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Dharmali Kusumali on Asian Hospitality Design

The Managing Director of Architrave Design and Planning shared his insights at a hospitality design awards and summit held earlier this month in Singapore. Olha Romanluk reports.

Dharmali Kusumali on Asian Hospitality Design

The Managing Director of Architrave Design and Planning shared his insights at a hospitality design awards and summit held earlier this month in Singapore. Olha Romanluk reports.



BY

19 March, 2013


As Managing Director of Architrave Design and Planning, Dharmali Kusumadi is no stranger to high-end hospitality design. He has after all helped to mould an award-winning design philosophy that is the cornerstone of Banyan Tree Group of Companies.

At the recent 2nd Annual Hospitality Design Furniture Luxurious Projects Asia Summit in Singapore, Kusumadi shared his experience in helping to define the concept of the Asian hospitality lifestyle.

HDA

Awasu Onsen Hoshi, one of the oldest hotels in Japan

Kusudami prefaced his talk with what he saw as an erroneous misconception when it came to the origins of the hotel culture. “If you look at the historical past in Asia, from China to India to Southeast Asia, there has been a practice of hospitality design that adheres to the Western design methodology and aesthetics. But, in fact, two of the oldest examples of hospitality still standing today are the Awasu Onsen Hoshi and Nisiyama Onsen Keiunkan hotels in Japan, both still operational and well-visited to this day. These examples show that the Asian hospitality culture has a more extensive legacy than its Western counterparts.”

Architrave

Banyan Tree Phuket

While luxury is almost always synonymous with extravagant design gestures, high levels of desirability and grandness of scale, Kusumadi characterised the contemporary Asian luxury lifestyle as having a unique disposition to echo back to the traditional way of living, rather than clinging to a strictly Western sensibility.

Architrave

Banyan Tree Phuket

Kusumadi showed examples of how the Asian hospitality lifestyle elevated practicality to a level of luxury. “We often apply the ’sleep on the floor’ concept as a dominant element of relaxation and luxury, whereby a bedroom becomes more than just a place to sleep,” commented Kusumadi on the design approach for Banyan Tree Phuket and Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru Maldives.

Architrave

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru Maldives

The bathroom designs in several of Kusumadi’s hospitality projects also take advantage of Southeast Asia’s tropical climate, with bathrooms often placed completely outdoors or semi-outdoors. They also often overpower the bedrooms with their size, and many are designed to enhance the ritual of bathing.

Architrave

Banyan Tree Macau

Kusumadi said that living rooms become a communal place for gathering, and the same can be said for the dining room. “Asian dining is communal-based, so we often forego private dining for more spacious, group-friendly settings and designs,” said Kusumadi.

Architrave

Banyan Tree Macau Spa

He also explained how the spa often merges the indoors and out. “The garden becomes an extension of the spa, and the spa is the extension of the garden.” He added that frequently, the spa also merges with the bedroom for the convenience of the hotel guests.

According to Kusumadi, the merging of the indoors and outdoors is driven by the desire to bring the exterior views into the interior spaces. At Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru in Maldives, the bedrooms open out to the surrounding water, while all public facilities feature sandy floors to blend in with the surrounding environment.

Architrave

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru Maldives

Kusumadi said the use of local materials is one of the primary elements in Asian hospitality design. The use of rattan and batik at Banyan Tree Bintan, for example, permeate the otherwise contemporary accommodations with locally crafted, traditional Indonesian design accents.

Architrave

Banyan Tree Ringha, Tibet

Similarly, Banyan Tree Ringha in Tibet fits in seamlessly with the existing village in the mountains. Old houses are repurposed and renovated on site, and the existing interior spaces are revamped into spacious luxury accommodations while reflecting aspects of the traditional Tibetan lifestyle.

Architrave

Banyan Tree Ringha, Tibet

Architrave
architrave.com

2nd Annual Hospitality Design Furniture Luxurious Projects Asia Summit
hdf.tpgi.org

 

 

 



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