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Houses Made by Hand

More than a decade ago, arriving in Bali — on vacation, like so many of its visitors I fell, immediately and irrevocably in love with it. As an artist and a designer, I am ever intrigued and inspired by the daily manifestations of beauty in the form of offerings to a higher power. It’s a privilege to live and create and build here: There may be no other place on the planet where there is such gifted talent in the form of craftsmanship that can be applied to home design. A lifelong habit, my own process is heart centered with a double dose of rigor and attention to detail in design. A living space must be poetic never forgetting designing in function for the various nuanced facets of our client’s lives — to say nothing of the very specific and demanding requirements of building sustainably in Bali. Sun. Rain. Wind. Plant and Animal life. Finally, we must respect the culture of the Balinese while designing for our clients’ cultural origins. Designing and creating a dream house in Bali — whether remodeling an existing one thousand square foot bungalow, reclaiming a one hundred and eighty year old Javanese joglo or building a new home or rental property — is challenging and requires patience and a subtle understanding of the Balinese culture and work ethic, in combination with strength of vision and a willingness to understand when pushing is necessary when pulling back is of essence. Building in Bali is not like building in the West. Our combined ideas, energy and vision in conjunction with our excellent team of dedicated and caring Balinese builders creates the magic

One of the great lessons of this island is how to live beautifully in simplicity. This is why I am drawn to clients who have a reverence for Bali as a natural habitat and Bali as a culture — Let’s design as light of a footprint as we can luxuriate in. Our promise? To design and create and build a one-of-a-kind beautiful home that encourages dreaming and lounging and sharing of meals and stimulating conversation among friends and family in harmony with the elements: a perfect blend of the poetic and the practical.

Alejandra has had...

An international upbringing infused with art, music and languages. She was raised in a house designed by a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright.

A year spent in Thailand, at 16, as an AFS exchange student living with a family. That was the best early training for future life and work in South East Asia.

A Degree in Architecture from UC Berkeley. Masters work at UC San Diego and International Center of Photography, New York.

Fifteen years working with select clients designing one-of-a-kind homes in Del Mar, California, Kauai, Hawaii, in the US. Baja California, Mexico, Montreal, Canada, Buenos Aires, Argentina internationally before moving to Bali.

Kadek De Bhuana is our project architect. He is a rare architect who combines an understanding of structure with a poetic understanding of design.

Sri Arini is our project manager. She has a background in accounting and brings a subtle understanding of moving from the largest scale to the smallest detail.

“We were so lucky to have the opportunity to work with Alej and her amazing team of builders and staff! The project exceeded our expectations and was delivered professionally and on time, despite all the changes, adjustments, new ideas, old ideas – all of which were a part of the journey transforming the beautiful teak frame found on the side of the road into our dream house here in Bali! “
Limasan Elli Sami, Jonna & Elli Lehtinen

“We asked Alejandra in 2012 to help us draw plans for a modest home on a difficult, narrow stretch of land in Ubud. Alejandra acquired, redesigned and supervised the construction of a Joglo as our principal living space, and added a slightly detached library-cum-guestroom with its own kitchen facility. We soon saw that as an architect her feel into the given feature of land was extraordinary, and as designer her blending of traditional material with contemporary ideas is not only beautiful, but also a testimony of respect for Bali – and that makes us be so very comfortable in our new home.”
Rinjani House   Anouk Petzoldt and Emil Wendel

“Working with the team was the most inspiring and important part of the project. Such peace and harmony and commitment by everyone. The house is shining and a work of art because of them.”
Benu House Kate Pomfret

“Alejandra Cisneros, Pak Su and Sri! I got to know Alejandra in her Joglo and was enchanted immediately by the poetry and brilliant execution of the antique teak processing, design of the rooms, to the natural material and sensitive taste of the equipment what the whole did a harmonious antique one and an at the same time comfortable, modern Wohnsculptur. I have given the order to Alejandra to build my Joglo in the north of Bali because I trusted her skill completely. I have experienced them as an architect and designer like she inspired Pak Su as a most bricklayer and joiner and Sri as an organizer with her brilliant impulses. I experienced like this successful team with care, expertises and devotion with each other has worked.”
Ti House   Tiuhuana Beh