Julie Milleret Architecture & design

Nihiwatu - Tradition and Luxury

Work type : Interior design
Location : Sumba, Indonesia
YEAR : 2015
Collaboration : Susan Colley

Nihiwatu is a luxury resort built on a cliff facing an incredible wild beach and surrounded by a dense tropical forest. For each private villa, the design intention was to preserve the primitive spirit of Sumba and offer to the guests a local experience in a luxury environment.

Revisited Sumbanese House

The sumbanese house is recognised by its high thatched pointed roof, meaning protection and spirit proximity. The house is built on a rectangular layout structured by 4 wooden posts. According to local beliefs, each post has a sacred meaning. This explains the symbolic centred position of the bed in Mendaka, one of the private villa of Nihiwatu.

Reveal the traditional style

The main purpose in this project was to reveal and highlight the authenticity of Sumba. The furniture in Puncak for example was made with natural and rustic materials, like coconut rope, banana leaves, rattan, wood in natural finishing…

The seagrass chair

Hand woven chair for a comfy and rustic effect


Mamole, the tree houses, got inspired by nature. The trees get through the walls, it’s a real fusion between vegetation and architecture. Some furniture look like tree trunks, some chairs are made in one single piece of solid wood, imperfections of materials enhance the natural effect.

The tree chair

Stately chair made in one solid piece of wood

Homage to the local art
and know-how

Every decorative element remind the sumbanese culture, such as ikats, colourful traditional textiles, jewellery made with bone and horn, or even carved buffalo skulls, symbol of wealth.