Vincent Martin, a 42-year-old environmentally focused architect, shared his day with The Bali Times
I don’t like using computers because you don’t get a real feel for the design.

I wake very early each morning because I have a baby. As soon as I wake up, I will be in the pool swimming laps from around 6.30 till 7.

I then like to ride my bike to my office, about 100 meters away from my home, and the first thing I do is check my mails because I have clients from all over the world who I am designing homes for and I need to keep in touch with them.

I design dream homes for people here in Bali and my number-one priority is the environment. I like to use to local materials and local workers whenever I can.

Every morning without fail the jamu (herbal drink) lady will come round to give me my jamu. It tastes awful but it does wonders for the liver. It’s a medical drink from Java made from roots.

I’m out of the office by around 10am to start work on my projects. At the moment I am working on a bungalow resort on the Balingong cliff in the Bukitt. There were originally only eight bungalows but we are extending this to 24 because it’s such a popular resort; it’s booked out year round.

The whole place is designed like a shell, from the door handles to the sinks; even the bungalows are shaped like shells.

Yesterday we were busy installing a logo on the bottom of one of the pools. The logo is a head of Buddha. The pool needs to be completed by Friday so we are working really hard on it at the moment.

Today we will be working on the kid’s pool, which is shaped in a spiral and will be almost like a vortex. The water spins round like a whirlpool.

There are 60 local men working on the project, so progress is fast. Working on projects like this is a good learning experience for them, too. They get a lot out of this.

I try to get back to the office by around 2pm to check my emails and draw designs, but I generally have no regular hours in the afternoon. I’m an artist – we don’t like regular hours.

I like to go home to play with my baby at around 6pm because she needs to be in bed by around 8. But sometimes I’m in the office drawing sketches as late as 2am.

At this time of year I like to kite surf. So if the wind is up, I try to get out most afternoons. I like to do natural sports like sailing, paragliding and kite surfing rather than something like playing tennis down at Canggu.

I hand-draw all my designs. After the owner of the property fills out a house preference questionnaire, I go to the property to take photos of the land and then I start drawing.

I don’t like using computers because you don’t get a real feel for the design. I like my drawing board because the whole design is right in front of you. Fortunately my assistant, Agus, is great with computers and he puts my drawings onto the computer for me.

I’m originally from Paris and I’ve been living in Bali with my wife for around eight years. One of my parents is from Paris and the other is from Brittany. I suppose that’s why I love sailing and it also explains why I’m so stubborn. I designed my home in Batu Belig, which is a green architect’s dream. I literally live in the plants.

I only work a few projects each year because they are generally big projects with a lot of detail. We work really hard to stay harmonious with the environment, too, with everything from energy, water and waste management to the visual and acoustic feel of the place.

This is because we’re here for the love of Bali so I’m not going to screw it up.

Filed under: One Day

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