At Home with Art


Set amidst the vicinity of Northern Bandung, a boutique hotel namely Breeze offers rooms filled with artworks surrounding Tan Tjiang Ay’s reductionism architecture. The hotel is nicely located across from an art gallery that displays artworks by prominent Indonesian artists; thus, the guests staying at this hotel can indulge in second-to-none artful experience.

Photo by Bagus Tri Laksono

Breeze Hotel is located in a high-end residential area and infused with a serene ambiance. Having luxurious houses as its neighbours, the hotel stands out with its bold front façade with intriguing dimmed lights at night. The façade, which is covered with textured cement wall and Breeze logo on one side, exposes massive grey structure with humble and welcoming look.

The three-storey hotel offers 12 guest bedrooms, and has a U-shaped plan that allows natural daylight and cross ventilation in all rooms, as consistently appears in Tan Tjiang Ay’s work. The plan makes a twin mass at the façade, which also acts as a gate, indicating the entrance at its centre. Standing in front of the building is a sculpture to welcome guests entering the building.

There is no particular door, as the building is left open all the time. So, guests can come through the stairs that lead to the spacious hallway, thanks to the void above this area.

Each room has a balcony in the hallway from which decorative hanging plants provide interesting views, both from the rooms and from the ground. This void also allows connectivity from one room to another. There are pots of red and white poinsettia on the ground and in balconies that add colour to the monochromatic setting. At the end point of the ground, there is an antique stone sculpture surrounded by tea lights.

The ground floor holds the meeting points – the lobby, the reception desk and the breakfast restaurant. All of these rooms are decorated with contemporary paintings. Walking inside the restaurant, visitors will not miss paintings by Bali-based colour specialist I Wayan Karja, hung on its two sides, while a large number of bird sculptures by F. Widayanto are hung as a divider between the indoor space and the outer hallway. These artworks soften the antique look of the entire furniture.

For those in awe about Indonesian heritage, Breeze Hotel has a boutique dedicated to Go Tik Swan’s batik works, remembering his dedication to unify Indonesian batik patterns, as assigned by Indonesia’s first president Sukarno. The batik collections are kept inside an antique glass showcase, while a kris or traditional dagger and selections of accessories are displayed inside an antique wooden box, which is a carriage for Javanese groom or bride. No less interesting are artworks in form of paintings, and a sculpture made by prominent artist Dolorosa Sinaga.

The boutique hotel offers only suite-sized room in modern design – painted in all white, with sleek cantilever tables as accents. Every room has an en-suite living room and bathroom. Art lovers can enjoy different artworks displayed in each room; while in a single room, they will find three contemporary paintings by Indonesian rising stars and more than ten crafted ceramic works by F. Widayanto. The beauty comes not only from the interior design and artworks – it is also balanced with touches of plants in the balcony, on the desk and further to the bathroom.

The artsy ambiance of the hotel connects with another property across the road, which serves as an art gallery. This is where Drs. Nugroho, the owner of the hotel, keeps his collections of works by senior artists.

Designed by Tan Tjiang Ay, the gallery is an L-shape planned building. Its humble selection of material as in textured cement wall cannot hide the poetic and monumental impression presented by its proportion and its tall columns. The terrace has high ceiling that provides dramatic entrance to the gallery. The two-level building has repetitive wide openings on both floors – all formed in precise rectangles that highlight modern design.

The openness at the terrace lets us prepare for a surprise. As we enter the gallery, the room creates warm and intimate ambience. The white walls make each colour of the artworks stand out. The whole gallery has distinctive traditional grey flooring, which takes a long time to make and a detailed preliminary maintenance to bring out the unpredictable pattern and optimum shine.

The remarkable architecture is complemented by the collections inside this gallery. The ground has its walls decorated with paintings by respected painter Srihadi Soedarsono; while on the second floor, there are vibrant abstract paintings by I Wayan Karja. The ground floor is also home to Nugroho’s collection of heritage artworks he got from Pakubuwono Kingdom of Solo, Central Java; stone sculptures from newly found Candi Boko site; and porcelain collection inherited in the family. He also gave a detailed heritage-oriented touch as all wooden tables in the gallery are made of traditional gamelan tables.

Nugroho and his wife set their home in front of the gallery. Tan Tjiang Ay applied his reductionist style to this home where he allocated only 80-sqm of area for essential spaces needed by this senior couple, consisting of a living room, a dining room, a bedroom, a walk-in closet and a bathroom. There is a casual dining table at the terrace; hence, Nugroho can welcome his guests before inviting them to the gallery, as well as conducting meetings with his staff in open fresh air.

Both properties are surrounded by well-groomed landscape that adds serenity. The hotel, art gallery and the house serve as a home to different subjects; guests, owners and artworks. The architecture communicates the three in harmony.

These properties would make those art lovers to feel welcome and at home at all time.

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Barbara Hahijary
Barbara earned her bachelor's degree in architecture from the Interior Architecture Program of the University of Indonesia in 2013. Historical or heritage buildings, as well as utilitarian design, fascinates her as it is the interaction between people and architecture that remains her favourite topic to explore. Besides architecture, her interests include design, handcrafts, literature and social issues.

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