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Our “Over the Top” Neighbor

In our little neck of the woods there’s a number of impressive villas for rent, and slowly but surely hotels will be popping up over the next few years. But if I had to place a bet on the villa with the most understated eye candy, I’d choose The River House.

Designed by architect Alexis Dornier, The River House represents his intention to marry tropical modernism:

Dornier’s architectural projects endeavour to formulate a design aesthetic that mediates between elements of tropical modernism and industrial architecture with an underlying ambition for formal and tectonic innovation.

with what he calls “tectonic innovation.”

Tectonics, in its essence, is the activity that raises construction to a form of art. In this regard, Alexis Dornier’s projects are driven by structural and formal exploration; by the studio’s desire to push the limits of its own tropical-tectonic language. This comes hand in hand with the ambition to amplify the experience of the landscape through architectonic design.  

Dornier’s consistent use of stone tile and wood throughout the massive villa gives The River House its subdued aesthetic. Grey and neutral tones convey a Zen-like ambiance that fits so naturally with Bali’s peaceful vibe.

Descending into the main feature of the house, the enormous living room, there’s a feeling of comfort in a space that could easily have been too grand or pretentious.

I wanted to sit on the leather couch and enjoy a drink, but I was on a tour and had to unfortunately move on.

Moving outside, I could hear the small river offering its soothing sounds while contemplating a swim in the marvelous swimming pool.

The River House is off-limits to all but the well-healed, but for me its enough to take a tour and dream. Bali has the power to transform the everyday moment, such as sitting on a deck chair, and turn it into a momentary piece of paradise.

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