OMA’s Potato Head Studios resort in Bali showcases progressive design with respect for local culture

The building also doubles as an oceanfront hub of cultural activities.

The Potato Head Studios was designed with the Indonesian context in mind (All photos: OMA)

Architecture firm OMA has finally unveiled its first hotel in Bali. Called Potato Head Studios, the luxury resort is parked on one of the last remaining unoccupied beach fronts in Seminyak.

The latest addition to the Desa Potato Head village, which comprises a beach club and two hotels, focuses on public engagement rather than private consumption. Case in point:  It features an open ground plane for curated cultural events and daily leisure activities, welcoming visitors of all kinds.

Leading to the beach, the open platform doubles as a flexible stage to host a range of programmes such as festival celebrations, cultural events and day-to-day leisure activities for tourists to experience the local, contemporary culture. At the roof top, a sculptural park – accessible via a public route that connects amenity spaces including restaurants, pools and spas – encourage the public to linger and soak in some sun.


An open cultural ground plane which leads to the beach

Indonesian sensibilities that reference the local culture are found at every nook and cranny of the premises. The open platform and garden evoke the raised courtyards in the country while the façade design of the guestrooms corridors are embellished with the Balinese Tika, or divination calendar.

To achieve the sumptuous and spacious hotel layout, OMA has arranged the facilities and rooms in a square shape, allowing a certain breeziness between the structures. Greeneries lend a soothing distraction from the grey walls while the terrazzo, made from waste concrete and a traditional thatched roof material called ijuk, create unique textures on the otherwise drab walls.


In the guest rooms, the textured concrete informs the hues of the other features

“At Desa Potato Head we’re not trying to change the industry, we want to create an entirely new model for it. If we bring people together for good times, but offer them the unexpected, it will open their minds in new ways. OMA is known for building public spaces, like museums and institutions, and that was our idea for the Desa: to create a type of cultural institution that mixes public with private, guests with locals, and future thinking with time-honoured craftsmanship," says Potato Head founder Ronald Akili.


The Potato Head Studios is open for bookings and public visits. See here for more info.

Follow us on Instagram