Made Suardana, the operation director of PT Graha Giri Kencana, a local design firm, recently discussed with The Bali Post the failure of many building in Bali to incorporate Balinese architectural values in their final design.
He explained that many investors chose to ignore rules requiring Balinese building style because the rules on the subject were not rigorously enforced. In addition, many are reluctant to follow Balinese architectural standards because of the lack of a modern interpretation of "Balinese style" and the limited choice of materials that can be used in accomplishing Balinese touches (e.g. red brick and paras stone).
He also pointed to environmental problems occasioned by the over-mining of paras stone from local quarries that sometimes results in landslide.
“Because of this,” he said, “new, alternative materials must be found to represent Bali style.”
Delving further into the subject, he explained how many new hotels in Bali are using glass walls, completely devoid of Balinese carving or natural stone. The problem extends beyond mere building materials. Balinese traditional architecture must follow the concept of tri angga – the division of a structure into 3 parts: a footing or foundation; the walls and main body of the building; and the head or upper-structure. Despite this long-standing tradition, many new hotels, homes and shops have completely abandoned the tri angga approach to construction.
Many modern buildings in Bali have flat roofs and not the peaked. tiled roofs typical of the tri angga style of building. Similarly, many new buildings have no foundation or base, accessible on a single level with the surrounding land.
Suardana said he hoped the government would tighten condition of the issuance of building permits, requiring “Bali style” to form a part of all new buildings. If necessary, he said, a special agency of the government should be assigned the task of supervising this aspect of building projects in Bali.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Indonesian Real Estate Association for Bali (REI), Ida Bagus Dedy Darmawan, admitted that few buildings in Bali have Balinese architectural finishes. He said the reasons for not following “Bali Style” is the high cost of such finishes, the time needed to complete this type of construction and the growing problem of obtaining the needed raw materials,
He suggested that Bali should adopt an on-line application process for building permist where building that do not conform to existing rules are automatically rejected .
“Bali style must be retained so it does not become extinct. There must be good coordination between developers and contractors,” said Dedy.
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