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Five minutes with Haris Koentjoro, partner at inPLACE Design

Haris Koentjoro has seen roughly 10 percent of the world — that’s 26 countries and 115 cities — and he’s not stopping there.

Koentjoro’s work as an architect and partner at Baltimore-based inPLACE Design has taken him to Turkey, Japan and across southeast Asia.

It was Koentjoro’s love for adventure that brought him to the United States from his native Indonesia in 1999.

“I was eager to travel,” he said. “I like to explore the world.”

An economic downturn in the late 1990s in Indonesia stalled development projects in the country, making it difficult for Koentjoro to find much work as an architect.

The youngest of nine children, Koentjoro is the only member of his family who lives in the United States. But his work keeps him in touch with his roots.

“I have a lot of friends in Indonesia,” he said. “We still keep in touch and have a good relationship.”

Koentjoro is working on a resort on the Indonesian island of Bali and travels there every few months.

Located on the edge of a cliff, the 60-room hotel is being designed to incorporate the surrounding rainforest, so guests feel immersed in nature. The resort, which is expected to open in 2020, also will highlight the area’s culture and food.

“We tried to have a lot of experiences in this resort,” he said.

InPLACE Design specializes in sustainable mixed-use developments and has worked on projects in Canada, China and India, as well as across the United States.

Prior to joining the firm last year, Koentjoro worked as a principal at DDG, a design and architecture firm in Baltimore. His work there also focused on international projects.

When he’s not traveling for work, Koentjoro is on the go with his wife and two children, ages 19 and 16.

He loves biking, walking and photography, a hobby he shares with his daughter. On a recent trip to New York City, the two spent the day walking around, taking pictures, he said.

He keeps track of his travels through an app on his phone, which is how he knows he’s seen about 10 percent of the world.

Next up on Koentjoro’s itinerary is Finland. The trip is for leisure, not work, but architecture still will be top of mind.

He wants to check out the clean-lined Scandinavian architecture that has made IKEA such a hit and maybe catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.


Haris Koentjoro

Title: Principal, inPLACE Design

Age: 47

Residence: Columbia

Born: Jakarta, Indonesia

Education: Bachelor’s degree in architecture, Bandung Institute of Technology

Hobbies: Travel, walking, biking, photography


sarah.gantz@baltsun.com

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