Norhouse: A Responsible Solution to Urban Density Problems in Indonesia by Aaksen Responsible Aarchitecture

Aaksen Responsible Aarchitecture as Architects

Norhouse is located amidst the densely populated settlements that usually have a slum impression and is rarely having a well-thought design. With all existing environmental problems especially mobilisation and demobilisation, Norhouse provides solutions with a simple, modern, efficient form. Norhouse epitomises a case in an urban settlement with unique site constraints.


Amidst Populated Alley

According to Gedeon (2017), Bandung is one of the most populated city in Southeast Asia with number of people per square mile is 38.204, while Tokyo has 37.260 people per square mile.1 Located at Jalan Pahlawan in Bandung, Indonesia, Norhouse is a residential building of a young family who aspires to own a house amidst city centre. The site is located at a confined family’s lot, located in a highly dense alley. Accessibility is the major problem where a single gate of 90 cm width is the sole access.


Go Small, Live Big

Simpler design means easier mobilisation and demobilisation process, also for cost efficiency. With a total area of 105 m2, Norhouse maximises the compact space for its residents on two floors, separating the public zone on the first floor and private zone on the second floor. The first floor has an area of 57 m2 consists of a living room, dining room, kitchen, toilet, prayer room, drying room, and garden. The second floor, with an area of 48 m2, has a master bedroom, kid bedroom, and a bathroom. Estimation cost is 600 Million IDR or 41,760 USD in total, thanks to efficiently designed compact space that has reduced the cost.


Environmental Solutions Achieved

In response to a highly populated area, Norhouse is given a boundary offset from neighbours’ houses for fire protection. Dry gardens can be found both inside and outside the building, where a parahyba tree is placed to give a natural shading during the days. Biopores are also placed around the landscape to store rainwater and to absorb high-intensity rainfall. To ease loading process during the construction stage, materials were pre-packed in sacks by the builders, and steelworks were done in the workshop.


Inside-Out Luminosity

Norhouse has been characterised by two kinds of contexts, which are the context of the tropical climate and the client’s vision of a modern Islamic house. Norhouse has a contemporary tropical architectural concept with white-coloured, zinc-coated roof surface and facade. The building mass and the white colour make the Norhouse very tidy and distinctive compared with the surrounding buildings when viewed from the air. The choice of galvanised steel as building’s skin has made maintenance easier as it takes little effort to clean. Bigger openings in the eastern side allow morning sun, while afternoon sun from the West is blocked by building mass to resist the heat. For the interior, ivory-coloured ceramic combined with parquet flooring and white wall gives a simple and clean touch in all area. The number of openings in the building maximises the natural light and good air circulation, with distinctive communal prayer room that is narrated for the appreciation to God and communication process to other human-being. Norhouse has become a peaceful home for the children to grow. Our goal in designing and building Norhouse is to support the young family for their new lifestyle. We hope, the luminous Norhouse can be the best solution that provides a decent living for NOR family.


Material Used:

1. Fumira – Roof and Facade Cladding

2. Roman – Flooring

3. Panasonic – Lighting

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