Villa Rumah Fajar, architect Maximilian Jencquel’s home in Ubud, is modest, luxurious and inspired by its natural environs

JAN 14, 2021 | By Sakshi Rai
An ideal spot to catch the sunrise is this loft like indoor terrace with views of the tropical foliage covered hills, the holy Gunung Agung and Wos River. This enviable setting is created with the help of a large, linen upholstered sofa—which can accommodate the whole family—and an ironwood coffee table by Studio Jencquel; Photographs by Tommaso Riva

Maximilian Jencquel, founder of boutique practice Studio Jencquel, wanted his home to echo his love for vernacular Indonesian architecture.

Perched along a hillside in a quaint village in southern Bali, the nearly 4,300 sq ft Villa Rumah Fajar employs local materials and celebrates native Balinese design sensibilities in a contemporary manner. In fact, the structure of a traditional gathering ground for villagers called bale Agung or ‘great pavilion’ is what inspired its raised and open layout.

The poetic piece of architecture (its name translates to ‘the house of dawn’) is clad in earthy and fiery tones, reminiscent of the sacred Gunung Agung volcano that erupted around the villa’s construction in 2017.

The earthy palette continues to the dining area, including the bankirai sloping roof rafters, table and antique Chinese door panels; Photographs by Tommaso Riva

“The house blends into its scenic natural setting owing to the harmonious combination of two dominant materials Bata Tulikup, a Balinese terracotta brick from the namesake village, and charred ironwood to illustrate Japanese techniques of Shou Sugi Ban,” shares Jencquel.

The living room features merbau timber floors, burnt ironwood facade and windows, metal artwork by Jencquel and custom coffee tables from Studio Jencquel; Photographs by Tommaso Riva

A meandering bridge built above a large koi pond leads to the main threshold. This elevated path resembles the entrance to historic fortresses or a whimsical treehouse even. The residence lies ensconced in a verdant tropical garden of coconut palms, heliconias and orchids as well as native, fruit-bearing trees such as surian and rambutan.

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