Text description provided by the architects. Part One
When this project started in 2007, the original land size of 2600 sqm is barely enough to build a women and children clinic with 52 wards. The building programme is complex, which include one floor dedicated for in vitro treatment. The 5 storey building sits on an elongated site, located in a junction of Jalan Ampera Raya in South Jakarta, and 6 m width neighbourhood alley. It has an inward tapered shape with a frontage of only 20 meter in width. Strict guideline of building setback results in a curvilinear building so thin that the part facing the road only has 7 meter of width.
In a country where design is still not a paramount of important, the challenge is bigger when architect has to convince client with regards to their design vision that has nothing to do with client’s commercial calculation. The budget is very modest for a clinic. Understandably client will invest more towards medical equipments rather than the building architecture. Architect tries to marry the idea of having an excellent building that in return will help to boost the business. For a clinic that is intended to cater such a niche market, it is important to gain recognition from public using the uniqueness of design. As the client doesn’t want to have a clinic with conventional approach, architect creates building façade that engage with its surrounding by using interwoven pattern of plaster concrete panel and colour glass. This is to mimic the surrounding area dominated by non-descript commercial building with colourful commercial signboard, and at the same time enhancing the quality of clinic’s interior by producing a various colour glow for every room.
The idea of coloured glass façade came up upon reading a text about chromotherapy. It is part of natural healing that uses colour to balance energy wherever a person's body be lacking, be it physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental. Even thought this has not been proven scientifically, the idea of using colour to affect people emotion is rather new and interesting. This seemingly irregular composition of glass and window on the facade is a result of room organisation within. Each room and facilities arranged along the main corridor that act as a spine of this curvilinear form. On the 3rd & 4th floor, these 2 level corridors are connected by an irregular void in the wards waiting area, creating a fluid space called ‘the womb’.
However complicated the façade it seems, internal circulation and room programme is straight forward and clear. A long central corridor of 2.4 meter in each floor connects rooms and facilities distribute equally on both sides of the line. In each floor, this corridor centre on the reception lobby, which become a point of orientation for visitor. By dividing the building facilities into 2 linear blocks, each room is quite narrow in dimension, consequently resulting in an entire floor bathed in abundant natural lights almost all day long.
When construction stage was still ongoing, client manage to acquire the adjacent 2,000 sqm land. This additional parcel helps to release the tension on the 1st phase due to its complex programme. The overall ‘U’ shape land also helps to regulate traffic, easing the parking internal circulation by having separate in and out access. However because of the time constrain, it was decided to build only 1 storey building in this extension, while leaving the rest of the land as natural greeneries. This 1 storey building will be used for the clinic’s main lobby, public facility and administration section. It is connected to the 1st building by a continuous curving wall that defines the main alley between public and more private wings. A large and fluid space contains all administration and reception area is located next to the skylight atrium, a sensuous space formed by the large opening on the roof, filtering the natural daylight trough out the main lobby. Facing the large garden with lots of mature trees, this space is a favourite spot for visitor waiting for their scheduled treatment.