In 2017, architecture firm Word Of Mouth completed Chameleon Villa, which is a residential home commissioned by a private client. The villa is located in Buwit, a village in the lush interiors of the southwest coastal area of Bali. The team of architects worked on the idea of ‘landscaped architecture’, by breaking the boundaries between natural and built environments. As a result, the buildings appear to be a part of the land itself,sometimes disappearing within it, and then at other times, emerging from it.
The villa sits on a steep contour with an 11-meter difference of level between the arrival area and the river that runs the western length of the property.
The true challenge was to create something that did not deviate from the surrounding natural environment, but worked in harmony with it.
The different pavilions accommodate different functions and all communal spaces are kept open towards the elements whereas the bedrooms and other more private spaces such as office, gym and media room are closable volumes.
The house itself and its surroundings invite the visitor to start exploring the ins and outs of the house, which are equally magnificent.
The main building, which is on two levels, follows the idea of rectangular volumes stacked on one another off-axis as if they were resting on the land. They are composed of an outer frame which holds and protects the inner one where people would tend to spend most of their time.
The supporting ‘camouflaged’ roofs provide a cooling effect to the spaces below and assist with rainwater collection whereas the spaces below these frames have been used to store all the technical equipment.
The material palette is largely comprised of natural and locally sourced materials, meaning that not only could local suppliers and artisans be supported by this initiative, but it also minimized the home’s carbon footprint.
Green systems considered for this project, besides passive cooling and sustainable materials selection, have been the use of solar panels to produce electricity and a water recycling and rainwater collection system for garden irrigation.