Balinese Architecture


  • Ancient traditional influences
  • Closely connected to Balinese Hinduism
  • Creating sacred places
  • modern architecture influenced by tourism development, create a unique and globally much loved design style

Traditional, Religious and Domestic Architecture

All traditional buildings in Bali are designed based on the principles of Balinese Hindu traditions and belief systems. Balinese houses, palaces and temples are created as a collection of several structures within walled enclosure, where each serves a special function.
The cultural and religious influence on the architecture goes back many centuries. A Balinese architect will aim to create a sacred place which is inline with what they believe spirits and cosmos require for a harmonious and balanced energy. Therefore priests, the intermediaries between the spirit realms and the real world for the Balinese, also preserve the knowledge and guidelines for Balinese architectures.

The Balinese culture actually originated in Java centuries ago and Bali has remained the only place in Indonesia, where those Hindu traditions are still followed. Today Indonesia is dominantly a Muslim society, which makes Bali very unique and different.

Contemporary Balinese Architecture

Bali's architecture is not only very famous in Asia, but also globally recognized as a style. It combines a classy tropical lifestyle, with traditional elements creating a very unique atmosphere. Most hotels, restaurants, commercial villas and private houses are both inspired by Balinese elements and contemporary architectural concepts. This is seen in the aesthetics and the inclusion of Bali's building materials, beautiful artistry and craftsmanship.

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The History of Balinese Architecture

Many buildings in Bali are designed based on the principles of a ‘sacred place.’ The houses are meant to be built precisely in the direction of the sun rising up or the location of the volcanoes. During the 8th to 16th centuries the influence of classical Hindu and Buddhist architectural styles was found in many constructions of temples in Indonesia, especially in Java.

The principle of Kaja-Kelod, is one of the main guidelines of the Balinese architecture. Kaja meaning ‘facing the volcanoes’ and Kelod meaning ‘facing the sea’. This concept is often used in planning the placement of houses or temples in the villages.

Sacred buildings, such as temples are placed in the Kaja section. Normal buildings, such as residential houses are usually placed in the Kelod section.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Balinese architecture really blossomed. While still maintaining the nobility of the guidelines that had been passed on by their ancestors, Balinese architects began to show dynamism on their design by giving it a modern touch.

The influence of European architectural styles were first found in some buildings, which had been built around the 40s, in several areas in North Bali, such as Bungkulan.
During the 20th century, after the independence of Indonesia from the colonialism era, the influence of Dutch and Japanese building styles still remained in some areas of Bali. The Rumah Panglima and the Istana Presiden Tampak Siring are two examples of this.

An interesting fact to know is, that for a building to be legalized in official fixed regulations it is not allowed to exceed the height of a coconut tree (15 meters).

The art of Balinese architecture continues to grow, while Influences from various parts of the world can be found in many hotels, restaurants and other public places. All these millennial touches seem to unite into a harmony on this magical island.

Balinese Architecture Masterpieces

The Architecture of Bali temples
An Architecture Masterpiece

Bali Temples Architecture

Temples in Bali have more stricter principles to be followed by the ancient Balinese architect.

Best Bali Temples

Principles in Style

Building Science

Balinese buildings are designed tailor-made, based on the purpose of the owner. Especially the placement of pavilions and shrines are using a critical measurement.  

A Complimentary of Perfection

Garden and Lanscaping

The expatriate community in Bali has given a great influence regarding landscaping as an integral part of homes, hotels, museums, and other types of buildings.

Ancient Atmosphere in Bali Villages
Authentic Villages Designs

Traditional Villages

Some villages in Bali are remained the same just like when the community just started. Tenganan Village for example, it has houses of the residence as the wall for the village with bale at the center.

Eco-tourism Bali Villages

The Royal Recidence


Puri is a special palace designed to appreciate the ancestors of royal families in Bali.

A Space to Socialize

Balinese Courtyards

To accommodate the social needs of the villages residents during the events of the celebration, many courtyards were built with special design according to their specific functions.

Fusions in Harmony

Architecture Dynamism in Bali

The traditionalist architects in Bali are resilient and tenacious group who willing to adapt to any situation. Many influences from around the world can be found in many building in the island.

Buildings and Nature

Eco-Friendly Architecture Designs

Many brilliant architects are innovating in designing more friendly buildings that can give minimum effects to nature, by using natural materials and other methodes.


Bali bamboo

Pura Taman Ayun

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