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UBUD, INDONESIA — To the architect Hanno Burtscher, true Bali home design has little to do with the sprawling villas, hardwood floors and remote-controlled sliding doors commonly associated with “Bali style.”

“It’s a totally different story when comparing traditional Bali style to Bali style published in so many books,” Mr. Burtscher said.

Mr. Burtscher is one of several designers on Bali working to preserve elements of authentic houses on the island. His latest project is a series of three 15-square-meter, or 151-square-foot, octagons, connected by bridges and surrounded by water in a rice field outside Ubud, a central town that is popular with expatriates.

The octagons are primarily built from bamboo, with floors and walls made of packed earth. The bedroom, kitchen and other features are arranged following spiritual guidelines associated with old Bali homes.

“There is a feeling of harmony with the land,” said the homeowner, Richard Tobias, a native of Canada who teaches yoga and goes by the name Sky. “I didn’t want it be an eyesore like the big cement and tile monsters.”

Traditional Bali homes typically are small, box-like bungalows with tiny windows, clustered within walled compounds…

alejandra cisneros