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Architects

: Ivan Priatman Architecture

Location

: Surabaya, Surabaya City, East Java, Indonesia

Area

: 410.0 sqm

Project Year : 2013


Photographs : Courtesy of Ivan Priatman Architecture
From the architect. The IPCW Residence is a residence for a young family of 4 in
Surabaya. The site is a rectangular 464 m2 corner lot located in a new residential
development in the west of the city, in a condition best described as semi-urban,
where houses are grouped in clusters and share a party wall with each other. The
brief for the design calls for a courtyard house with indoor-outdoor living spaces.
The program and massing of the house is designed upon the concept of spatial and
programmatic continuity. The continuity allows the whole house to be experienced
in one continuous sequence starting from the most public area (the main entrance)
gradating to the most private area (the master bedroom). This architectural concept
unfortunately mandates a long thin mass which would not fit the site that is
relatively square in proportion. As a solution that becomes the parti model of the
house, the elongated mass is folded several times to create an angular yet
continuous spiral, that then also define the central courtyard of the house.
Antithetical to the typical middle-upper class house where a void is usually placed
indoors above the living room to make the house appear grander, here the void is
placed outside in the form of the courtyard to signify a paradigm shift that places
nature in a more central role in residential family living.
The house is a rethinking and reinterpretation of the modern house in the tropical
climate. While many facets of the house are visibly modern in an international sense
(white walls, flat roofs, lots of glass), the tropical reinterpretation is less apparent,
yet very much present. Vernacular architecture in the region shows deep overhangs
of roofs to shade the interior from the sun and rain. The notion of indoor-outdoor
living and continuity between inside and outside is also a characteristic of the
traditional architecture. This house recreates these vernacular characters in a
modern way, using the building itself to shade the living area on the first floor. The
living area of the house is located on the east side of the house on ground level to
take advantage of the prevailing wind for the majority of the year from the east. The
floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors around the house's primary living area blur the
boundary between indoor and outdoor, bringing the natural environment inside and
creating an indoor-outdoor living. When doors are opened, the side yard, the living
area, and the courtyard becomes one connected indoor-outdoor living space that is
naturally ventilated. The courtyard and the swimming pool becomes an extension to
the living room. Tropical landscaping is designed both in the side yard and also the
courtyard not only to create privacy and spatial separation from the street but also

to create a microclimate so that the air surrounding the house is cooler and thus the
prevailing east wind is cooled before it ventilates the house. The partly shaded
swimming pool provides an additional psychological cooling effect to the indoor
environment while also creating a feeling of serenity to the living and dining area.
While the first floor is mainly rectangular to maximize space, the second floor is at
an angle; the end of the house points due south to frame the view to the green
space on the south and to avoid facing other houses in a frontal manner. The thin
massing with operable openings on opposing sides allow for cross ventilation.
By using natural ventilation and by the orientation of the house, the use of air
conditioning, which has become a mandate for all living spaces in Surabaya's hot
and humid weather, is significantly minimized. The thin floor plan also allows for
ample daylighting and further energy savings. Thus, the house is very much
vernacular as it is modern. And vice versa. MATERIALS
The house uses a reinforced concrete structure with Autoclaved Aerated Concrete
brick walls. While reinforced concrete structure is the common building tradition in
Indonesia, the use of aerated concrete walls for private houses is not. Brick walls
are the most commonly used materials due to the cheap cost and greater
availability. Nevertheless, the aerated concrete walls are used in this house to
provide greater insulation against heat and sound, and also are helpful in reducing
the structural load of the building. The constrained palette of white walls and clear
glass as exterior finishes make the house stand in stark contrast with the
surrounding neighborhood of custom designed, eclectic houses. Solid wood floors
are used throughout the interior of the house.