Right On So Many Levels

Nestled in the chaotic capital of Indonesia, Jakarta (aka the Big Durian), a whitewashed house with a footprint similar to a large family suite at a hotel sits pretty amongst the mundane.

Designed by Delution Architect, this tiny house only covers 90m2 but manages to fit in a carport, mini garden, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a spacious living room, a kitchen, maids quarters, laundry area and ample space for vertical movement.

What makes this house unique is it’s bisected configuration, with the split being parallel to the street in front. Its facade hides this by creating the illusion that it follow’s its neighbour's floor to floor height but in reality, the rear tells a different story (pun intended). The back of the house is set half a level down from the living room and is split by a large void and connected by flights of minimal looking stairs.

The open-plan nature of the house helps to bounce light from the centre void and encourage the movement of air. A private side alley helps to provide an additional source of natural air - though Jakarta’s air quality is pretty questionable sometimes.

From the entrance, a living space is found to the right, with a foot level window to allow occupants to see visitors approaching the front door - a nice way to maintain privacy but not compromise on available light and security.

From here, there is an option to descend to the kitchen and guest bedroom or ascend to the main bedroom and kids bedroom. The mezzanine levels created here allow for a more intimate interaction between the inhabitants as the line of sight from floor to floor isn’t too steep. The void has been designed to be wide enough to allow light to bathe the lowest floor in light but narrow enough so that people can casually communicate across it or up through it.

The white wash throughout the house is a nice symbol of purity for something set in such a design-free-for-all context. Internally, the soft accents of wood for fixed and loose furniture keep the atmosphere calm and inviting. The kitchen features nifty pull-outs and fold-ups that provide more work space for when a big feast need to be cooked up for those occasional ‘arisan’ (large family gatherings).

Delution Architects also designed the house to accept extensions. The low-budget nature of the initial build meant that this first phase had to be designed in a way that did not hinder any future additions to the house once more funds become available.

All in all, this house is a humble but well thought out approach to designing small but practical houses. No matter the size of the project, if the design isn’t functional and adheres to the requests of the client, you’ll probably end up with a project that is wrong on so many levels.

Photographer: Fernando Gomulya