The project is situated in Sukabumi-a region in West Java, Indonesia. The 30 hectares site is located at the southern foot of Gunung Gede, presenting itself at an altitude of one thousand meters above sea level. The region enjoys cooler temperature ranging from 20 to 29 degrees, making it optimal for farming activities.
Agricultural businesses in this region are on a decline with the younger generation, often choosing industrial manufacturing jobs in the city. One of the reason is due to the unstable income returns from the fluctuating produce market prices that are set by the middle man.
To ensure a constant supply of harvest, the farmers also heavily depend on conventional farming methods that use toxic chemical pesticides and herbicides that are detrimental to the environment.
The project aspires to allow farmers to grow their produce organically using traditional permaculture methods. By doing so, they protect the land for future generations to come and also to set a sustainable price point for the produce.
It was also essential to inform the public about the processes and way of organic/ permaculture farming. The client hopes that when the consumers that come in contact with the farm, they can have a better understanding of their agriculture’s footprints on the environment.
Hence, the design brief came about to create a farm-stay directly at the farm to raise awareness of the responsible farming methods while reconciling the disjuncture between the food we eat and how it is grown.
We were guided by two beautiful Indonesian words, one which is ‘Suka’ meaning “to like”, the other “ Santai” meaning to relax. Together, Sukasantai means” to enjoy relaxing, to take things slowly, and be in the moment.”
Architecturally, we wanted to have space that respects the surrounding landscape and views into the farm; it has to be simple and integrates seamlessly with the landscape. Functionally it provides space that requires light maintenance and services route; important operation aspect for the eight-member family & staff run operations.
The project presents itself as a special and unique opportunity for architects and client to conceptualise in close collaboration on the various programme suited for this land. We feel very privileged to be able to step back, pause, and to re-think the potential benefit, not just economically but socially and environmentally to the region.
The journey on this project was somewhat serendipitous, where we were only guided with trial and error, every decision was debated and considered, with the programmatic spaces evolving. At the same time, we discuss which would be the best guest experience to bring forth our message. The project requires us not only to create the physical space but the programmatic and business strategy to sustain the whole operation.
A humbling experience that shows the ability a vision that translates to physical space that can change the social-economical fabric of a township. The project encourages urban dwellers to reconnect with nature, and in return, we hope they gain more appreciation and awareness of the environment. We hope that by starting this initiative, it will attract similar agri-business to set up in this region.
Material Used :
1. Solo Design - Cement Sand Tiles - Custom Order
2. Kanmuri - Roof Tiles - Milenio
3. Toto Asia - Sanitary Ware
4. Hafele - Ironmongery