62 81805525125

Visit the competition website for more information

Doha Heritage House Museums case study: Q&A with Fanos Panayides

The project director at John McAslan + Partners discusses lessons learned designing a cultural centre in Doha

How did your Doha Heritage House Museums project harness traditional Qatari design techniques?

We have tempered the design of buildings and spaces in our Doha schemes with the essential formal and material precepts of Qatari architecture, and its traditional relationships between public and private space. Doha’s 21st-century architecture must explore potentials of form, space, and materiality that will be instantly meaningful to young and old Qataris and to the capital’s rapidly increasing numbers of international visitors and residents.

Our designs have been strongly guided by the main imperatives of Qatari architecture: the fundamental importance of privacy and the lives of extended families; Islamic worship; public social interaction; and the demands of the climate.

Historically, this has created a so-called ‘architecture of the veil’, most obviously characterised by thick walls, largely blind facades, and by carefully arranged thresholds and central spaces controlling views and the penetration of natural light. These features are common at all scales, from homes to larger urban relationships between buildings and external spaces. The traditional form of the mosques and souks add yet another dimension: they, too, are walled and architecturally layered, but in a way that creates spaces and volumes for public gatherings for religious or secular purposes.



Source: Image by Hufton + Crow

Heritage House Museums by John McAslan + Partners

Doha’s compact ensembles of buildings and spaces have achieved a remarkable mixture of privacy and neighbourly connection. The general formal and material simplicity of Qatari architecture, and the unique urban grain and cityscape it produces, can also show moments of striking variation in terms of ornate roof-lines, beautiful gradations of whiteness and material texture, and in the figurations of recessed framings, carved parapets and thresholds.

In these important ways, the historic and traditional elements of Qatari architecture have produced a tableaux of striking formal and material clarity. It’s a clarity that also reflects certain universal values found in the architecture of other cultures; and many of these ideals – proportion, plain surface, simplicity of detail – have been key to the purer forms of Western Mmodernist architecture for more than 80 years.

The practice’s remodelling of four historic houses in Doha – Company House, Bin Jelmood House, Mohammed Bin Jassim House and Radwani House – has created state-of-the-art museum environments showcasing key elements of Qatari history and culture. Creating museums within existing buildings is always challenging, requiring a forensic understanding of original building fabrics. While respecting the heritage value of these structures, the practice has sensitively transformed them to accommodate the latest museum display technologies. In the age of Google and iPad, the Heritage Museums bring history vividly to life, using interactive exhibition displays to communicate the experience, artefacts and meanings of the past to a 21st-century audience.

’We are designing 21st-century Qatari architecture whose details and material qualities emphasise traditional craft skills’

What material and design considerations are important when creating new buildings based on traditional architecture?

The similarities and tensions that lie between traditional Qatari architecture and modern international design offer wonderful opportunities to create new buildings and spaces that reflect a unique meeting of different cultures, times, and aspirations.

As Western architects, we are simultaneously students of urban, cultural and architectural change in Doha, yet also collaborative creators of this change. We have taken the utmost care to explore the architectural relationships between the forms, volumes, details, and general urban qualities of traditional Qatari architecture. These relationships have defined the architecture of our Msheireb schemes. We emphasise that we are designing 21st-century Qatari architecture – buildings and spaces that extend existing and long-established patterns of privacy and public movement, light and shade, mass and space; and whose details and material qualities will emphasise traditional craft skills.



Source: Image by Hufton + Crow

Heritage House Museums by John McAslan + Partners

The practice’s design for the Jumaa Mosque in Doha fuses Modernism with a historical arrangement of volumes and spaces, using specifically Qatari materials and architectural details. The perfect cube building is constructed of crisp white stone and render, with metal Islamic patterned gates enclosing the entrance pavilion and courtyard. Within the prayer hall a perforated roof illuminates the prayer hall with dappled light, providing a contemplative space for prayer. A stone colonnade frames the courtyard, while a square water basin creates a sense of calm contemplation at the entrance to the prayer hall.

The form of the building is based on traditional Qatari mosques, which use orientation, shading, natural ventilation and water to create tranquil environments for prayer. The design reflects the key principles of Islamic art and architecture: simplicity, functionality, spirituality, light, pattern, geometry and water. The plan form, based on a double square, follows classical Islamic precedent, as does the use of geometric patterns and designs, with pierced roof screens creating patterns of dappled light and shade. The prayer hall geometry is based on seven equal modules; the number 7 being symbolic of ‘completeness and goodness’. The Mosque and Courtyard Square create an urban oasis – a shaded sanctuary for worshippers, offering welcome relief from the bustle of daily life in Masat Street beyond.

How would you approach designing an art and cultural centre for Jimbaran?

A rigorous understanding of both the local context and culture must be at the heart of the design response. We feel a great responsibility to engage with local architectural and cultural traditions, and to respond to them intelligently and progressively. The established shapes and images that make up the old town form its physical identity, and new architecture must literally build on that – creatively, and without any hint of pattern-book pastiche.

This is particularly important when developing cultural buildings where new architecture also reflects a sense of local identity and needs to be of its time, firmly rooted in its context and local culture.



Source: Image by Hufton + Crow

Heritage House Museums by John McAslan + Partners

Ritz-Carlton Bali case study: Q&A with Roger Gaspar

The associate vice president at WATG discusses lessons learned designing a traditionally inspired hotel in Bali



Roger Gaspar

How did your Ritz-Carlton Bali project harness traditional Balinese design techniques?

Inspired by traditional Balinese architecture, spatial and communal-based organisation as well as the natural environment, the design of the new Ritz-Carlton provides guests with ample opportunities to interact with the tropical climate.

The masterplanning of the resort takes on a formal axial organisation and includes well-defined courtyards, buildings and landscaped areas that weave various experiences throughout the resort. There are gathering places that bring guests together while there are also more intimate spaces for solitude or romance.

Great effort was undertaken to maintain the integrity of the 50m-tall cliff, a precious natural feature of the site. At the top of the cliff, there is a stunning panoramic view of the Indian Ocean. The cliff elevators also provide a unique and experiential view of the resort and the lush cliff.

Natural light and ventilation are harnessed by ensuring that the refreshing sea breeze flows through the resort and into the many open-air buildings such as the lobby.

Traditional pitched roofs are employed to create volumetric spaces, while the use of grey coloured low-profile roof tiles provide a contemporary look.

Traditional ornamental timber and stone elements and patterns are made locally and reinterpreted to such a degree that these details are ‘new yet familiar’ in the Balinese context.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia

Ritz-Carlton Bali by WATG

What material and design considerations are important when creating new buildings based on traditional Balinese architecture?

The use of local materials not only makes the project cost-effective but also makes a strong connection with the place. In Bali, there are certain timber and stone materials that echo the island’s unique character.

The design concept should align with the local construction methodologies to achieve a stronger sense of authenticity and an opportunity to celebrate unique or traditional methods of constructions.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia

Ritz-Carlton Bali by WATG

How would you approach designing a new art and cultural centre for Jimbaran?

We approach design with an in-depth research of the place, people, history and culture. While we are sensitive to the architectural heritage of Bali, the new art and cultural centre should become a catalyst that harmoniously brings together the timeless elegance of an architectural heritage along with sophisticated, contemporary ideas and aspirations. The experience within the building should be ‘new yet familiar.’

Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia

Ritz-Carlton Bali by WATG