Clan Living – The Founder: a new model of micro-living for digital nomads in Bali

For Clan Living–The Founder, Ruang Nyaman employs bamboo architecture to design a micro-living space for the digital nomads, combining the comforts of working and vacation.

by Sunena V MajuPublished on : Nov 14, 2022

Since the pandemic, the concept of telecommuting and staycations have gained  popularity. Post-pandemic, more people are adopting a lifestyle that allows the flexibility of working from anywhere. Following this trend, Clan Living –The Founder takes shape in Ubud, Bali, as a space that aims to combine two anomalies—work and vacation. Realising this vision in the language of Balinese architecture, Indonesia-based Ruang Nyaman has designed Clan Living as a space that reinvents a new typology in bamboo construction. "The vision of Clan Living was to create a new model of micro-living architecture where entrepreneurs find their own space for private living as well as places to work, share ideas, and gather with others," share the architects.

  • Combining the paradox of work and vacation, the architects create a new cosy working environment | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    Combining the paradox of work and vacation, the architects created a new cosy working environment Image: Danang Seta
  • The vision of Clan Living was to create a new model of micro-living where entrepreneur finds their own space for private living as well as places to work, share ideas and gather with others | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    The vision of Clan Living was to create a new model of micro-living where entrepreneurs find their own space for private living as well as a place to work, share ideas and gather with others Image: Danang Seta

Located in the centre of Ubud, the Indonesian architects explored the new design as a renovation of an existing building. The building rests in a denser area of the context, accompanied by buildings reflecting diverse architectural styles. Clan Living is surrounded by different buildings featuring sloped tiled roofs, a common architectural element in the area, with their own entrance featuring a long turquoise pool and organic bamboo structures. Since bamboo is a material that is widely seen in Balinese design, finding it in a hospitality building isn't unusual. However, bamboo architecture mostly engages in dialogue with nature and its context, contrasting to Clan Living, where it aims to function inwards.

  • The communal area is set with a massive bamboo roof, spanning two levels with a wooden ramp connecting the two floors | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    The communal area is set with a massive bamboo roof, spanning two levels with a wooden ramp connecting the two floors Image: Danang Seta
  • The curve pattern calms the eyes, evoking a soothing atmosphere | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    The curve pattern calms the eyes, evoking a soothing atmosphere Image: Danang Seta
  • The levels boost interactions and gathering while relating to the outdoor and the landscape | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    The levels boost interactions and gathering while relating to the outdoor and the landscape Image: Danang Seta

The linear pool that runs through the middle of the site separates the plot and built structures into two. On the north side, the communal space takes shape in the complete materiality of bamboo. Spanning two levels, the functions are sheltered by a massive roof structured in bamboo and covered in thatch. Multiple seating spaces and a shared kitchen occupy the lower floor. With the pool as the point of convergence, all the individual seatings face towards the pool and the three-storied accommodation building. Led by a curved bamboo ramp, the upper floor of the communal space, appearing to be a mezzanine floor, has shared tables. The overhang of the thatched roof and the placement of the table partially regulate the visual connectivity of the area from the outdoors and vice versa, thereby creating more privacy for the visitors occupying the upper floor. Maintaining the essence of bamboo construction techniques, the communal space presents the material in multitude ways. To create stable organic shapes in the structure, the architects have employed the bamboo structural system of inclined posts, curvilinear beams, and cross-bracings, a technique employed in most organic bamboo construction. Adding to it, bamboo is also a key material for the lighting design and the cabinet doors. While wood, concrete, and metal also come into play in the material palette, the emphasis stays on following an earthy tone for its aesthetics.

  • The private areas were built with three floor levels, ensuring each level has a different experience | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    The private areas are built with three floor levels, ensuring each floor has a different experience Image: Danang Seta
  • The ground level includes a big terrace with arranged coffee branches as the lounge chair, with direct access to the pool | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    The ground level includes a big terrace with arranged coffee branches as the lounge chair, with direct access to the pool Image: Danang Seta

On the other side of the pool, the main accommodation unit spans three levels. In comparison with the communal space in bamboo architecture, the private areas are a bricolage of materials. As the spaces are designed into an existing structure, the architects have aimed to use different natural materials to layer the conventionality of the building and relate it to a communal space. On the grid facade, a secondary skin with arch-shaped bamboo and hanging nets adds a vernacular presence to the facade design. Complimenting this detail, the balcony/terrace spaces of the individual rooms adorn a sculptural lounge chair with arranged coffee branches. In an arch-like form, the repetition of the lounge chairs provides the facade with a symmetrical and balanced sophistication. Along with it, the arched lounge chairs and curved bamboo skin on the facade help the three-storey building in resembling and relating to the organic design of the communal space.

