Bali is well known for the beauty of its nature, a great holiday destination with amazing villas. Not only family-friendly, but those villas also offer varieties of entertainment and are strategically located close to the beach and sea. One could not ask for a better view! Such magical places to spend the holidays with the people you care about and places you will never want to miss! Have you ever wondered who are the geniuses behind Bali’s amazing well-designed villas?

Recently on March 20, 2021, we are very lucky to get the opportunity to meet one of the genius minds behind those villa designs. Meet Oliver Gehlen, the Founder and Principal Architect of OG Architects. OG Architects is an architectural design firm filled with professional full project architects, including but not limited to Design Development, Client Relations, and Project Supervision. On BV C-Talk #19, Oliver provided inspiring insights on his experience as an architect and shared some tips about how to choose the right architect.

The architect who pursues sustainability.

Oliver Gehlen was born and raised in Germany. He completed his architectural studies at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, and ETH Zurich, Switzerland with a Master in Architecture. Since then, Oliver has been pursuing his career as an architect and finally reached his position now in OG Architect. Before moving to Indonesia, Oliver briefly worked as an Architect, responsible for city quarter management topics in Germany. Later on, he had to move to Mumbai, India for several months to gain project experience. In 2001, Oliver decided to move to Bali, Indonesia, and has been a permanent resident ever since. Three years later, Oliver decided to build a business of his own. Then in 2004, OG Architects was born.

Moreover, Oliver greatly supports sustainability and environmental-friendly projects. Back to the time where he used to study in Germany, the architect mentions that the country is leading when it comes to green topics, energy-saving matters, and this eventually affecting his perspective on architecture as well. Thus, this also explains the reason behind Oliver’s work, where he would prefer using alternative materials that is energy saving. On the other hand, Oliver believes that there is no way he can persuade his clients regarding sustainability. The least that he could do is to have transparent communication where he and his team can guide their clients towards greener options by providing insights on quality materials. With this, they hope that the clients could make wise decisions when choosing the right materials for their homes.

Fulfilling the dream of his clients becomes Oliver’s priority.

In general, Oliver is more of a contemporary man when it comes to design. He believes in clean straight architecture where clients can experience both high quality and coherent design, where spaces are maximized but still come out clean. With a small pot of area, instead of seeing it as a flaw, Oliver saw it as a challenge to himself on how to maximize the quality and be able to fit everything without going over the client’s budget.

The client will not be happy even if you make them a gorgeous building which will be 100% over their budget.
Oliver Gehlen

When there is no particular request from his clients, the architect usually goes for a clean design by using bright colors, or go with something “boxy” or “squarish”.

But instead of having the same distinguish design style for every projects, OG Architects encourages their clients to have their own idea of style that suits them. As it would be very helpful for the team when designing the clients’ dream houses. Mixing their knowledge, ideas, and taste as architects with the clients’ dream are the result that could be expected when working together with OG Architects.

OG Architects always prioritize quality regardless of the client’s budget. They will maximize the project by focusing on the needs in the present without compromising future needs. This allows the team to fit the most out of it within the clients’ request but the quality is still well preserved. Oliver explained that one achievement that he could be proud of is when you can finish a design that fulfills both you and your client’s taste. When it comes to fulfilling clients’ dream houses, Oliver tends to take this as a challenge to be more creative and innovative in his designs instead of taking it as a burden.

Before the end of our talk, Oliver shared some meaningful advices to his audiences. When investing in architectures, it is really important to make a study on it before hand, and to have more than one resources. Moreover, he suggests future house owners to find an architect that connects well with them.

If you choose an architect where you connect well with, where you think the portfolio is good, and he’s doing quality level you need, then continue with the contract. but don’t do it only based on fees or only one factor.
Oliver Gehlen

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