PHOTO BY Bagus Tri Laksono
With an extensive portfolio under his belt as one of Indonesia’s best interior designers, Hidajat Endramukti of Endramukti Design is very well-versed in dealing with buildings bearing strong historical values and tradition. In his latest endeavour in rejuvenating The Shalimar Boutique Hotel in Malang, a city where he grew up, he has managed to create a strong sense of heritage amidst a beautiful backdrop. He revealed how he balanced the style and character of the old building with the new one, and how that became one of the greatest challenges he had to encounter in finishing the project.
What did the client want when they first approach you to redesign The Shalimar as a boutique hotel? When they came to us, they wanted to make sure that the building’s characteristic colonial architecture would remain intact despite the hotel’s new manifestation as a five-star boutique hotel. We turned that request into reality by presenting a Dutch colonial-style design that is intertwined with Peranakan and Javanese-style architectures.
How did you combine the character of the main building, which is designated as a heritage structure, with the two more recent additions?
Obviously, we preserved the shape and condition of the main building in the middle of the site as part of the site’s history because regulations state that it cannot be altered or rebuilt. The building on the north side is a new addition that was constructed in 1993. The latest addition is located on the west side, which was built over a span of three years, from 2013 to 2015. Therefore we had to harmonize the styles and characters of the two annexes with the existing building. This was one of the main challenges of the project, especially considering that the structures had to be built within a limited site.
Do the adjustments of the new design to fit the existing style and character of the old building include the colour scheme?
We selected a greyish off-white shade for the main building in general. For the interior, some rooms display certain accents, such as red in the lobby and lounge, blue in the pool terrace, greyish blue in the interior design of the building in the north wing, greyish purple in the interior design of the new building in the west, and finally brown hues in the library.
Going through the main entrance of The Shalimar, guests are led towards the reception desk through the dining area. Yet the lobby is placed a little further away towards the swimming pool. This flow is slightly different from most other hotels, why is that?
The alteration to the main entrance happened because of feng shui considerations, which altered the guest flow towards the reception area and dictated the positioning of the lobby and the lounge. Following this, we deliberately presented a different sequence. The same thing happened with the lobby and lounge, which are placed separately. Despite the two different locations, we made sure that these two zones are still in close proximity to the reception area in order to ensure maximum natural lighting and aeration, as well as to guarantee an interesting view towards the pool terrace.