  • The hanging nets as hammock act as the focal point to give a different way to experience the balcony  | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    The hanging nets as hammock act as the focal point to give a different way to experience the balcony Image: Danang Seta
  • Arch shaped bamboo conveys a sense of flexibility towards the digital nomads era of working | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    Arch shaped bamboo conveys a sense of flexibility towards the digital nomads era of working Image: Danang Seta
  • The design aims to maximise the user’s sense of comfort, combining work and vacation | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    The design aims to maximise the user’s sense of comfort, combining work and vacation Image: Danang Seta
  • As a natural response to the surrounding environment, from visibility to sun exposure, a secondary skin facade is arranged in a hollow | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    As a natural response to the surrounding environment, from visibility to sun exposure, a secondary skin facade is arranged in a hollow Image: Danang Seta

Every room of Clan Living opens to the view of the pool and the bamboo pavilion, once again, reinstating its functionality to look inwards. The interior design of the room uses a mezzanine system with a unique staircase to connect the living room and the bedroom. The rooms on the ground floor and first floor accommodate a living room, study, mezzanine bedroom, and a terrace with an arch-like lounge seating, while the rooms on the second floor have a long work stool table with exciting views. The material palette of the interior design comprises a mix of wood, metal, concrete, coffee branches, and stone.

  • The interior design uses a mezzanine system with a unique staircase to connect the living room and bedroom | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    The interior design uses a mezzanine system with a unique staircase to connect the living room and bedroom Image: Danang Seta
  • The rooms on the ground floor and first floor accommodate a living room, study, mezzanine bedroom, and a terrace with an arch-like lounge seating | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    The rooms on the ground floor and first floor accommodate a living room, study, mezzanine bedroom, and a terrace with an arch-like lounge seating Image: Danang Seta
  • The material palette of the interior design comprises a mix of wood, metal, concrete, coffee branches, and stone | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    The material palette of the interior design comprises a mix of wood, metal, concrete, coffee branches, and stone Image: Danang Seta
  • The third floor features a long work stool table with exciting views towards its surroundings | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    The third floor features a long work stool table with exciting views towards its surroundings Image: Danang Seta

While the architectural language of the building, on either side of the pool appears to be different, it is merged into a single design unit through a very thoughtful landscape design. The pool design connects the two different styles and acts as a point of transition between them. While the blue of the water and beige of the bund walls complement the warm colour palette of the material, the shape of the pool, in a very subtle visual, plays an integral role. The pool boundary on the side of the communal space reflects the curves and waves of its organic architecture, and that on the other side mimics the linearity of the building. However, through this offset nature of the pool borders, the two structures appear to rest in stark contrast, engaging in a common dialogue. Through the gradual transition from the geometry of the grid and circles to the flexibility of curves and organic shapes, the architects maximise the potential of bamboo to support most shapes.

  • Ruang Nyaman created the curved bamboo facades as the protagonist material, combining with other natural materials | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    Ruang Nyaman created the curved bamboo facades as the protagonist material, combining with other natural materials Image: Danang Seta
  • The idea was to evoke a symbol of appreciation for the local culture in a way to convey the sense of togetherness | Clan Living | Ruang Nyaman | STIRworld
    The idea was to evoke a symbol of appreciation for the local culture in a way to convey the sense of togetherness Image: Danang Seta

Through an interesting coming together of material-specific intervention assisted by a landscape design, Ruang Nyaman designs Clan Living to cater to digital nomads, creating a sense of comfort that combines work and vacation. "The Clan Living will grow throughout time, and make it a strong foundation in understanding spaces through new ways of view to achieve a new perspective of a good living space, as we create and build today for tomorrow's living," share the architects. By using bamboo construction as a symbolism for digital nomads' flexibility of working in the current era, the architecture aims to be a personification of changing lifestyles. 

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