Back to Basics

Back to Basics

Andy Rahman Architect
Surabaya, Indonesia
Project Year
Private Houses
Mansyur Hasan

Back to Basics

Andy Rahman Architect as Architects

If we see how far the architecture development nowadays, most of them have ‘forgotten’ the basic principles of architecture, people are increasingly distant from the spiritual dimension, disharmony with the nature, and far from urban awareness. Because of that, Andy Rahman decided to design this house with Back to Basics principles. Basics in this context cover the basics of spirituality, materials, and urbanity.

Back to basics on spirituality, the house planis started with the design of the praying room (mushola) as a place for the owners and the people in the neighborhood to pray. In Islam, muslims have to pray facing the Qibla. And the Qibla is slightly on the northwest of Surabaya. This is the reason why the praying room layout is somewhatangled from its site line.

This unique angled layout is becoming a design idea. So that is why it has a basic shape of a cube that have been cut diagonally. This diagonal shape is elaborated hostically to the outer areas, such as the porch, carport, and the fences.

Back to basics on materials, the building is designed with unfinished touch, such as unpainted plaster, cement paints and rolls (with original cement color) to make it easier for the owner to maintain the building. Thus, these finishes make this house doesn't need high cost maintenance, with its principle: low budget low maintenance.

In addition, it also returns to basic principles of recycling which has currently started to be applied by architects, by adopting recycled materials such as used wooden crates. They are remade as furnishingsin many areas, from the living room which ispublic areatobedrooms that are more private.

With urbanity, its started from the phenomenon that most houses in the big cities (including Surabaya) arecommonly used all the land on its site for buildings. Instead, this house wants to give the earth a room to breathe, its only using 40% of the land for the building and the remaining 60% is dedicated as one of the city open spaces in the neighborhood.

Eventhough the house has monolith form, it still adopts tropical elements such as wide openings on the sides of the building. So, even with the usage of concreteswhich are very dominant, it remains aware of the environment and climate, and it is livable because of good lightings and better air circulation.

It is also to actualize the grand idea ofgreen city, so that our cities are more humane to be inhabitatedwithout losing its spirituality, materiality and urbanity elements. These three basic principles become a strong conceptual starting point in the design of this house.

Today most of modern peopleare forgetting these basic principles, and preferring to pursue his personal interests and ambitions without regard to the nature and others. From this house, we can learn how architecture canmake peace with God, natures and its city, and it becomes a meaningful architecture.

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