Building Bawah Reserve


Designing Bawah Reserve

The Bawah narrative is nothing short of a love story: an island paradise, at risk of destruction by illegal dynamite fishing, rescued with a desire to protect it and see it to flourish. The owners have created Bawah with a passionate commitment to preserve it as an ecological utopia. The 6 islands are now a designated marine conservation area, making it illegal to fish in its waters. The design and build of the resort was planned to avoid damage and erosion, and prevent the destruction of the mature island flora.


The Bawah Reserve build begins.......

The architect Sim Boon Yang and the owners wanted to create a fresh experience, different to other South East Asian resorts. The remote setting initiated a vision for all of the resort structures to be designed entirely in bamboo. These were harvested from plantations in Java, prefabricated and shipped for assembly on the island. Once on site, the villa bamboo tented structures were erected in a week.


Bawah Reserve opens to guests .......

Perfectly combining luxurious moments within natural surroundings, Bawah Reserve houses a maximum of 70 guests at any one time – giving each visitor the feeling that they are escaping to ‘their own private island’.

An Interview with the architect

Sim Boon Yang

Singapore architect, Sim Boon Yang, was tasked with creating a holistic design, using sustainable sources of bamboo, found and recycled woods, and “A design ethos of optimum comfort while also minimising energy requirements and having a light impact on the environment.” Melding contemporary taste with indigenous craftsmanship, he has delivered exquisite, exotic structures built on footings that require minimal interference with the natural terrain.

His inspiration for the soaring, organic curves of the roofs of the public pavilions, which cascade down the hill, was the shape and silhouette of the islands themselves, presenting a refreshing alternative in architectural style and five-star flair.

Interview with Sim Boon Yang architect for the Bawah Reserve project