Andra Matin, Gregorius Yolodi and Maria Rosantina: Modern Reflection of Traditional Values with Nature

By vira

Andra Matin (AM), best known as Aang, Gregorius Yolodi, also known as Supie (GY), and Maria Rosantina (MR) are Indonesia’s renowned architects who have garnered numerous awards both locally and internationally. With a wealth of experience, Aang has specialised in traditional design whilst maintaining a strong focus on environmental sensitivity. Meanwhile, Supie and Maria as the principal architects of d-associates have gained recognition for their eye-catching forms, which have been showcased in both local and international exhibitions. Together, these three designers have collaborated to create Innit Lombok, a resort that harmoniously blends with its natural surroundings whilst incorporating unique architectural designs.

Why build a resort in a remote location?
AM: I believe there are several reasons for this decision. Firstly, the remote location offers a serene and picturesque setting, characterised by its natural beauty, tranquillity, and relaxation. Lombok, for instance, provides a stark contrast to the bustling and well-established tourism
of Bali. Secondly, the resort owner may have sought to create a distinctive attraction by incorporating a simple yet iconic design. Lastly, the resort’s design has been crafted to blend with the surrounding environment, thus enhancing the overall appeal.

MR: The location of Innit Lombok is not only remote but also unique. It boasts a lengthy coastline flanked by two lush green hills, providing a private beach experience right in front of the beach houses. In addition, Lombok offers an intriguing combination of landscapes, with its stunning blend of blue seas and green hills landscape. The views are truly awe-inspiring.

What was the experience like working together for the three of you?
GY: We are close friends in our personal lives and have collaborated on various projects, including Gelora Bung Karno and Sakola Tukang. We realised that the focus was not on our individual egos, but rather on creating beautiful and functional designs together. Undoubtedly, our strong friendship facilitated our collaboration.

AM: Working closely with people you already know is preferable. Yet, not many people know that our design styles almost resemble each other, which paves the way for our understanding, mutual respect, and ability to complement each other.

How was the design process?
AM: The three of us would sit down with a blank sheet of paper and contemplate the design, focusing on a specific project like the restaurant, for instance. We would brainstorm ideas and discuss possible approaches. Next, we would attempt to sketch out the design. Once we had a clear concept and completed the initial drawings, the next step involved determining who would be responsible for further developing the restaurant project.

GY: During the initial and conceptual design phases, we always worked collaboratively. Once the project entered the development stage, it would be assigned to either Aang’s firm or ours for implementation.

Where did the inspiration for a sand floor come from?
AM: The idea to incorporate a sand floor in our design was inspired by the beautiful white sand surrounding the resort. We wanted to create a seamless transition between the outdoors and the interiors, thus allowing for a borderless experience that merges the architecture with the natural environment. We were thrilled when the owner embraced our concept.

GY: We wanted to design a space without clear boundaries, as the beach is only
30 meters away from the beachfront. By integrating the sand floor, guests can immerse themselves in the surroundings, blurring the lines between the interior and nature, and enjoying the flawless environment.

Is there local material used in building the resort?
MR: We used plenty of wood sourced directly from the island. The challenge we encountered when using local wood was to ensure its exceptional quality and consistent supply.

AM: The design, including materials, was a collaborative process. We conducted many trials, like choosing the most suitable woods. Initially, we considered bamboo and ironwood for the façade, but later on, we decided to use Bengkirai wood, which can be found easily on the island.

How did you manage to build Innit Lombok in such a remote area?
GY: Did you know that 65 per cent of the current employees at Innit Lombok come from the villages surrounding the resort? And most of them were the ones who assisted us build the resort. We provided them with training in carpentry, proper bricklaying techniques, sand excavation, and more.

AM: Our aim was to involve the community in the construction of the resort, empowering them to enhance their skills and contribute to the growth of the community as a whole. This created a strong bond between the community and Innit Lombok, which is a crucial aspect of advancing the resort to the next level.

MR: The employees’ sense of belonging to the resort, as they involved in the construction that subsequently would be their employment, is a vital element in sustaining Innit Lombok. This all serves as a way of giving back to the community.

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