Soaking It In

August, 2017


Soo K. Chan, Founder and Design
Director, SCDA Architects

Nestled in the Tabanan Regency in Bali, the Soori Bali was originally conceived as a vacation home for Soo K. Chan’s family. However, the compelling feng shui of this private retreat was later expanded to allow others to experience the natural scenery and local culture. “I’ve designed residences, cultural institutions, commercial projects, and hotels and resorts in over 40 cities. With Soori Bali I have been deeply involved in all of the decisions, from conception to operation, and the result is the most honest of my creations. You have to be honest because you don’t have a client to blame. When you have the opportunity to design your own hotel, you design it with a lot of passion, care and love. There are a lot of layers of thinking that go into it, from the smallest details of how you experience the place to what the staff would wear. For me, Soori Bali is as much a state of mind as it is a world-class resort; it’s a peaceful, private and re-energising place. It’s also very spiritual”, says Soo Chan, the designer and owner of this prestigious property.

The infinity pool overlooks
the ocean-front.
The interiors of the restaurant
use heavy wooden accents.

Soori Bali was designed in a way that respects the integrity of the centuries-old rice field irrigation practice (Subak). The villas, residences and common areas were built around existing irrigation paths and ceremonial routes, while several new temples were constructed in accordance with local beliefs. Daily life as it has been in this part of Bali for centuries continues as a result of this holistic design; beach parades, onsite prayers and the artistry of visiting local musicians and dancers open windows to Balinese culture.
Indigenous materials that respond well to the local climate such as the sandstones of Paras Kelating and Paras Kerobokan and natural stones of Batu Chandi and Batu Kali were used. The wrapped timber screen on the exterior of the rooms overlook the private pool lined with Sukabumi stone. Natural finishes such as timber, teak, silk, linen, local terracotta, marble and bronze rule the material selection based in contemporary Balinese design.

Private beach front rooms
offer exquisite views.
The entire range of furniture
was made in-house.

Characterised by interplay of materials, there is a conceived fluidity in the spaces from the interiors to the exteriors. Completing the palette near the pool is the use of Paras Kelating, a light –grey volcanic stone that complement the warm greys and soft hues of beige applied to the feature walls. Smooth terrazzo walls and floors are combined with hand brushed natural timber screens, soft silk upholstery and custom-designed dark-stained timber furniture to form a serene internal space.
“Through this style, I consider the choreography of the spatial experience and how light, sound and the natural elements influence the user. It is a phenomenological approach to design. The architecture and aesthetics complement as well as pay homage to, the beauty of the natural surroundings”, adds Chan.

Private lawns
each room.
The property is carved around
the existing natural setting.

The 48 villas were carefully oriented in a way to facilitate the passing of filtered natural light and fresh ocean or rice paddy breezes. Cool colours in both the paint and stone selections further promote the sense of tranquility, in addition to reducing heat gain. Overhanging roof eaves, roof screen systems and deep ledges were also employed to reduce heat from direct sunlight. All villas and residences feature a private pool and sweeping vistas, granting personal yet easy access to nature.
The resort is furnished with products from the Soori Living range of beds, sofas, armchairs, tables, consoles, coffee tables, and accessories. The EarthCheck-certified resort has a minimized carbon footprint through its design as well as a host of measures including reduced energy consumption, water conservation, waste management and use of organic products. Artistic elements and earthy finishes make the resort meld into the soothing natural surroundings. With an aim to provide comfort floating in a natural timelessness, this refined serene experience is one to covet.

The property is set in the
hidden rice fields.
The Soori Living line uses rich
materials in sober colours.


Soo K. Chan is a practicing architect based in Singapore. He is the founding principal and design director of SCDA Architects Pvt Ltd, an award-winning multi-disciplinary firm engaging in architecture, interior, landscape and product design. SCDA’s portfolio ranges from master planning, resorts and hotels, high-rise luxury residences, commercial and institutional buildings, and private homes spanning Asia/Oceania, Africa, Europe and America. SCDA has more than 120 employees with offices in Singapore, Shanghai and New York.

The calming interiors are
rooted in Balinese culture.
An interaction of hills and oceans, the
property offers the best of both worlds.