OMA's first hotel in bali is 'conceived as a public space'

OMA's first hotel in bali is 'conceived as a public space'

OMA has completed its first hotel project in bali — challenging the typical resort typology. dedicated to both guests and the local community, the design of ‘potato head studios’, led by david gianotten and project architect ken fung, opens up the ground and top floors for public events and activities.

OMA's first hotel in bali is 'conceived as a public space'
all images © kevin mak, courtesy of OMA



located on one of the last remaining unoccupied beachfront sites in seminyak, desa potato headdesa being the indonesian translation of ‘village’ — includes a beach club and two hotels. as well as private guestrooms, OMA designed the resort to be open to the public, creating spaces that could accommodate festival celebrations, cultural events, and day-to-day leisure activities.

OMA's first hotel in bali is 'conceived as a public space'



lifted by pilotis, a floating ring accommodates the guestrooms and other functions, including an exhibition space and a large sunset bar. this configuration has resulted in a cultural ground plane, or an open platform, that acts as a centerpiece and a flexible stage for a range of programs.

OMA's first hotel in bali is 'conceived as a public space'



‘the potato head studios was designed with the indonesian context in mind,’ explains OMA.the open platform at the ground level and a private garden on the second floor evoke both the raised courtyards in indonesia, and traditional balinese courtyards found at the ground level.’

OMA's first hotel in bali is 'conceived as a public space'



textures of some concrete walls were created by local craftsmen, while the façade design of the guestroom corridors was inspired by balinese tika, or divination calendar. at the roof top is a sculptural park open to public, accessible via a public route that connects amenity spaces including restaurants, pools, and spas.

OMA's first hotel in bali is 'conceived as a public space'



‘the potato head studios is a resort for open engagement rather than private consumption,’ OMA continues. ‘it is a new space for the community where visitors of all kinds — hotel guests and the general public — experience contemporary balinese culture, while making it.’

OMA's first hotel in bali is 'conceived as a public space'



‘at desa potato head we’re not trying to change the industry, we want to create an entirely new model for it,’ says potato head founder ronald akili. ‘if we bring people together for good times, but offer them the unexpected, it will open their minds in new ways. OMA is known for building public spaces, like museums and institutions, and that was our idea for the desa: to create a type of cultural institution that mixes public with private, guests with locals, and future thinking with time-honoured craftsmanship.’

OMA's first hotel in bali is 'conceived as a public space'



project info:


architecture firm: OMA
bali, indonesia
client: potato head
year: 2020
status: completed
program: hotel
partner: david gianotten
project architect: ken fung
associate-in-charge: michael kokora
senior architect: fred awty
design team: diana ang, thorben bazlen, von xiao chua, kwan ho li, mike lim, ioana mititelu, catherine ng, slobodan radoman, rizki supratman, shinji takagi, patrizia zobernig
local architect: andra matin
building services: aurecon
landscape consultant: larch studio
lighting consultant: switch
acoustic consultant: DHV

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    504,281 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample
    designboom magazine