Food and architecture go hand-in-hand in this plant-based, OMA-designed Indonesian restaurant.
By Lauren Mang
Photographed by Tommaso Riva and Kevin Mak, OMA
Indonesia’s native plants were the driving inspiration behind Tanaman,
the 6,243-square-foot restaurant with an exclusively plant-based menu that pays tribute to the archipelago’s family kitchens, street vendors, and warungs (small cafes found around the country). The vegan eatery is located inside Bali’s latest luxury beachfront resort, Potato Head Studios, and both were designed by international architecture firm OMA earlier this year.
“Tanaman’s design—and in fact the whole Potato Head Studios—echoes the way in which native Indonesian plants are used in the restaurant,” says David Gianotten, Managing Partner and Architect at OMA. “Chefs at Tanaman use local materials to craft fine cuisines, with sustainability in mind.” Similarly, OMA opted for locally sourced and recycled materials for both the resort and the restaurant, utilizing ijuk fibers (a thatched roofing material), teak from a local and renewable source, floor terrazzo made from waste concrete chunks, and ceiling panels woven with recycled plastic bottles. “We worked closely with local craftsmen to create textures on the concrete walls,” Gianotten says. “To reduce waste in construction, we used reclaimed wooden boards for concrete formworks, which also led to unique textures [in] the walls.”
A minimal blue color palette is used throughout the restaurant, from fixtures and furnishings to the bright hue of the highly reflective blue epoxy floor, which Gianotten explains is reminiscent of water in a cistern. OMA opted to leave the textured, neutral-colored concrete of structural elements such as columns and the domed ceiling exposed.
“[It’s] an immersive experience of a subterranean space that is enigmatic and insulated from the outside world,” he says. “This spatial experience could possibly eliminate one’s preconceptions about plant-based food, and prepares one’s senses for a new culinary experience.”