Omah Boto: carrying Culture in Modernity


Posted on: January 25th, 2021

Omah Boto: carrying Culture in Modernity

Article by: Vidhi Shah

Omah Boto is an Indonesian residence of 352m2 located in East Java designed by Andy Rahman Architects.

“How to bring Indonesian vibes in home?” is the primary question that the client asked Andy Rahman Architects. The quest for an answer generated an unique architectural language for the residence. With the context of various historical structures of east Java such as Pari Temple and Sumur ,the architect was able to experiment and explore historical material and building techniques to fulfil the client’s demands. Andy Rahman researched about the materials, tectonics and engraving techniques used in construction of these temples. The Red bricks prominently used in the archipelago, carrying an architectural history since 14th century, became the main element of this house. Intricate elements like bamboo, wood, rattan etc. also emphasize the Javanese vibes of the building.

The technique he adapted here is called “Kosol Bata” or “Gosok Bata” in which one rubs two brick by with water and are left for drying. Water and brick powder work as natural adhesives and makes a air tight joint without any gaps, thus giving a clear facade.

As the brick becomes major element for the house, it controls the height and width of architectural elements such as sill, lintel, ceiling etc.

Some of the walls and floor brick tectonic arrangements of thr house are inspired from Batik patterns and Pucuk Rebung motifs . Some areas express the Kawung motifs.  All these experiments are inspired from the rhythmic ancient brick arrangements.

High accuracy is nessecary to explore and ensure the expression of the 13 brick patterns used in this house. The outer skin of this building is a transformation of ‘Gedheg’, Indonesian hollowed woven bamboo. It is implemented as red brick skin façade, designed to reduce glare, maximizes airflow while maintaining the homeowner’s privacy. This brick tectonic also creates the fourth dimension inside the house along with daylight.

“It has very strong character and the most important thing is the ethnic values that were brought in to the design. I’m very satisfied living here.” – stated the owner of Omah Boto.


Explore full project here.

Articles by: Vidhi Shah

Omah Boto: carrying Culture in Modernity

Vidhi is a final year student of architecture (2021-2022). For her, writing is something which makes her conscious for thoughtful selections and expression in minimal manner. She is interested working with technical aspects structural details.  She works as contents manager at ArchiDiaries.