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Villa Tusk located in the village of Penestan, a couple of kilometres west of Ubud, is made up of 2 Joglos plus extra rooms and renovations that have been added over the past 20 years. The original name of the villa was Joglo Putih (which means “white house”). From what we have learned it was originally built by a Javanese man and his partner as their Bali villa in the early 2000s.

Even though there are many joglos throughout Bali they originated in Java and are not inherently part of Balinese architecture.

Hand carved Joglo Ceiling
Hand carved Joglo ceiling at Villa Tusk

Both the Balinese and the Javanese have a deep seated belief that a mountain is a symbol of all sacred things. Hence a joglos pyramid like roof loosely resembles a mountain.

A joglo house symbolises the link between the earth and the sky, being located in the centre between the two.

This is how a joglo is described in Wikipedia.

“ The joglo roof is the most complex of all Javanese roof types. Different with the other type of Javanese roof such as the limasan and kampung roof, joglo roof does not use king posts. Joglo roof consists of columns that become higher as it go to the center. The four innermost main house columns are often the tallest, while the outer columns are the lowest. These four innermost house columns support a roof that is the steepest of all type of Javanese roof; almost forming a pyramid, except that it comes to two points rather than a single one. These four innermost main house columns is surmounted by a unique structural element known as tumpang sari. A tumpang sari is basically layered beams structure; the outermost band of beams support the rafters of both the upper and lower roofs, while the heavily-ornate inner band of beams create a vaulted ceiling in the form of an inverted stepped pyramid.

The basic joglo-type houses can be increased in size by adding extra columns and extending the roof area outwards.[2] Some very large joglo roof, such as the roof of the Grand Pendopo of the Mangkunegaran Palace, has a shape reminiscent of a mountain.

Traditionally, joglo roof is used for the house proper (omah) or the pavilion (pendopo) of noble families. In a large house compound of a Javanese noble family, joglo roof covers the very center part of the house. The space in the middle of the house, known as the dalem, is considered the most sacred. This sacred space – especially the area beneath the tumpang sari – is often left empty. In modern time, the area has no specific usage, but traditionally an incense was burnt once a week in this area to honor the rice goddess Dewi Sri, or in Central Java, to honor Nyai Roro Kidul.[2] This sacred area is also the area where the bride and bridegroom are seated during their marriage ceremony.[1]

The joglo roof is an iconic Javanese roof form. Joglo roof has influenced the development of Dutch colonial architecture in Indonesia. Modern buildings in Indonesia, such as big hall or airport terminal buildings, sometimes use the joglo roof.”

A Joglo in Yogyakarta