Text description provided by the architects. Architects designing in Jakarta are typically faced with the harsh reality; water and air pollution, hot-humid tropical climate (with malaria & dengue-fever carrier mosquitoes), economic-class disparity leading to security and social issues, and the lack of quality green spaces. Therefore, middle-upper-class houses were mostly expected to be the last stronghold and an escape for families. Many are ironically destined to be big isolated masses, referring to the latest stylistic trends, as if they are a colony in another planet; the air is supported by the air-conditioning units, the water is supplied by trucks from another city, the residents rarely walk around the neighborhood – they use cars to travel.
Another challenge lies in the complexity of the program requirements and the narrow plot size. In medium density/ middle-upper-class residential plots around Jakarta, a private house typically consists of 4 bedrooms (with 3 bathrooms), living quarter (‘formal’ kitchen, dining, living, and ‘Asian wet’ kitchen), a maid quarter, and vehicle garage. This project requires significant additions to those; a garage for 2 cars, a small music studio, a KTV room, 2 maid bedrooms, separate baths for each bedrooms, and a swimming pool.
We answer the challenge by organizing the functions into three storey building. The first consists of all the supporting services with light wells and access to the second. The living quarter is grouped with the swimming pool and the pool deck on the second floor. The third consists of three bedrooms. The grouping leaves a significant central outdoor open space, giving the light and air to all the spaces. Most of the rooms are orientated & glazed toward the open space, while the facade is left as a plain white box.
The open space is the statement of the project. We consider the open space as a hope for the clients to be in touch again with the outdoor air and light quality, while at the same time to protect it from the ills; the too-strong sun light, polluted air, acidic rain fall, and privacy issues. The open space is accessible visually and physically from almost all the rooms, centrally placed, so we hope the space can serve as the hearth of the house.