BALI, INDONESIA - May 2020 will see the official opening of Bali’s first creative village, Desa Potato Head. Conceived as a multi-dimensional experience which transcends hospitality, it’s a place where music, art, design, food, wellness and sustainability will collide, offering a new type of holistic experience for both the local community and guests alike.
“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.” - Ronald Akili, Potato Head founder.
Bespoke rattan furniture set by Faye Toogood, Image by Kevin Mak
Bespoke rattan chair by Faye Toogood, Image by Kevin Mak
The Desa (‘desa’ means ‘village’ in Indonesian) already includes Katamama and the brand’s landmark Beach Club. The final element of Akili’s decade-spanning project are the Potato Head Studios, designed in partnership with Managing Partner – Architect David Gianotten at OMA, the Dutch practice founded by Rem Koolhaas.
Potato Head Studios will include 168 guest rooms as well as Tanaman, a plant-based Indonesian restaurant, numerous bars, a multifunctional gallery, an environmentally driven kids club, several rooftop activation areas, an amphitheatre, a beachfront pool with daybeds, a music recording studio, a permanent home for dance music’s Wild Life Archive, and next door, a high-fidelity, subterranean discotheque designed in partnership with DJ Harvey.
Concrete block details, Image by Tommaso Riva
Each studio/hotel room features furniture and amenities made from recycled plastics and planet-friendly materials conceptualised by celebrated British designers Max Lamb and Faye Toogood, whose work is brought to life by Balinese artisans using indigenous materials and techniques as well as Potato Head’s own Sustainism Lab, an R&D team dedicated to finding circular solutions.
Interior image of pop-up space and store, Image by Kevin Mak
“The essence of Bali lies in the interaction between different cultures. Dedicated to both guests and the community, our design for the Potato Head Studios encourages exchange between different kinds of users and challenges the typical Balinese resort typology that highlights exclusivity,” says OMA’s David Gianotten.
The Nano Tunnel by Nano Uhero, Image by Tommaso Riva
Studio Eksotika, a library and music space within Desa Potatohead
Focussed on community and inclusivity, Potato Head aims to use creativity as a medium for encouraging positive change in the world. Operating under the motto of Good Times, Do Good, they implement this philosophy not only in the spaces, but throughout the entire guest experience.
Desa Potatohead Programming, Image courtesy of OMA
"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 floor evoke both the raised courtyards in Indonesia, and traditional Balinese courtyards found at the ground level. The Potato Head Studios is a resort for open engagement rather than private consumption. It is a new space for the community where visitors of all kinds—hotel guests and the general public—experience contemporary Balinese culture, while making it." - OMA
Potatohead Founder, Ron Akili, Image by Krisna Sudharma
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