Katamama, Bali 12.06.15

Katamama 1

A beach hotel in Kuta celebrates local culture with a robust, almost brutal, facade made from more than a million traditional Balinese bricks

The new Katamama hotel in Kuta has been referred to as ‘Bali’s take on brutalism’, but that’s not a description its architect Andra Matin is wedded to. ‘Some people consider Katamama an extreme work – monolithic, dark and unexpected. It was not designed to appear “brutal”, however, even if the use of natural red bricks has given the design a robust flavour.’ In fact, these red bricks – more than a million were used in the construction of the building’s facade – are a celebration of Balinese culture. ‘We wanted people who stay at Katamama to experience the historic and cultural side of Bali, while enjoying a sense of modernity and contemporary design.’

Katamama 2

The Indonesian architect, renowned for designing modern structures that succeed in blending seamlessly into their environment, was inspired to use the material after visiting Desa Tenganan in east Bali, where bricks are made by local craftsmen. ‘Years ago, natural bricks dominated local buildings but this isn’t the case anymore.’ Matin made features of the bricks’ uneven colouring, the weathering caused by humidity and the moss that grows between them, creating variety in texture and tone, despite the dominance of one material. ‘I wanted to keep these qualities in homage to classic Balinese buildings.’

The building is oriented towards the beach, and its open corridors, public spaces and perforated walls are a response to the tropical climate. The hotel’s developer – PTT Family – is keen to use the venture as a showcase for Indonesian art, design and craft, so the interior features a mix of contemporary and vintage pieces. These range from specially made textiles, objects and ceramics to Indonesian mid-century furniture from the personal collection of the company’s founder. Pieces by noted European designers such as Hans Wegner, Louis Poulsen and Arne Jacobsen sit alongside. ‘The architecture is the palette for these elements. The monolithic, muted walls provide spaces for the interior design to fill, and the two complement each other.’ In 2018, PTT Family will expand its portfolio with a hotel designed by OMA.



Debika Ray


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