Sleeping like in a hut
Sep 16, 2015
In Andra Matin’s house, most of the time is actually spent indoor-outdoors – protected by concrete and plants. All photos © Paul Kadarisman

Architect Andra Matin designed a house for his own family situated on a trapezoidal corner plot in a nice cluster in a residential neighborhood in Bintaro, South Jakarta. The house has an expansive, partially sheltered, deck on the first floor, covering almost half of the plot with recycled ironwood planks. It serves as the main area of the house, as the living and dining area, equipped with a kitchen as well as a swimming pool, and an unobstructed view of the neighborhood park across the street. The living, dining, and kitchen area is shaded by a thin concrete box that provides a common space shared by the children and is simply supported by four thin reinforced concrete columns. The box has a corridor leading to the common space and a shared bath/ toilet. The children’s bedrooms are not necessarily ‘rooms’; instead they are more like closets – similar to Japanese capsule hotels – and are almost entirely insulated for air conditioning. Below the ironwood deck, the ground floor, which is generally dark, consists of a timber-clad box which contains the maid’s quarters with utilities attached to the library, built-in cages for cats, a garage, and a ramp above the pond leading up to the first floor. The master bedroom is located at the acute-angled corner of the plot, occupying a relatively narrow area divided from the main building with a green space. Located away from the main house, the bedroom is connected only by an uncovered ramp. Getting there simply means going to another building, into a cabin. Inside the cabin, the bedroom is a mezzanine containing no more than a king-size mattress and the small access to a spiral staircase leading down the void to the bathroom below. The bathroom is in fact also a closet and dressoir, half buried in the landscape with a tree growing in the tip of a sharp corner. Despite having an opening at the end, the entire area is air-conditioned. The design restricts the volume of the air-conditioned space to the minimum. By consigning the common activities to the first floor deck, the architect has ensured almost all family activities are in outdoor spaces.

Andra Matin
Andra Matin – called Aang – studied architecture at Universitas Katolik Parahyangan, Bandung from 1981 to 1990. He worked for Grahacipta Hadiprana from 1990 to 1998, and subsequently began his own practice. He is one among the earliest proponents of the Arsitek Muda Indonesia group (Young Indonesian Architects). Aang kick-started his own company and the results of the first few commissions he was awarded swiftly saw his name being mentioned among the rising architectural talents in the region. His works have been constantly reviewed in national and international publications ever since. Recently, Aang’s works were to be found in international publications such as GA Houses, Mark Magazine, and Habitus, and his work was exhibited at the GA Gallery in Tokyo.

The exhibition
Tropicality Revisited – Recent Approaches by Indonesian Architects
Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt am Main
thru January 3, 2016
Tues., Thurs. – Sun. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Wed. 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

The catalog
Tropicality: Revisited
eds. Avianti Armand, Setiadi Sopandi
186 pages, IMAJI Publishing
English ISBN: 978-602-9260-27-4

The text is reprinted by Stylepark with kind permissions of the D.A.M. using selected excerpts from the exhibition.

From the outside you might not expect the exciting spaces the building offers.
The smaller part of the building is the bathroom and the bedroom of the parents.
From the street side, the house seems like a bunker.
The ground floor is also the living room and kitchen.
Especially the large table at the center of the house was important for the architect.
The wooden closets provide plenty of storage space for kitchen utensils.
On the first floor of the main house, the kids, as well as a space for reading and working.
The master bedroom.
The parents bathroom.