It’s hard to talk about tropical modernism in Indonesia without mentioning Andra Matin, one of the country’s most innovative architects. His contemporary take on traditional design, always with a sensitivity toward environment, ensured that he’s had an integral part in shaping the language of architecture in his country over the 40 years he’s been practicing.
His bold use of local materials is shared by his contemporaries at D-associates, Gregorius Supie Yolodi and Maria Rosantina. Their studio, known for its eye-catching forms, has won numerous awards and competitions, and has been showcased in local and international exhibitions. For the intimate seven-beach-house property, Innit Lombok, Matin, Yolodi, and Rosantina bring their considerable expertise together to create a hotel that intrudes as little as possible on its natural habitat while still making a daring architectural statement.
We had a brief chat with them on working together and their hopes for the future.
Gregorius Supie Yolodi: It was very pleasant, since we are also close friends in our personal life. We have worked together on several things, such as the Gelora Bung Karno Projects and Sakola Tukang (a compound consisting of school facilities for skilled laborers). I have had new experiences and gained knowledge during our collaborations, including in some unexpected areas. We understood that it was not about our ego, but how to create beautiful yet functional designs. In the process, we have learned from each other, which has created a new understanding between us.
Andra Matin: The white sand around the location is a very beautiful element that we wanted to insert into the architecture and interior of the villas. The sand becomes a continuous flooring from outside to inside, creating a borderless experience between architecture and nature. We wanted to integrate those experiences into the daily life of the villas.
Maria Rosantina: For the façade, we chose a stone that is normally meant for the substructure. The stone is a local material that easily found nearby. We also used plenty of wood, which we sourced from the island itself. The challenging part of employing local wood is to make sure the quality is excellent and consistent. So those materials have gone beyond just being structural materials to becoming the main elements of the design.
AM: Renovation of the Aquatic Stadium Gelora Bung Karno, in Jakarta; the Blimbingan airport, in Banyuwangi; and the AM residence, in Jakarta.
GSY: The new Baseball Stadium Gelora Bung Karno, in Jakarta; the Walandano Library, in Sulawesi; the Tamarind and Kalibata Houses, in Jakarta; and the OHD Museum, Jakarta.
Andra Matin is one of the founding members of Arsitek Muda Indonesia (Young Architects of Indonesia)—a collective of progressive young architects active in the 1990s that played a pivotal role in the country’s contemporary architecture scene.
D-associates is known for its range of carefully detailed material experimentations and meticulously executed architectural projects.
Andra Matin was awarded a Special Mention Award at the 16th Venice Biennale and numerous prizes by the Indonesian Institute of Architects.
Rest Area KM 19, one of the first architecturally designed public facilities in the country helped put D-associates on the map. The mixed-use commercial building is iconic for its adaptation of a double glass façade designed especially for the tropical climate of Jakarta.
AM: To have more respect and to appreciate the Earth—a place where we live and grow—for the future generation. Architecture that we design should be part of nature and earth.
MR: We’re pretty sure Indonesian architecture is moving towards maturity. We have a strong culture of local wisdom that has enriched and empowered the local context and values. If we can combine that wisdom and culture with global thinking, being relevant and creative for both present and future contexts, I believe we can find the personality of Indonesia architecture. If we include all diversities, it can become very interesting.
AM: I am very excited and optimistic to see how Indonesian architecture develops in the future. I see that young Indonesian architects in general are aware of and appreciate their culture and climate, and celebrate the different styles and characters based on their locations. I believe this will create an interesting dynamic for the future.
GSY: Anyone who is concerned with protecting and conserving our nature and Earth. So many people have this sensibility and I hope that everyone becomes sustainability heroes in the future.
AM: People/parties who support and actively protect the Earth, who initiate and introducing concepts of sustainable living in our daily lives. This includes using recycled material, sorting the trash, using sustainable fashion products, etc.
GSY: Ubud, Bandung, and Jogjakarta.
MR: Yogyakarta, Bali, Bandung, and Solo.
Maria Rosantina, D-associates