Director at Denton Corker Marshall (DCM) Jakarta
Notable projects: Maya Ubud, Harris Vertu, Alila Solo
Under Budiman Hendropurnomo’s direction, the Jakarta office of DCM represents the beauty and richness of Indonesian tradition with a contemporary sensibility and evolution of sustainable design. He has a deep understanding of the Indonesian culture that enables him to design numerous hospitality projects including resorts, hotels and apartments within the country. Educated in Melbourne, Australia, he is a frequent guest lecturer at some of the country’s leading universities and regularly presenting at industry events. His first hotel project is Tugu Hotel in Malang, the city where is also his hometown.
What are the challenges in hospitality design?
First, the ratio between back of house, public spaces and guest rooms has to be made efficiently. Second, it is not just about the pretty face, it has to be durable for a long time. Maya Ubud is one example. It was built 18 years ago but it is still clean – not even a wood looks porous. This long lasting design is somewhat a success story. Even last year, I got a new project because the owner went to Maya Ubud – can you imagine that was a 17-year-old hotel! It’s common if I get new project from a newly built hotel, but this can only happen if you design the hotel well that it still is good until today. Designing for hospitality industry brings happiness to me because I’m certain that they keep the maintenance well.
How important is the location in influencing the design?
Very important, because the location determines how we would design the dialog between the environment and the architecture, be it a downtown or tranquil hotel; and what to represent from the city.
Is there any issue highlighted in the current hospitality design? (sustainable design, adaptive reuse/heritage building renovation, and so on.)
In DCM, we prioritise sustainability in both cultural and physical aspects. It becomes important, as people nowadays are more conscious of the environment. However, it is also important to promote design innovation to find unique solutions.
Which locations in Indonesia that are experiencing growth in hotel sector?
The high growth are still dominated in Jakarta and Bali. Two years ago, we designed around 4,500-5,000 rooms – 2,000 rooms in Jakarta alone. I think because the average price of hotel rooms in Jakarta is increasing, while in other cities the average price is stable. Speaking of other cities, we also have upcoming projects in Palembang, Lampung, Bandung, Lombok and Manado.
What are the accommodation types that are currently in high demand?
After years of the three-star hotels being developed in many corners of the country, many cities are in need of more luxurious hotels, so I think there will be four- and five-star hotels coming up. At the moment, we do some five-star hotels. Could this be a trend? Maybe. But there will come again the point that people want to build more affordable three-star hotels with smaller land area and inexpensive budget to build. That becomes the hospitality demand cycle.
So you meant you are now focused on developing five-star hotels?
I more often design four- and five-star hotels, which require less of the branding needs so I can push the boundary and make designs that are out of the box. But more importantly, we have to design the hotel to function well as it would serve thousands of people in the long run. I’m happy to collaborate with these brands to bring something new. With Harris, we formed the only one Harris Vertu. With Alila, we go against the mainstream by developing city hotels in Jakarta and Solo. I also want these works to be the foreground of the city, so when people step in, they could feel that the building is highlighted and interacted well with the cityscape.
How about the design in new brands for Maya, Alila and Ubud?
Behind new brands, there are always visionary owners. Anhar Setjadibrata (Tugu Hotels) wants to represent Malang for his first project. Ray (Maya Hotels) came to me saying that he has this peninsula-like 12-hectare land in Ubud and wanted to make Bali-inspired hotel with less than 108 keys. Franky Tjahyadikarta came with a land bank in city centre area, where now sits the modern Alila Jakarta, which was built when everyone made the neo-colonial designs. They are passionate people who are courageous to push the boundary and dare to make unique architecture.
Tell us about your design approach for Alila Solo.
Alila Solo belongs to Konimex Group, which has been evolving in that city for decades. The owner and Joko Widodo, who was the mayor back then, envisioned the hotel to have a large and sophisticated convention centre – which then realised with big ballroom. The architecture and interior design are inspired by local culture.
Among your many projects, which ones do you consider the masterpieces?
Among many hotels and resorts we have designed, I like Maya Ubud, Alila Solo, Tugu Hotel Malang and Sensa Bandung. In the coming years, we will have Patina Ubud and Alila Bandung that boast unique designs.