In Bed with Art


Color and contemporary art does not exactly create a tranquil setting while art, architecture and hospitality combined can also be considered to be strange bed-fellas. Architecture aims to house, protect and impress while hospitality aims to comfort, please and be of service and together they can compliment each other. Art on the other hand is often pushed into galleries or frames to contain it, as the more contemporary art becomes the more it shocks, screams and over stimulates the human psyche. The rather risky design direction to fuse contemporary Indonesian art with architecture and hospitality was a trying venture and it cost plenty of compromise to become a balanced tricycle that could move forward with perfect balance.

PHOTO BY ARTOTEL Jakarta-Thamrin

It is true that everything has an art to it but at Artotel in Thamrin, Jakarta Art seems to have a hotel added to it. Art depicts life from the inside out to become the soul of the concept: The facade features DARBOTZ’s gigantic graffiti artwork titled: ‘Monster Goes Out At Night’.

The striking color combination of black, white and grey with purple as an accent depicts Jakarta’s traffic chaos and the urban energy we have to deal with everyday. A giant squid plays DARBOTZ’s alter ego that lures visitors of the city to spend the night. Even the room types are referred to as ‘Studio’, as in an artists’ studio, with 107 rooms located over six levels of the building.

The rooms are divided into three categories according to its square meterage, starting from the standard Studio 20, Studio 25 to the largest, Studio 40. Even within such limited space, Artotel exercises economical design efficiency with ensuite bathrooms having decent sized showers and unique branded amenities, mini bars, coffeemakers, a safe and closet plus 32” flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi and iPod docking stations. And just when you think all the standards you expect are present and package each room and hallway reveals its own free spiritedness and artistic temperament.

On the second level YKHA AMELZ creates a visual journey where every scene captured by her sight has a distinctive inspiration to identify with. One level up from her ZAKY ARIFIN shows how life is but a graze of chalk on the wall that is mortal and temporary. Once on level four the Design Communication Visual graduate from the Indonesia Institute of Art in Yogjakarta, OKY REY MONTHA, provokes an eccentric and rather kinky fantasy with his pop-surrealism. WISNU AURI is a graduate from the Fine Arts Department of the same institution as Oky, and on the fifth level he projects two dimensional and three dimensional forms, and clean lines of his installations that stand in stark contrast to his drawings, which may appear disorganized and chaotic to amateur eyes. And crowning the sixth level is EddiE haRA’s artwork that deals with various themes and sub-culture mindsets: from environment deterioration through to the absurdity of contemporary peoples’ lives.

The work of EddiE haRA also welcomes guests with a colorful mural artwork at RoCA (Restaurant of Contemporary Art) in the lobby of the hotel. The lobby that houses the lounge and RoCA also has a spiral staircase that takes you to the art gallery on the mezzanine floor. At RoCA, Eddie has painted the ceiling and the wall in the same way Michelangelo did with the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. In his comical childlike homage, EddiE played with a theme titled “Global Warming, Cool Art”. While on the mezzanine level the work of photographer MARSIO JUWONO,and whoever might have an exhibition in the gallery, is displayed.

RoCA serves as the hotel’s coffee shop and restaurant and is open 24 hours a day oozing with urban style supported with interior design objet d’art from the KARE Design Collection. They also have a narrow and cozy outdoor area that is the designated smoking area. Dominated by grey hues and wooden floors, this outdoor area has a glass ceiling and also featured a mural called “Tribute to Smoking Area” ironically representing the dangers of smoking as if wanting to inspire smokers to quit their unhealthy vice. Other amenities of the hotel includes two meeting rooms for up to 150 pax as well as a soon-to-be-completed rooftop bar.

As the creation of the two siblings, Christine and Erastus Radjimin, who started the first prototype Artotel in Surabaya in July, 2012 along with architectural firm ABODAY - this well-designed hotel captures the imagination with the art that freely flows over, inside and through it. Opening its doors in October 2013 starting from the building’s facade, continuing into the lobby, bedrooms and hallways the artwork by recognised Indonesian artists dominates the experience. The concept here is not to bring you to a hotel that has a great collection of art, but to actually let the art bring you to sleep in a bed of a great hotel.

Project Data

Project Name

Artotel Jakarta


Jalan Sunda, Jakarta

Site Area

1050 sqm

Gross Floor Area

4500 sam


  1. Altar Filadelfia

Architecture Consultant

  1. Aboday Design

Principal Designer

Johansen S. Yap,

Ferdy Apriady, Bernadetha Rahardjo

Interior Contractor

Jati Sungkai

Mechanical & Electrical Consultant

  1. Policipta

Civil & Structural Consultant

Junaedi Masil and Associates

Main Contractor

  1. Nusa Raya Cipta


July 2012


October 2013

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Dewald Haynes
Born in South Africa, cultural diversity is something Dewald Haynes embrace on a daily basis through his travels. Based in Jakarta he is currently the Editor at Large of Indonesia Design and writing about his findings around the archipelago and beyond is a passion.

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