How Yasuhiro Koichi Creates a Sense of Place at Andaz Bali

Photography By Yasuhiro Koichi and Andaz Bali

Yasuhiro Koichi has an exceptional portfolio that lists luxury hotels, starred restaurants, and awarded bars and lounges in Japan and overseas. Born in Chiba, he studied spatial design in the United States before founding Design Studio SPIN Co., Ltd. in 1999. Today, SPIN is designing for a portion of the hotel area and the entire hotel building for globally-renowned luxury 5-star and 6-star hotel brands, including Andaz Bali. Koichi told Indonesia Design on the roles of SPIN in working on the design of the first brand of Hyatt Hotels Corporation on the Island of the Gods.

Yasuhiro Koichi

What was the initial brief upon the commencement of Andaz Bali project?
We wanted to revitalise the historic, traditional, and prestigious Bali Hyatt (now Hyatt Regency) and create the new contemporary Andaz. The brief was to create a hotel with similar genes, but with different concepts in an adjacent environment. Hyatt Regency has been around for more than 40 years and is known for its classic style hotel. Andaz has its distinct style that is more personal and homier, thus creating a peaceful village in the countryside of Bali.

How did you incorporate Balinese Village into the design?
The architectural design was done by Tierra Design, based on traditional Balinese village forms and architectural styles, but with a contemporary and residential feel of a modern resort hotel. The interior design concept is somewhat similar to the architectural design.

Andaz is a hotel brand with the concept of “Sense of Place,” creating something rooted in the local area. The architect and I shared the need to create a unique resort that adheres to this concept. However, as the word “Andaz” means “personal style,” it is crucial to create a hotel where guests can indulge in such a style. So, you can start your experience from the entrance, right from check-in, and everything else is all yours.

We also incorporated “contrast” into the appeal and personality of Andaz Bali. Contrast is the idea of “Old & New.” It’s different from the new and modern architectural design based on the traditional style. The interior design generates new energy by expressing and contrasting the passage of time with the old Balinese culture and history. The concept of “Old & New” adds an artistic and unique feeling to Andaz Bali, making it unique compared to the neighbouring Hyatt Regency.

What approaches did you implement in designing Andaz?
First and foremost, we needed to see and hear with our own eyes the history and culture of Sanur, the background of its traditional craftsmanship, and to understand on a deeper level than superficially how it came to be the way it is. So, I made sure not to disturb the vital element of Bali and promote Andaz as a part of the island’s history.

The fusion of the Balinese spirit embodied in every detail, and the modern and stylish sense of sophistication would differentiate the hotel from others. It would become an essential element that would influence the future of Balinese culture and build a new history.

How did you choose the furniture and colour scheme?
The design is based on the traditional Balinese style and feel with a modern touch. The natural colour, rustic texture, and open pores of the woodwork are all expressed through local materials. Some of the furniture pieces are recycled products from Hyatt Regency to speak of old and new eclecticism. All areas of the hotel are coordinated with colourful patterns of batik, ikat and other traditional textiles as accents.

In your own words, how do you see the future of Andaz Bali?
The journey of Andaz has just begun and we will see it as the hotel grows. A leading luxury hotel company like Hyatt Group always emphasises challenging new things and focuses on being progressive. Of course, we’ll need some more time to determine what results from our design will bring in today’s fast-paced world. But for now, we are confident that we have succeeded in all aspects.

If any, how has the pandemic affected the design aspect at Andaz?
We only use sustainable design at Andaz. This is because the fundamental philosophy of the hotel is not easy to change regardless of the pandemic or any other reasons. But, designing a hotel that people will love for years to come and adapt to the changing times is the key element.

How does the “new normal” affect interior design for luxury hotels?
We feel that we are still in the middle of a pandemic, and we need to evaluate whether this “new normal” will remain or whether there will be another kind of a new normal.

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Aulia R. Sungkar
Writing has always been his passion and endeavour since his college years in the 1990s at the University of Arizona. Flash forward, the Jakarta-based writer and entrepreneur has contributed hundreds of various writing pieces to esteemed publications and does copywriting projects for corporate clients from many industries.
Yasuhiro Koichi
Andaz Bali