ANDRA MATIN HAS CREATED A BRAND NEW RESORT IN SEMINYAK WITH THE GESTURE OF MODERNISM DRESSED IN LOCAL BRICK.
TEXT: NARONG OTHAVORN
PHOTOS COURTESY OF KATAMA HOTEL
Over one million pieces of brick in various shades made by hand in Bali, Indonesia, are constructed into a five-star hotel on beachfront land in Seminyak, the neighborhood that gathers almost all of Bali’s most renowned resorts and clubs. The way that the majority of the projects adopted a ‘curve’ as the axis of their architectural program and design seems to be what Andra Matin tried his best to avoid. The Indonesian architect is the man behind the aesthetic of Katamama, the latest resort by PTT Family Group, the developer of the widely recognized Potato Head Beach Club in Bali and Potato Head Garage in Jakarta.
“The idea behind Katamama was to represent Bali. It should feel Balinese, but modern at the same time. The main concept is actually the ‘modern’ architecture of the 60s and 70s. It’s very geometrical. And these days, when almost every hotel in Bali is planned with curved lines, it’s quite unusual,” Andra Matin described of the ideas that gave birth to Katamama’s architecture whose interior design is the result of a collaboration between Matin himself and a team of interior designers from Singapore’s Takenouchi Webb.
The project’s primary concept is to present the space with the look and feel of Balinese architecture in which the structure reflects the harmony between a building and its users, known in the local language as Tri Angga. The concept results in the architect’s attempt to allocate the 58 rooms and other spaces of the program to have equal visual access to the hotel’s landscape.
Apart from the architecture and floor plan, other compositions and materials chosen as the contributing elements are derived from a desire to present the stories of Indonesian art, craft and culture. They appear in various shapes and forms, from bricks, ceramic and terrazzo, to the works of Indonesia’s prolific contemporary artists such as Eko Nugroho, furniture made in Bali and other parts of the country, the fabric and carpets from Tarum, a town to the south of Bali, Gaya’s pottery whose production base is in Ubud, and several other items that individually and collectively represent the traits and characteristics of Indonesian culture.
If the word introvert is defined as ‘a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things,’ Matin uses the word to explain that experiences emerge from one’s interaction with the room and spaces. It’s the state of solitude as one observes the changing conditions of the surroundings, of the vast, succulent green land that immerses itself into and around large brick buildings, of one’s touch and use of handcrafted objects found in different areas of the hotel. It is possible that being surrounded yourself by the large number of such objects can make the most ordinary thing seems extraordinary. It’s the same story of how the geomantic structure of the 70s modernist architecture became an architect’s aesthetic approach to differentiate his work from the eccentric curves of other built structures on the island. Perhaps the issue here is not to create superficially striking visual effects that grab attention, but more about the experiences users receive and take back with them when they leave.