Nihiwatu Resort

Architectural & Landscape

Brief: To create three residential villas, arrivals and reception area, and communal dining hall in sympathy with the dramatic hillside terrain on the remote island of Sumba Indonesia.

Challenges: Designing and siting structures to fit within the natural topography of the steeply sloping sites, while avoiding the removal of any trees and visual impacts to the hillside when viewed from the world class surf break of Sumba Island. Getting materials and labour to site is also challenging due to the remote nature of the island and the resort. Moderating a hot arid climate. Allow for future expansion of the resort.

Solutions: In order to make the buildings simple to assemble and climactically appropriate the buildings were designed as a series of pavilions in the landscape that draw heavily from local building practices and technologies. To simplify the three villas, a kit of parts was developed of common spaces such as bathing areas, sleeping, lounging and outdoor living areas. They are then able to be re-arranged on paper to achieve the desired size villa.  The idea being that future expansion of the resort accommodation can be easily achieved by re-using and re-configuring these common elements. The design of each pavilion allows for the use of primarily local materials and labour, supporting the local economy and keeping traditional village building traditions alive.

Highlights: Working with a brilliant client and being part of an amazing team of consultants including Paul Pholeros, Hitesh Mehta, Simon Velez, Marcelo Villegas and Matthew Flynn.