design and architecture
June 12th 2009
text by Ronald Wan
the masters touch
Elegant and exquisite architectural elements add to a fine dining experience in the F+B spaces designed by Poole Associates at JW Marriott Medan
When it comes to designs by the meticulous and fastidious Ed Poole, even kitsch becomes classy. Thanks to his work, the dining and beverage outlets at the prestigious JW Marrriott Medan have been elevated to a whole new level of profound aesthetics so intricate in their details and thematic symbolism.
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Poole has always been precise in ensuring form and function is an interchangeable and harmonious mix. Consider the Marriott Cafe within the hotel. Primitive artworks from the local Batak people greet guests at the entrance, a nod to the spiritual and animistic context the hotel is situated in. As the Cafe faces the lush greenery of Jalan Putri Hijau, the naturalistic theme runs in the interiors with luxurious wool carpets in green bamboo patterns.
To accentuate the gentle mood and call of the wild, delicate rain chandeliers are suspended over the dining tables, the fibre-optic tubes creating a frozen raindrop effect. It's as if one is stuck in a serene and tranquil rainforest. The LED lights change colors slowly, exuding a magical and charming experience for guests. Subtle LED lighting is also reflected from the white fibreglass pod lamps mounted on the ceilings, towering over the counters.
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The pod lamps take on a much more futuristic reference and this is replicated in a cool transparent capsule that leads to the Prime Steakhouse below. To punctuate the spotless and neutral whiteness, bright colors are used sparingly such as a loud and intense red Rafflesia flower bloom painting.
At the Prime Steakhouse + Bar, it is a different affair where rich and heavy textures are featured heavily by Poole and his team. For instance, the cavernous mezzanine level is decked in warm orange tones, large black leather seating and rustic Ambon Sutra tabletops. In fact, three tonnes of recycled aluminum is used to construct the dining room ceiling, which suggests a more industrious, voluminous and avante-garde approach.
Chandeliers are custom made from bronze tinted hand-blown glass with stainless steel chains to add sparkle to an already dark palette. From the dark brown timber, black leather, red hand-woven carpet to grey ceiling, the ambience is a hint of decadence and opulence. Nothing is spared in making sure a sense of luxury is portrayed, including the island bar next to the sensual dance floor on the lower level, constructed from five tonnes of solid Ambon Sutra timber from central Java.
|This is contrasted with the luxurious and traditional Jade restaurant, which is inspired from the private dining rooms of the Emperor's residence in the Forbidden City. The architectural statement in Jade reveals a perfect marriage of tradition and modernity. Take a look at the beautiful facade, which consists of hand-carved timber doors with green marble inlays. Further in, the granite flooring and lacquered columns are as Chinese as it gets.
|An observant guest will notice the tasteful ceiling motifs in the main dining hall as well, which are interlocked to make a figure eight in a continuous motion, which is well liked in Chinese folklore and fengshui. At the tea lounge, marvel at the asymmetrical arrangement of teapots and cups set in a painfully exquisite shelf.
|Poole uses more intriguing motifs and symbols to surprise guests. At the foyer, black peppercorns, a major export item from Medan, are used as a decorative motif to create a beautiful backdrop wall resembling beads of a Chinese abacus. Similarly, lead crystal chandeliers hanging from a gold leaf oculus is suspended over the dining tables.
|Poole once again demonstrates his expertise in layering textures. In the VIP rooms, custom bronze mirror screens etched with bat motifs that represent prosperity are present. With velvet-clad walls, the layering effect adds drama while creating a soft acoustical property and providing the rooms a sense of exclusivity. And the designer's wit is even present in the bright red carpet, where the motif is in fact a Chinese maze with circles that expand in a flux without ever breaking - a symbolism of perfection and complexity.
|As these architectural elements courtesy of Poole have shown, the art of fine dining does not only encapsulate the delectable cuisine but also the entire experience of being transposed to a different time and space where aesthetics, function and even wit are highly valued and appreciated.
The design teams of JW Marriott Medan Sumatra
F+B spaces :
Poole Associates Private Limited | special thanks to Tony
Guest Rooms, Lobby + Ballroom :
Peter Knipp Holdings
Warren Daubney, Jakarta
PT Litac Konsultan, Jakarta