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?
Name: Maximilian Jencquel
Business: Studio Jencquel
Projects (some): John Hardy Seminyak, Lost by Lindenberg, Hartland Estate, Uma Ubud Hotel,
Four Season Ubud,…
What was it that drew you to Architecture?
The desire to learn and understand the process that defines our physical surroundings. In
particular the desire to establish a link between our natural world, and that which we humans
What / who were your main influences when you started out in this profession?
What other professions had you gone through before choosing this one?
I was enrolled for International Business when I started my university education, but then I
discovered the art department, and I fell in love with drawing and painting. This changed how I
looked at the world.
How long have you dedicated yourself in designing “what walls look like”?
Your question is strange because if I were to answer it boldly, I would have to say that my
dedication to “what walls look like” started when I was 4 years. That’s about when I first tried my
colorful crayons on my parents walls in their newly acquired family home. If you are referring to
architecture, well then it started 19 years ago when I was living in Paris and enrolled for my
masters in Interior Architecture.
What do you think sets you/your company apart from others?
I don’t know that it does, but maybe in our desire to fit in, rather than to stand out. We really
care about our clients and want to make them happy, and this goes above our personal desire
to create a unique concept and to set ourselves apart from others.
Do you/your company have an architectural mantra? A tagline?
Have you not been on our instagram @studio_jencquel?
Our tagline is #wetellstories #andwelikepoetry
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?
It was challenging because the client was verbally and physically aggressive with everyone
involved in the project. We knew this as we started the project and we wanted to prove to
ourselves that we could navigate even the most difficult of situations, this without being pulled
under into a conflict. Kind of like paddling out when the waves are well oversized for the
Best project ever?
Why limit ourselves to one best project when there is so many? It seems like the projects are
getting better every year. Currently we are working on several projects, of which 4 are
absolutely outstanding. A private home on Nusa Penida, a tiny but big hotel in Pekutatan, a
super private residence in Costa Rica, and a very private residence in Mexico.
Who would be your dream client?
Did I not mention this already? Robinson Crusoe.
All the projects in our studio are currently our dream project. And I really mean this. We are so
incredibly blessed to have created an environment for ourselves, which is conducive to
attracting our dream projects.
How big was your biggest project?
A 60 bedroom hotel (halted because of COVID).
Which was your smallest?
A tiny home in Perenenan on a tiny speck of land, currently under construction. Ready for
publication next year.
Which do you prefer – private or commercial properties?
Why conform to having a preference when all projects have the potential of being interesting?
We need to allow our creativity to bend the reality of boredom.
Hotels, villas, malls or resorts?
Sorry, but still the same answer as above. You can ask me again below, but I will still not cave
in to your silly question.
How big is your own house? And how much of “you” created that space?
Now you are getting very personal? How big is your house? 😉
I currently live in Rumah Fajar, which is a fairly large villa with a surface of 450sq. m.
I created and designed every single brick that was laid in this house and every single plant that
was planted. Well, actually not the plants themselves, but the choice of the plants and the
positioning of them. The bricks in return were actually custom cut to a specified size and
Claiming the summit of a Cocos Nucifera. It happened just the other day, a radiant
summer morning in my early twenties. My hair was getting kind of long and I was beachcombing the lush Venezuelan coastline for a few weeks.
I’d seen locals climb the trees an uncountable amount of times throughout my childhood before,
but never had I seen an urban city dweller like myself doing it. To everyone’s surprise that
morning it was I, the fragile young boy from Caracas crawling on the stem and saddling the
crown of the palm tree, harvesting its precious coconuts. As insignificant as this might seem to
anyone reading this, for me this was a glorious moment, in which I successfully overcame fear,
challenging myself into doing something people around me thought of as impossible. From this
day on I knew that I could be stranded on a remote beach and survive.
What is on your architectural bucket list?
What does that even mean? I don’t have a bucket list and did’t think I needed one until you
asked me. Maybe I will start one now
And lastly if The Yak had a project and was looking for an architect why would we choose you / your company?
That’s super simple. Now that you have gotten down low, very low actually, with so many
promising architects, you will have come to the conclusion that we don’t only design beautiful
places, but that we can make you laugh as well. And now you tell me, what is more important in
life than a healthy, good laugh?
We love a healthy good laugh!!
It’s been a pleasure, thank you for your time…