Excerpt: Bare minimalist, designed by Realrich Architecture Workshop, has a subjective quality, and is not limited by standards or regulations like public buildings. The result, between one house and another is unique and very personal. It has a relative level of comfort, but also optimized for particular occupants. From the front view, a straightforward material arrangement can be seen as a reflection of the concept of bare and minimalism. Charles later called this house the Open House Technology.
[Text as submitted by Architect] Residential typology in architecture has a subjective quality, and is not limited by standards or regulations like public buildings. In the designing process, is a junction between the wishes and needs of clients with knowledge, idealism, and the ideal of the architect? Understanding between the architect and the client becomes important, and in the end the house is a very personal work, both for the client as its occupant, and for the architect who has the freedom to explore that is very different from the process of designing public buildings. The result, between one house and another is unique and very personal, and has a relative level of comfort, but also optimized for particular occupants.
On one occasion, I met with Charles Wiriawan. On the first meeting, Charles already had a dream of his ideal home— his first home, in a very clear arrangement of space requirements. He wants a house with a functional architecture, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly — with adequate air circulation and natural lighting, inexpensive, fast construction, safe from thieves and natural disasters, safe for children, low maintenance, and has a simple expression. There’s quite a lot of space requirements compared to the land owned which is not very large. This is one of the issues being discussed, apart from other problems. From the front view, a simple and straightforward material arrangement can be seen as a reflection of the concept of bare (as is) and minimalism (optimal). Charles later called this house the Open House Technology.
Located on an 8 x 24 m south facing site, from the front, the Bare Minimalist house looks unfinished. I always say it is the way the building is supposed to look, when many people ask “is it still under construction?” In the end, whether they like it or not, each building represents a character of functional simplicity. I have always enjoyed the discussion with our clients, listening to their visions, dreams and chatter, including Charles. Interestingly, when I returned from London to practice in Indonesia, this was a project that made us implement raw solutions that were really far from the gimmick of what others saw when working at Foster and Partners who had an “integrative approach”. Integrative approach means integrating building technology with the fundamental approach of architecture, structure and MEP integration. Bare minimalist is an integrative approach to the tropical climate in Indonesia. Although this project has been completed, we are evaluating this project in terms of qualitative technical performance.
The functional solutions explored in this project are: Horizontal grill as a brise soleil, a security and privacy provider. At that time our studio did have iron and concrete grammar. The building was designed to be closed on the west side to provide insulation on the hot side, opening the facade to the north south and east (with balconies). The grid used is 2.0 m x 4.5 and 6.0 m and its multiples define the toilet area, foyer area, bedroom area, and family room area.
Canopy design is intended for shading and as a response to tropical climate. One by one we found the fundamentals, simplifying many things that had been learned before. This house was completed in 2013 but has many memories of a transformation. Transformation in architecture is related to a journey to change that is full of failures, errors, and things that become a stumbling block, the fruit of endless learning.
From a total width of 8.0 m, from the front view there is a footpath with a ramp of 2 m. The front door is made of 3 x 6 cm hollow iron arranged in gaps per 3 cm, so that air can enter at any time through the gaps. The gap between them makes the air can flow all the time, but the security and privacy of the house is maintained.
The lobby consists of a room of 2.0 x 2.5 m equipped with concrete-coated wooden chairs. The large-scale lobby does not result in a work space that can be placed next to it so that the space created is efficient within a width of 8 x 24 m. Stepping into the house, residents are welcomed by a 3-story 2×2 meter foyer which continues upward and leads to a small gap in the roof garden on the third floor creating the “air stacking effect”, where air flows from high to low pressure. Hot air will rise to the top, causing the air pressure below to be low, so the high pressure air will go down and cool the house. Under the foyer there is a shoe storage rack facing the bookshelf that covers the stairs to the 1st floor.
Every time you enter a home, a feeling of warmth is important, like being in the mother’s womb. An intimate, functional scale is felt before entering a large central space. It is celebrated with a simple material composition plus indirect lighting on the side of the wall. This gives poetic and a calming feeling, forming interpretation into all comfortable rooms, without pretension and feeling like it feels familiar, like meeting an old family.
Bare-minimalist. Size-wise it is inconspicuous, but its exposed concrete facade gives it a distinctive look. The architecture of Bare Minimalist blocked the heat by completely walling off the west side of the house while opening the rest to let air and light in. The house has no receiving area, no wall, and no living room. In their stead is a spacious lounge. “After the lounge, the kitchen also takes some importance its final layout is the result of few adjustments based on the owner’s domestic habits. The only enclosed space in the first story is Wiriawan’s study, which doubles as a home theater. A simple foyer and a light well with generous footwear storage- guests are to take off and store theirs there before entering-precede the lounging area. The second story houses private spaces. At the end of the corridor is a 5 x 6 sq. m. master bedroom equipped with en suite bathroom and a walk-in closet. An outdoor showering area is attached to the bathroom, while the door connecting its indoor and outdoor area is made of clear glass. An additional bedroom, bathroom and a multi-function room linked by a corridor leading to an open space beside the void leading to the stairwell and stair case, a pretty bow to knot the horizontal and vertical circulations together. The project installed a drinkable water tap in this open space. While pure, safe to drink tap water is increasingly common in some countries; it is still a rare, exceptional facility in Indonesia, one that this project was determined to have in this home.