Wednesday, October 1, 2008

CIBOGO SERAI HOTEL, Memoir of a Dutch Boy in Java Plantation House as Basic Concept for Hotel Interior Design.

This was my first assignment when I joined with PT. Parama Loka Consultant in 1994, a Jakarta based Architecture and Interior Design Consulting Firm. Firstly, it was difficult since there was no definitive appointment to the Interior Design Team from the “General Hotel Management (GHM)” as the Hotel Operator. GHM required the Interior Design Team to demonstrate potential ability to propose and deliver acceptable design concept as excellent as design concept have delivered by the appointed Architect Design Team.

During first two weeks, we tried to do design researches to find-out specific theme that relevant could be proposed as design concept, something that reflects local characters. We came to the first presentation day and unfortunately the concept we proposed is directly rejected by GHM. The Hotel Operator gave the team another one week to find-out again the concept that properly proposed for the hotel.

After did for another design and research efforts, finally we came into final presentation session. And, the concept was accepted this time. Basically, the design was reflecting simplicity and natural details as always shown as signature in every Serai Hotel everywhere in the world.

Actually, GHM was asking one another requirement, it was a specific theme could be incorporated into the Hotel Design Concept. To responded this, we did a one day visit to bookstores in Jakarta, and what a big lucky, finally we found a literature book that I believe will be matched and could be properly proposed for the Hotel Concept. Yes, I still remember, I have found this literature book in Kinokuniya Bookstore in Jakarta. The book is a memoir of a Dutch Boy who lived in Java Plantation House during Dutch Colonialism Era in Java Indonesia. Very unfortunately, I lost the book and could not remember what the exact title of the book.If not mistaken the book should be Ernest Hillen's "The Way of a Boy".

I only remember that when I was opening the first page, there was wording mentioned when Dutch boy waked-up in the morning he heard somebody’s foot step on wood floor. And when he opened the door in the morning he saw banana tree are found everywhere in the house courtyard. Roughly, this very suitable with hotel venue where situated in concealed tropical mountain area in West Java within tea plantation surround, about two hours from Jakarta.GHM was very pleased when we shown the bookand GHM immediately accepted that Java Plantation House will become main theme for the Hotel Design. Simply, there will be wood plank flooring and also banana tree pots are placed everywhere in the Hotel Interiors.

Of course, after this session we could enter into the design development process smoothly. It was becoming more interesting when we interfaced together with the Lighting Designer, Nathan Thompson from Australia. Many details of ideas are generated which are actually enriched the design concept.

Our latest interaction with Architect, Project Manager and Lighting designer is happened onsite that is already prepared into “cut and filled” stage. We were imagining together, where the hotel 'porte cochere', coffee lounge, bungalow and other facilities are will be situated. But, this was our latest site meeting, because the Hotel is never built and remaining as a set of idea on drawing papers.

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