A door is typically used as a barrier to an entrance of a room, building or home. It divides the space to either create privacy or security from outside elements. In a recent trip to Bali, I found that the function of a door was much more expansive than that. The doors were designed to be exquisite, and elaborate works of art. I naturally inquired more about why Balinese architecture places so much emphasis on not only the door, but also gates and entrances onto homes, temples, and other compounds.
Candi Bantar is a split gateway commonly found in religious compounds, palaces or cemeteries. It consists of two symmetrical structures standing side-by-side with an opening in the center. It typically narrows at the top, is uncovered and open to the sky, similar to the popular tourist attraction that is Lempuyang Temple.
Paduraska is similar to the Candi Bantar, but is covered with a towering roof. It is often elaborately decorated with celestial ornaments.
Regardless of its purpose, Balinese structures serve more than a simple utility of providing an entrance into a dwelling. It creates a Doorway Effect where those who enter are physically and mentally transitioned into a new space and state of mind. The entryways of the religious temples are designed as if those who enter are leaving the secular world and entering into the gates of heaven to connect spiritually with the gods. I was impressed by the artful emphasis that is placed on every entrance in Bali. I observed that most entrances, including those of stores, coffee shops, boutiques, received the same attention to detail. Take a look at the doors, gates, and entryways that I captured while in Bali.