Architecture / Interior /

Studio Tonton: The Art-chitects behind ARTOTEL Sanur

With its unique architecture, ARTOTEL Sanur has become an iconic landmark in the area. This is thanks to Antony Liu and Ferry Ridwan of Studio Tonton who had envisioned the hotel’s finished shapes and forms from ARTOTEL’s strong artsy lodging concept. They shared their thoughts and design approach with Indonesia Design.

Can you talk more about the kite concept behind the façade?
Sanur is well-known for its handicrafts, culture and kite festivals. The simple shape of a kite inspired us to design the initial shape of the ARTOTEL in Sanur, and one example of this can be seen in the wooden modules in the façade of the building that are installed at a certain angle so that they can also serve as openings for natural ventilation and illumination, which is a direct response to the tropical climate of the island.

What was the design concept that you proposed for this project?
We tried to optimize the available space by presenting a gallery-like or an art space concept, which would be achieved by implementing different surface elevations in parts of the hotel. We use natural lighting to provide support for the artworks on display so that the architecture can become a support for the art element itself. The façade and screen designs in the void area of the main staircase were also done in the fashion of an art installation.

Besides providing natural illumination and air circulation, were there any other reasons for installing a plaza in the middle of the hotel?
Different from other more conventional hotels that have a certain corridor typology—long monotonous corridors—we placed the corridors on either side of the void area in the middle of the building, which is also the central orientation of the building, so that from between the screens in the corridor we can get a view towards the main void. The effect of sun light coming through the transparent roof above the void goes straight to the kite-shaped screen and forms a dramatic play of shadows along the corridors.

The large void area in the middle of the hotel also serves as an orientation space and a flexible art gallery, which can be adjusted to suit various exhibition materials.

What other reasons besides space efficiency made you place the swimming pool on the rooftop?
We positioned the swimming pool on the rooftop to capitalize on the ocean-front view, and also to maximize incoming sunrays towards the pool-side sundeck area. This swimming pool also serves as a climax for the playful stair design.

Which area is your favourite in the hotel and why?
Our favourite part of the hotel is the main staircase which is also the centre of attraction of the hotel, as this flight of stairs not only leads guests to the floors above, but allow guests to enjoy the space and artwork specifically designed by Pintor Sirait (our favourite artwork here) as they walk upstairs.

How do you ensure that the artistic aspect is consistently displayed throughout the hotel, including in the architecture?
The architecture design of ARTOTEL Sanur as a place to enjoy arts should present a ‘space’ where these artworks are showcased—how the artworks can be better viewed, with enough room to discern each work on display, and also how a good circulation can be maintained by placing each work of art meticulously, thus making art aficionados feel comfortable with the placement of the objects and spaces while enjoying the exhibition materials. Therefore we have created dynamic spaces throughout the hotel so that guests can fully appreciate these artistic pieces complete with their play of scale, proportion, void and light, which bring out an artistic spatial experience akin to enjoying an art installation.

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