Project Team

architects: Inspiral

The restaurant with a site area of 1,200m² and a total floor area of 1,500m² is located in Seminyak, a thriving boutique area in Bali, Indonesia.

The building is a high end iconic restaurant highlighting Indonesian cuisine and culture set within dynamic architecture. The space itself is spacious yet romantic, light during the day and atmospherically lit at night, with the essential aspects of comfort and exclusivity. It is sized to host 130 covers, with a lounge bar, wine room and private dining areas. Sustainable design and green technologies are incorporated into the building which reduce energy costs and resources.

The experience
The primary requirement of the development was to create a high impact, iconic venue which could create a lasting impression. Therefore the concept was to create a journey which could trigger a build up of emotions through the experience of the space. This began from the entrance, where the view of interior is obscured due to frosted glass and the set back of the triple height main dining area, which from a distance provides snippets of unusual geometry within, creating a sense of interest and curiosity. An entrance set in an interesting Indonesian patterned light scape begins with a series of large stone steps which evokes notions of ceremony and rite of passage. From a moody reception space, a set of large glass doors open into a bar area which sits high and overlooks the area. As you enter into the main dining hall through an art screened corridor and down a long gentle ramp, the space opens up with the awe and surprise of an impressive sized arena filled with illuminated crystalline geometric forms which run from floor to ceiling.

These elements provide the uniqueness and main talking point of the building. Made from super efficient translucent ETFE fabric, they not only mould the space, but also act as the roof and water collecting funnels. A major success of this feature was the inverted waterfall created during rainfall, witnessed through the translucency of the fabric, with the funnels stopping just above the floor line. This show poetically highlights the water recycling aspect of the building allowing it to become a talking point and raising awareness of the water shortage problem in Bali.

Another sense of entertainment is the ‘culinary catwalk’. Unusually, the kitchen is raised on the second floor. From here a curvaceous walkway leads out and sweeps around an array of crafted private dining pods. Stylish waiting staff then appear showcasing culinary delights and proceed down the open curved stair case before being served to the tables. From here they discreetly disappear through another set of doors on the ground floor.

Being a restaurant serving a modern, creative take on Indonesian food, the clients wanted the development to reflect this. In this way the building was envisioned to be 21st century Indonesia with a very contemporary feel with hints towards the future along with odes to the country’s cultural heritage. Dynamic forms and new materials were mixed with stone and timber, while Indonesian motifs appeared both on the inside and outside, such as the patterning on the glass facade and laser cut panels or the intricate carvings on the walls of the bar. The private dining pods were hand made from reclaimed teak whose forms are abstracted from traditional Indonesian baskets.

The building was also required to use the site to its maximum potential and define a sense of place. This provided quite a challenge as the site had only 15m frontage and a depth of 80m. Also, unlike the restaurants potential rivals, this site did not have the luxury of a rice field or sea view which is makes it much easier to engage people, especially during the daytime. The site was set in a dense location with quite unsightly surroundings. The way to approach this was to utilise the length of the site while creating a triple height dining hall. This, along with the translucent fabric, meant that the space could be filled with light, enabling luscious tropical trees and vegetation to thrive. The result is an otherworldly, internal microcosm which still has a refreshing daytime ambience, long internal views and space.

Comfort and flexibility of use were deemed essential. The space planning allowed the main dining space to be flexible in its seating arrangement for dining or large events with a separate well defined bar area which still had a spacial connection to the rest of the building. This could also hold parties without affecting the diners. Areas were allowed for dj booths, with the speakers within the restaurant specially equipped to alter the sound waves so that music could be played to a significant volume but still allowed conversation to be comfortably heard.

As speed was key in the developments construction, as much prefabricated parts and creative economical use of material were used as much as possible. This reduced the construction time for such a building. The fabric roof was installed in only 3 weeks. Other prefab elements can be found in the facade and glass wall structure, the private dining pods, panelling and many elements of the main structure.

The existing site itself was raised quite high from the street, disconnecting it from pedestrain use while being awkward from the street. The architects therefore lowered the front level while being mindful of street drainage which can be problematic during rainy season with street flooding a major issue. This was dramatically improved by increasing the size of the drain, while most of the water that fell on the site was collected and directed back in towards the buildings water recycling system.

Green design and sustainability
Genuine green design aspects have been incorporated into the building, which remained throughout the project since conception. During the design process, the architects were able to show to the client, the long term cost savings and payback periods that would be made using these features.

As green design is now being scrutinised much more closely, it is with confidence that the owners are able to highlight the buildings green aspects aswell as use much less energy compared to their competitors. Users are also able to identify these features much more easily by making these design aspects prominent focal points. This would include the previously mentioned roof funnels which visually highlight the rain collection

With the hand over of the building, a report was issued from the design team which reminded the owner of the various management aspects of the building and to maintain energy efficiency. This included much of the technology and its various maintenance contracts for items such as gensets, security systems, water management, sound systems, servers, kitchen equipment, electrics etc. This also included a guide for cleaning of the roof funnels and glass facade. The fabric itself, is mildew resistant with a self cleaning surface. Water outlets are also situated on the roof and at various points around the building to connect a high pressure washer that easily removes dirt from the building surfaces. All clean water outlets come from the water filter / purifier which means that there are no deposits including calcium, ensuring no residues are left from cleaning. It also means pipes can not get blocked through calcium build up, a common problem in Bali.

Many aspects were designed into the building to reduce maintenance which hence saves resources. For example the fabric has a 20 year guarantee, the water filtration technology is actually leased for 10 years and is serviced regularly by the manufacturer, cladding materials were chosen for their durability, hardware used were known reliable brands that would not react to salt air, coatings and sealants were high quality as well as stains specified contained iron oxides so that they would not fade.

One of the main criteria was to keep the building cool without relying heavily on high energy consuming air conditioning systems. As mentioned, heat shields, films, and natural evaporative cooling features were used. Low energy fans were also used to circulate and extract air within the building. When outside temperatures were extreme or when large events with crowds were catered for, then the building employed some in built air conditioning units (with invertors for lower energy consumption) in areas more susceptible to heat such as the bar and private dining areas.

Another energy saving aspect was the use of LED lighting throughout the building. With the vast array of lighting features needed to create the special ambiance, electrical consumption was kept to a minimum. Whilst also emitting far less heat than conventional lighting, the expected longevity of the fixtures would also save on cost and maintenance.

The water filtration system from Starfish enterprises also has low energy consumption especially compared to a conventional R.O (reverse osmosis) system. This uses ozone as part of its technology which meant there was no need for membranes and high powered pumps. The system has only 2% water wastage compared to 30% found in an R.O system. Another feature was that it was able to purify black water as well as grey water. Therefore, using large storage tanks within the building, raw water was in constant supply from water that came from the bioseptic STP as well as from the rain water catchment. This was all then filtered and reused for drinking / cooking as well as all other water related aspects within the building. This meant that the building did not need to rely on a well and only 10% – 15% from the public supply line (PDAM).

Other than the roof fabric which is not yet produced in Indonesia, much of the materials used were locally sourced. A large selection of the timber was reclaimed or salvaged, and the stone used for cladding or floors came directly from Bali. Products specified such as paints and sealants contained no VOCs, with the ability to last for a long period to reduce further energy costs later on.