OMA’s first hotel dedicated not only to guests but also the local community has opened its doors in Seminyak, Bali. The Potato Head Studios, designed by OMA / David Gianotten and commissioned by Potato Head, features an open ground plane for curated cultural events and daily leisure activities, which welcomes visitors of all kinds.
“The essence of Bali lies in interaction between different cultures. Our design for the Potato Head Studios offers both private guestrooms and facilities, and public spaces to encourage exchange between different kinds of users. It challenges the typical Balinese resort typology that highlights exclusivity,” says David Gianotten, Managing Partner – Architect.
In the Potato Head Studios, a floating ring lifted by pilotis accommodates the private guestrooms and other functions, including an exhibition space and a sunset bar. This has resulted in an open cultural ground plane—or an open platform—which leads to the beach. This is a flexible stage for a range of programs, such as festival celebrations, cultural events, and day-to-day leisure activities that welcomes everyone to experience Balinese contemporary culture. At the rooftop is a sculptural park open to public, accessible via a public route that connects amenity spaces including restaurants, pools, and spas.
The Potato Head Studios was designed with the Indonesian context in mind. The open platform at the ground level and a private garden on the second level evoke the raised courtyards in Indonesia, and traditional Balinese courtyards found at the ground level. Textures of some concrete walls were created by local craftsmen, while the façade design of the guestroom corridors was inspired by Balinese Tika, or divination calendar.
“At Desa Potato Head we’re not trying to change the industry, we want to create an entirely new model for it. If we bring people together for good times, but offer them the unexpected, it will open their minds in new ways. OMA is known for building public spaces, like museums and institutions, and that was our idea for the Desa: to create a type of cultural institution that mixes public with private, guests with locals, and future thinking with time-honored craftsmanship,” says Potato Head founder Ronald Akili.