Villa Rumah Purnama

Fully restored and renovated by Studio Jencquel, Rumah Purnama is a heritage Balinese wantilan home that now encompasses the luxuries of modernity while retaining the charm of Bali’s bohemian heyday.

  • area / size 2,583 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • Location Bali, Indonesia,
  • Type House,
  • In the shade of the centennial coconut trees and under a thatched roof, this charming 3-bedroom home boasts spectacular jungle and moonrise views across the sacred Campuhan Ridge, reminiscent of Walter Spies’ influential paintings from 100 years earlier. The Campuhan village is known for its temple, Pura Gunung Lebah, located nearby where two mystical rivers unite. Spiritually significant to the Balinese Hindus as an energy center, this area has long been a source of inspiration for artists — and still holds the gentle enchantment of a bygone era.

    The home itself has the air of a poet’s or artist’s lair — cozy and unpretentious yet inspiring and magical at once; tucked away from the hustle and bustle, but close enough for convenience; a nest, safe and cocoon-like — yet also wild and free. It’s no surprise that this location is near where famed artist/painter/musician Walter Spies lived and thrived in the 1930s, creating a legacy of indelible art while influencing generations of Balinese artists and performers.

    The two-story building faces East and embraces the Moon as it rises, spectacularly and often, in the horizon from behind the jungle-covered hills. In the Northeast, Gunung Agung, the holy volcano of Bali, fills the skyline with grace, power, and beauty.

    A small, unpretentious Balinese door known traditionally as angkul-angkul marks the entrance to this estate. Past its threshold lies a beautiful garden path winding within a park-like setting, leading to a bamboo-lined staircase which carries one downstairs and through a Zen stone pebble garden surrounded by bamboo plants; and ultimately to the front door.

    Seen from the outside, Rumah Purnama seamlessly blends into nature, in great part due to the combination of natural materials, such as the tropical wood and the alang-alang (cogongrass) roof. The main frame of the house is concrete below, and an upper structure built with the Indonesian hardwood Bangkirai. During the restoration process, Maximilian Jencquel intentionally kept the original structure intact in order to preserve what could be considered an artistic legacy of Ubud’s heritage that this Campuhan abode from the 1930s represents.

    Entering the hillside home on the main floor of the pagoda-like wantilan through a tamarind-wood front door of bleached chocolate hues, one is greeted by the friendly smiles of elongated, Giacometti-esque, ironwood statuettes sourced from the island of Kalimantan in  Borneo. This welcoming entrance hall is a transitional space acting as a mediator between the main living room, the dining room, the kitchen, the guest room, the powder room, and the staircase that leads to the first floor.

    The color palette is natural, earthen, and simple; leaving plenty of room for the creativity and color of the mind. The natural hardwoods, alang-alang grass, earthen wall coloring, and off-white linens and marbles create a calm, grounded feeling — as if one is finally home, even if they have never been there before until now. All functions of the house are laid out under one roof, allowing for comfortable access to all rooms and spaces on both floors, even in the most tropical of rains.

    Design: Studio Jencquel
    : Tommaso Riva