Shawn Sullivan on the Rockwell Group's Bali dayclub and restaurant

Bar & Leisure Focus: The Rockwell Group’s Shawn Sullivan explains the design concept for a Bali dayclub and restaurant.

All Images: Ed Reeve
Words by Amanda Birch

Shawn Sullivan, partner at Rockwell Group, explains the design concept and inspiration for the Omnia Dayclub and Japanese restaurant, Sake No Hana.

Could you describe the Omnia project?

The Cliff at Alila Villas Uluwatu was an existing resort. Our client, the Hakkasan Group, opened two new venues at this site that we designed. This included the world’s first Omnia Dayclub and a luxury Japanese restaurant, Sake No Hana. Both are located on Bali’s southwestern tip of the Bukit Peninsula atop a 100m plateau overlooking the Indian Ocean. To set the scene for both the dayclub and restaurant we choreographed an anticipatory journey from the resort’s arrival through to revealing the dramatic cliffside. The venues provide unique views, an all-encompassing day-to-night experience, and feature an array of VIP and lounge areas. It was an exciting challenge for us to combine the two concepts and anchor the venues in the beautiful setting of Bali.

What was the inspiration for the design?

With majestic and uninterrupted views of the ocean, the location of the property itself is really spectacular. Our design concept for both venues reflects the serene, tranquil setting and takes advantage of the natural amphitheatre’s stepped rock formations and amazing views. The architectural inspiration is a series of plateaus that lead from the dayclub’s pool at the cliff’s edge and moves up to the restaurant. Sake No Hana has a simple aesthetic, with a grand, bleacher-like staircase that faces the water and incorporates seating and dining, a nod to the region’s distinctive terraced rice paddies. We wanted to create a seamless connection between indoors and out. The restaurant itself appears to float above the dayclub as an open-air cube.

What materials and furnishings did you employ?

Furniture and finishes blend local Balinese craftsmanship and Japanese joinery. Most of the furniture is custom-made from local teak wood. We developed a material palette of neutral terrazzo with hints of gold and soft blues. Cobalt blue fabrics reference the ocean as well as the colours of the Omnia brand. To bring more of a local flavour to the project, we used local materials wherever possible and worked with the client on an art programme that incorporates work by Indonesian artists.

The restaurant and dayclub are located on the same site.The restaurant and dayclub are located on the same site.

How important was lighting?

It was very important. As with all our projects lighting is another material. At Sake No Hana, a monumental wood chandelier fabricated by a local artisan hangs above the grand staircase and features a resin shade. Hand-pleated lamps with teak bases sit on the tables.

Was this your first Omnia project?

This wasn’t our first project with Omnia. We have designed nightclubs for them in Las Vegas, and San Diego and we have also designed Omnia Dayclub Los Cabos. They are an amazing collaborator.

Bali’s Omnia Dayclub was designed by the Rockwell GroupBali’s Omnia Dayclub was designed by the Rockwell Group

Are you seeing any specific trends in bar and restaurant design?

Today, dining is an opportunity to invite guests into an experience that remains with them after their stay is over. People are becoming more knowledgeable and educated about food. They have access to a lot of information about food and dining in print, online and on TV, and as a result they crave authentic restaurant experiences rooted to time and place.

What is the future direction of restaurant and bar design? The food scene is shifting from celebrating the culinary elite and celebrity chefs to creating platforms for emerging chefs. We will see an increase in fine-dining experiences that are simultaneously more sophisticated and more casual. Our notion of what counts as a ‘luxury’ has shifted: more consumers are moving away from iconic/branded status symbols such as designer bags, cars and watches to unique and personalised experiences, and this extends to what people want when they go out to eat.

Compelo Ltd Registered Office: John Carpenter House, John Carpenter Street, EC4Y 0AN, England. No: 06339167.Copyright 2020 Compelo. All rights reserved.