The Yak got down low on a comfy sofa, and chatted with a number of Bali’s top Architects cum Interiors/Concept specialists…Those bricks, mortar and design experts…
Your name, your business and which projects (on and off Bali) have you been involved with?
Hi guys, we are Sasta Jelantik and Jung Yat, the dynamic duo co-founders of SHL Asia. Our most recent finished project is Andaz Sanur where we collaborated with Rimba Bali and Tierra Design Bangkok. There are also several on-going hotel and resort projects across Bali and Natuna Islands. Currently we are designing a luxury private residence in the heart of Umalas with almost 3000 sqm of floor area! It’s interesting for us to be working on a private residence as we normally do hospitality projects.
What was it that drew you to Architecture?
Family and…a character on a TV show. As Balinese, we are introduced to culture and art since we are little. We do all sorts of art form and designing was one of them. Now here we are.
What /who were your main influences when you started out in this profession?
Funny story…we both went to the same company, twice, before we even knew each other. Fate finally brought us together, we met at Bensley Design Studio and worked there for a couple years. Bill Bensley has become our biggest influence through his unique style and approach. Not long after, we established SHL Asia together.
What other professions had you gone through before choosing this one?
Jung Yat has always been very visual. He even tried his hands at photography, from weddings through to human interest. Now, it is used with our 3D visualization and animation renderings, it even led him to be one of the judges for an architectural visualization competition.
How long have you dedicated yourself in designing “what walls look like”?
We’ve been in the industry for over a decade. Fun fact, we actually just celebrated our 11th anniversary last July. It’s crazy to think how far we’ve come. Definitely not an easy journey, but absolutely worth it for doing what we love.
What do you think sets you/your company apart from others?
We have ALILA. No, not that hotel brand. ALILA is our services which include Architecture, Landscape, Interior, Lighting, and Artwork. We provide one stop design solution for our clients to realize an integrated design with the approach of “yes, we CAN” where the CAN stands for Culture, Art, Nature. You will never find the same projects anywhere else because there is different story on each project, and it is personal not just to us, but to everyone involved. It is not only about us. It is about the client, the operators and even the location itself.
Do you/your company have an architectural mantra? A tagline?
Our mantra would be “Timeless Design for Valuable People”. We tend to shift away from what’s trending, rather, we want to create design that is long lasting. That even in the next 10 years, 50 years, the design would still be relevant. And the design is not just for anyone. Timeless design is created for valuable people. People that can value and appreciate the element of culture, art, and nature within our design as much as we do.
We don’t want to know the name of the who (client) or which (venue) was the biggest challenge – actually, we just want the why! Why was it so challenging?
The main challenge is for us to balance the concept of ‘Desa Kala Patra’ as our own foundation in creating a design. It is an ancient Balinese philosophy, which roughly translated is ‘Place, Time, Situation’. Desa Kala Patra is the flexibility of society to respond to a certain place, time and situation, the concept of which is implemented into the creative process of our designs. Every SHL Asia’s designs have to be in sync and respond to the needs of the location, time, and situation as well answering to our mutual vision with our clients. More on Desa Kala Patra is explained in our first book, Timeless Harmony, to be launched in the last quarter of 2021. *Excuse our shameless self-promotion!
Best project ever?
Every project is dear and special to us. Literally, we cannot pick one!
Who would be your dream client?
Not everyone, but our dream clients are hands down the valuable people. Those who can appreciate design and value our CAN element.
Our dream project would be a project that can accommodate all of our crazy ideas!
How big was your biggest project?
The biggest project at the moment is an island resort in Natuna, Riau Islands. It is located in one of the UNESCO Geopark sites of Natuna, Jelita Sejuba beach which also happened to be the location of a movie with the same name, Jelita Sejuba. Quite an honor for us. The project is stretched out along the golden sand beach with pre-historic boulders as an accent.
Which was your smallest?
This luxury private residence located in an elite residential area in Pune, India, with only 75sqm floor area, complete with 3 bedrooms on 1200sqm land. Definitely a challenge for us, but we appreciated the fact that they were concerned with the garden. (Our sense of landscape was intrigued, lol.)
Which do you prefer – private or commercial properties?
Commercial properties because first they look good on a portfolio and second but most importantly, we love the fact that many people can enjoy and experience the design. It somehow gives us a certain sense of satisfaction.
Hotels, villas, malls or resorts?
Resorts is still definitely up there.
What is a home to you?
We spend half of our life at home but not as architects as family. As cliché as it sounds, we are both family men. So home to us is where family is and vice versa.
When we were finally featured in The Yak Magazine :p
What is on your architectural bucket list?
To design a boutique resort on a small private island with our own brand, as owners as well as architects. It is a big dream, so do wish us luck.
And lastly if The Yak had a project and was looking for an architect why would we choose you / your company?
Because we know The Yak is part of the valuable people who can appreciate our design and values culture, art, and element. If The Yak had a project you know how to reach us…we look forward to working together one day!
Sasta and Jung, It’s been a pleasure – Thank you for your time.