Text description provided by the architects. ALTERING A LIFESTYLE
MO House first focus on a challenge: to make an affordable house for a newlywed couple that is going to grow a family in a limited area whilst altering a lifestyle. Mande Austriono—an architect of DFORM and the owners of the house—wants to advocate the minimalist lifestyle in his architecture. Therefore, MO House tries to embody that spirit by keeping its space stripped down to its essential quality and programs. It tries to find its soul from the form: material, detail, lighting, and the human condition. In continuation, the clean space can lead the users to only keep what is necessary and eliminate the discontent in keeping unnecessary things.
The openness and the cleanliness space of this house cause one program elimination: a storage room. Knowing that minimalist is not a mere architectural style, this is the thought that DFORM wants to deliver: “We really appreciate what we need. Every time my wife and I buy some items, we deeply examine and contemplate: do we really need it? If we do, for how long? When we no longer need that item, we should be thankful that it has been giving us the value we needed—whereas each item has a soul. Then after, we shall donate it to others in needs. This is our solution in maintaining our things clean and of course, a storage room isn’t one. Just because it is out of sight, doesn’t mean it’s out of mind.”
THE ABILITY TO GROW
MO House is designed for the growing family of a couple who wants to have a house by understanding the urgency of the programs: they not yet need a children bedroom for a couple of years. It is flexibly configured in some changing patterns of demand. It will grow into two phases and go along their program growth. As this growth usually uneven and precautions, it is important that MO House can be a dwelling that knows where to start, to grow, and to end. The whole process needs to be determined: how long the first phase will going to occur, as well as when the second phase will going to occur. At the same time, by understanding the phase of the building process, the owners know how much they need to precisely allocate their savings for the first phase, as well as the second phase. Therefore, MO House is budget friendly that it does not need to require a lot of money at one time.
The main programs in the first phase consisted in MO House are simple: a double-height-living room as a starting point, then a bathroom in the inner parts of the house that is utilized as a separator between the living room and pantry. Upon entry, there’s also a steel-plate staircase on the left to access a loft-style bedroom on the second floor for a couple. This loft-style bedroom has a white-vaulted-ceilings with a skylight which extends the bedroom upward. It provides a spacious feeling to compromise the scale due to the small area of the bedroom. The openness below the stairs that created by steel-plate staircase without structure also give birth to the flexibility of space below to transform into different programs. Thus, the furniture is also moveable to recreate some various programs and space combinations. Also, the absence of a railing in the stairs is replaced by plant pots as a buffer.
At the back of the house, there is a pantry—separated by large glass windows as a substitution for wall—with the backyard. The backyard itself becomes a potential space for space growth in the second phase: children bedroom on the second floor and below, an extension of the living room. The absence of a brick wall will make the dismantle process become more efficient due to the fact that the large glass window is easily detached. By growing a space towards the backyards—horizontally—instead of vertically, the owners can still live in the house while the building construction occurs which can also reduce the expenses. The large front door and back door in over-scaled linear circulation are also prepared for an ease in the distribution for building materials from the front yard to the backyard.
The second phase will produce a detached mass from the first phase that is connected by a bridge. The mass detachment allows both bedrooms to have a large opening with glass windows that face each other. Despite the fact that MO House is built on a limited land, the principles of microclimate can be employed throughout the house. The most important thing in this growing space is that the phase knows where to end. It will not become a tumor that formless and have ambiguity: which form is going to be ended and to be enjoyed.
A SEPARATION OF SPACE
MO House is built in a DFHousing neighborhood where there are ten similar shape and size dwellings within the 5 x 14.5 m lots. The narrow pedestrian street of 1.2 meters in front of houses becomes a public space where the community encounter and interact with each other. The separation of public and private space is needed to be done. The outer skin of MO House is blocked by a clean-white-wall as a buffer and a filter between the life within and without the house. The façade perceived as a character of the owners that want to enclose himself from the public in MO House’s secure interior. There inside, lay an expansiveness of a space with a different character: an openness.
The double-height living room is painted in white color so that the natural light that pours from the skylight is reflected on it and give an impression of a more spacious area throughout the house. The skylight becomes a substitution for an absence of the opening that usually provided by front-facing windows in the façade. The vaulted ceiling in the loft-style bedroom has been well suited with a clean interior: a spacious area and surely a quiet environment. The type of material that has been used in MO House is simple and humble that it has been fully embraced with all its strengths and flaws. To achieve a budget house, the architect has to deliver a creative selection in material pairing and finishing. The final result of the house is raw, but nonetheless, the idea behind the house is well-presented.