Sunday, September 7, 2008

BALICAMP, a Software Development Camp in the Heartland of Bali

During the year of 1998 I was deeply involved in the design development process of Balicamp Software development Camp in Bali. We were experiencing a great design sessions involving Interior Designer, Architect and Client to formulate and generate the idea from early conceptual stage.

There were 3 (three) main building blocks consisting of the main building block, working modules and dwelling units. All of these facilities are situated in 2 (two) hectares land in a slope of mountain concealed from the main street in the heart of Bali Island. There is a river and paddy fields at the lower end side of the mountain slope.

Main building block accommodates lobby area, coffee shop and function hall at first level where are hidden underneath main street level. Main working space, library and small meeting rooms are situated at lower floors. A pool is situated at the lowest level adjacent to Main Building block including changing rooms, restroom and game room.

Separated from Main Building are working modules and dwelling units which are randomly located away from the main building. Working modules allow the programmers to work in a small team or group. Typically, every working module is provided with a kind of long and continuous working desk which is fixed along perimeter window. Every group members can work facing to their computer monitors and enjoying Balinese landscape as a background. It feel like they work in their own private vacation home. 

 A sunken seating arrangement is centralized in the middle of working module that allow every member of the group can have brainstorming session, discussions or just take a break-out. A nice relaxing area in the inside of pyramidal shape space underneath the high 'alang-alang' roof.

 Dwelling unit is place for the programmers where they can sleep and take a rest like they do these in their own home. Lounge area, dining space, pantry corner and rest room are situated at lower floor. Bedroom is situated at mezzanine deck and accessible from a connecting wooden stair which is situated at the internal corner side of dwelling unit.

Most of working desks in Balicamp are designed as sharing bench configuration that enable flexibility and encourage interactivity. Several group of loose lounge seating and small open meeting space are always situated adjacent to the sharing bench configurations that enable work group members to have positive interactions to each others. This, as client hope will encourage everybody to cooperate in devising solutions to fit client’s need.

 Interior scheme is simply natural.  Various type of natural stones and natural wood become dominant design elements. Yellow-red marble from East-Java become major hard flooring surfacing, Kempas wood from Kalimantan become accent wood flooring and yellow cobble stone from Lombok become feature wall treatment. Solid Red-Merbau wood log from Papua become main materials to grand stair at lobby, tall coconut posts become main structure of big bird cage in the lobby and rough teak woods become typical materials to the furnitures. ‘Eceng-gondok’ weaving material from Central Java is typical covering for working chairs.

 The Building itself provide openings that enable maximum view to the surrounding natural environment and bring it to the internal sides as integrated part. A blend and conversation in-between internal enclosure and surrounding external environment creates physically borderless working environment for the programmers. This, as client hope will inspire everybody work in a hybrid culture of creativity that draw on the latest technological advantages to meet the demands of the new millennium.

As Interior Designer we have suggested to the Architect at early design stage, that all internal spaces at lobby level shall elaborate the shape of architectural roof shape. Spacious internal spaces then simply create. Obviously, lighting design become an important aspect that make this spatial design intentions are well defined.

Mezzanine deck which is inserted at the coffee shop become interesting transition element. Nice entry procession is created when somebody walking at the parking yard and walking-through porte-cochere to entering the sunken-lobby area. A tall bird cage, strongly fulfill the high lobby space. Consisting of 4 (four) of 6 (six) meter high coconut three columns and chopper dome, this bird cage is really a main point of interest at lobby space. Hanging wood louvers are floating in the high ceiling space at the adjacent meeting room. This simply create high space feeling and functionally useful to place-down the lighting fixtures.

All design approaches as describe above, basically is a result of collaborative and intensive conversation involving Interior Designer, Architect, Lighting Designer and Engineers that try to capture the client idea that they never imagined before. Maybe, until the Balicamp was completely built and finished, everybody who involved in the project then can have interpretation, what kind of facility is this?

As noted In Balicamp marketing brochure there was an imaginative conversation:”What is this place?” Our visitor asked. Is it a mountain retreat? Is it an artist’s colony? Is it a think-thank or is it a playground? We reply:”A corporation on the cutting edge”.


Rajiv Bhatt said...

Hi the design is very aesthetic. I have request, can you give me the location address, email and website address of Bali Camp?

prasetyo budi santoso said...

Hi Rajiv, please check this link out: