The houses have dramatic curved roof structure with multi-tiered, upswept gables. Shuttered windows are built into walls incised with profuse painted floral carvings. The term rumah gadang usually refers to the larger communal homes, however, smaller single residences share many of its architectural elements.
There is another Indonesian traditional home of the Toraja in Sulawesi called Tongkonan that has similarity roof design.
Linda Garland, an Irish-born interior and landscape designer and environmentalist who has lived on Bali for 35 years, had long been fascinated by the Minangkabau buildings of western Sumatra and proposed to Rob Cohen, director of action-adventure movies (The Fast and the Furious, Dragonheart), that they revive the architecture on his seven acres. The residence would consist of three traditional Minang rumah gadang (big houses), with dramatically curved thatch roofs and multitiered upswept gables, and one lumbung (a rice house) to serve as one of the guest pavilions. Garland consulted with scholars of Minangkabau architecture and conducted a monthlong survey of the Minangkabau region of Sumatra to arrive at the selection of buildings.
Linda Garland created this oceanfront retreat for film director Rob Cohen of The Fast and the Furious fame. Dominating the Pantai Jasi coast, and set amid a coconut plantation right at the water’s edge, the property is modeled on the royal residences of the Minang people of Sumatra, and built entirely from recycled timber.