The Alluvia: Under the Shade of a Leaf

Photography By Bagus Tri Laksono

Dubbed Paris van Java, the city of Bandung is known for the latest fashion trends, contemporary designs and cool hangout places. The city’s amiable temperature makes it a good host for rooftop restaurants and bars; and this called the attention of Paris Van Java, one of the city’s largest malls, to add an extensive rooftop garden complete with an artificial waterfall. With the fine craftsmanship of the Jakarta-based architecture firm MorphAsia, The Alluvia Tapas & Drinks has taken advantage of the venue to welcome locals and tourists seeking a new dimension of café in this capital of West Java since last July.

Set amidst the built rooftop landscape, The Alluvia was initiated to have a greenhouse-like design, but Morphasia challenged itself to use wood rather than steel to create a cosy natural ambiance. Against the norm, the architecture firm did so, as its team wanted to make a unique F&B project with almost no decoration. “We are interested in the idea of building architectural integrity to create strong spatial atmosphere rather than taking a project and decorating it,” says Glenn Hartanto, principal of MorphAsia.

The architecture covers only 50 per cent of the site, hence the restaurant can still enjoy outdoor spaces with vegetation. In keeping with the idea of using humble materials, most surfaces of the building are covered with polycarbonate, allowing people to see the shades of the garden from the interior while providing privacy to the diner. On one side, the restaurant is covered with glass doors that it can be opened to host special events. With these transparent and semi-transparent materials, the room is showered with natural light during the day.

The building form was inspired by the structrure of a leaf, starting from its roof to the floor plan. Having wood as its main material makes the building blend well with its surroundings. As the construction is entirely made out of humble plywood, the architect gave extra attention to precision and craftsmanship. “All these plywood were cut into shapes in Jakarta and assembled on site – thus it has to be very precise. An indentation for electricals are grooved into the individual plywood structure. To cover these complex construction, we sew the the polycarbonate boards transversally with custom-folded aluminium joints, so the woods won’t get wet and rotten. This is very important for their sustainability,” explains the architect.

With an indoor space that can accommodate up to 50 people, the interior brings a warm ambiance with a neutral colour scheme of white and brown, and with a hint of black from the wiring. The chairs, which made out of rattan, wood and steel, complement the overall scheme with matching colours. The decoration is brought by the geometric pattern of the ceiling, which is formed from the structural needs of the building. “We are satisfied that we can integrate the structures and the fixtures to make it as a whole. It costs less, but was very challenging,” Glenn asserts.

The outdoor terrace of the Alluvia comfortably sits 30 people with unique landscape walls that create outdoor rooms with providing a relaxing view to the mall’s artificial waterfall. Here, the customers can hang out and sip our afternoon drinks.

The equal philosophy of thought is also given to the menu crafted by the Italian chef Stefano Quaquarelli, who has experienced working behind the kitchen in Asia, mainly in China, for years. The Alluvia is his first spot in Indonesia. His strength is to craft delicious family-pleasing recipes. He goes round to find fresh ingredients and cooks palatable dishes instead of importing things. This leads to his exploration of finding local ingredients for the restaurant’s tapas concept. And the result is indeed very exceptional.

The fusion tapas menu comes with Asian touches, such as Tuna Tartare with Watermelon Wasabi, Roasted Bone Marrow with Caramelised Onion Crostini, Frog Leg Tempura that are spiced with cayenne, wasabi and cumin. The restaurant also serves diverse main courses, such as Alluvia Beef Noodle that is served with juicy bone marrow, Sauteed Clam Pot and Steak Frites. The fusion menu continues to the selection of desserts, such as Chocolate Chilli Truffles and Colenak Mille Feuille. The chef also has the capability of making personalised orders for private events. The Alluvia offers refreshing drinks and bespoke cocktails to be paired with the tapas.

The effort the architecture firm made truly leads us to enjoy the cosy ambiance that features leaf-shaped roof. Although designed to look modern, the ambiance recalls the memory of the relaxing classic Spanish tapas, where we can feel at ease while meeting friends and sharing food with family.

As the name “Alluvia” is derived from alluvial plains where the richest soil for vineyards exists, the restaurant’s design and menu successfully represents. A design that is completely inspired by nature and a menu that takes advantage of the best ingredients.

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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.
Bagus Tri Laksono

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