Blog : Indonesia

Tanatap Wall Garden: A Restaurant-cum-Café and Bar among Lush Trees and Immaculate White Walls

Tanatap Wall Garden: A Restaurant-cum-Café and Bar among Lush Trees and Immaculate White Walls

/ Central Java, Indonesia /

/ Story: Kangsadan K. / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Mario Wibowo /

Central Java, Indonesia – Neat and clean walls rise above a reflecting pool and lush lawns brightened up by shimmering lights. They are made attractive by warm-toned whites and smooth curved lines twirling lightly around like poetry in motion. Shaped into alternate ridges and grooves, the concrete surfaces in zingy warm hues slant up to the skyline reminiscent of a graceful dance. It’s an amazing innovation thoughtfully devised to sync with rhythms in the urban landscape that gives it aesthetic appeal.

A welcoming reception area lies adjacent to the reflecting pool designed to blend with the rounded contour at the very top of a white wall separating the restaurant’s interior from the exterior.

The clean, well-lighted trio of restaurant, café and bar is located in Central Java, an Indonesian province that’s home to the famous Borobudur Temple, one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world. Named “Tanatap Wall Garden”, it’s a delightful business space in a class of itself, one that advocates for form and function being joined in a way that requires less energy to operate.

The restaurant-cum-café and bar, together with its land that forms a verdant oasis, affords 2,500 square meters of commercial space nestled among beautiful cityscapes. It’s an all-encompassing design that combines commercial real estate with elements of nature in close physical association to the advantage of both.

A charcoal sketch shows the positioning of functional spaces in relation to existing big trees, a relationship to the advantage of both. / Courtesy of RAD+ar
A side elevation view in perspective illustrates the positioning of restaurant, café and bar spaces under lush tree cover. / Courtesy of RAD+ar

The concept delineated above is the brainchild of a high performing team at RAD+ar, an architectural practice based in Jakarta, Indonesia. The team of architects was tasked with transforming what used to be a parking garage into a calm, secluded garden in which to wine and dine; meanwhile preserving the existing natural environment and the property’s significance as part of a central business district.

The result is a piece of architecture showcasing perfectly clean, white walls rising among very big lush trees, a beautiful sight unlike anything out there. Viewed from above, the floor plan consists of three straight lines on the ground moving centrifugally from the center. Along these lines, concrete walls rise to different heights forming gently curved lines at the very top as they traverse among stands of homogeneous trees.

Viewed from above, the restaurant-cum-café and bar merges into beautiful and cool landscapes so that they become an indivisible whole.

Apart from bringing shade and regulating temperatures, the trees growing wild in every direction give the business premises charm, good looks that please the senses and the mind.

It’s design that comes from understanding the warm, humid climate prevailing in Central Java, and the company’s principles advocating for simple and sustainable lifestyles. Together they are the key attributes that make Tanatap Wall Garden one of the most agreeable places to be.

For a good first impression, the welcoming entryway is adorned with green spaces that create positive moments in people’s lives. It’s connected to a pathway system leading to cool and restful places amid the beautiful backyard landscape.

Old trees and new walls become inextricable parts of the design advocating for sustainability.

On the way, an 800-square-meter reflecting pool provides a focal point in the scenery, bringing joy, pleasure and contentment in nature’s peaceful embrace. Interestingly enough, tiers of seats similar to a sports arena are added to the mix in a way that’s proper in the circumstances.

A reflecting pool under tree cover provides a focal point in the landscape. It works in tandem with other passive design strategies creating thermal comfort for both indoors and outdoors.
A lounge area offers wide seating space and flexibility seamlessly integrated into the building’s architectural styles.

In addition to being a rendezvous for good food and drinks, Tanatap Wall Garden offers an enormous richness of nature-inspired outdoor rooms for those who love spending time indulging in music and live stage performances.

Keeping to its original concept, an amphitheater is put in for customers who appreciate dramatic works as a genre of literature and expression of ideas encouraging participation in the discourses of society. All of these features are neatly integrated in one cohesive design aesthetic.

Tiers of seats similar to a sports area lie under a pedestrian bridge connecting different parts of the building. By design, it’s a work of art that keeps creative energy flowing.

In short, it’s a metamorphosis of purpose that results in neat and clean white walls transforming into a stunning commercial space, in this particular case, a trio of restaurant, café and bar set amidst a verdant oasis.

From inside looking out, a part of the white wall with ridges and grooves in it is visible through the doorway at the furthest end.
The restaurant has a lovely garden under tree cover for those who prefer to wine and dine alfresco.

Drop by Tanatap Wall Garden for a drink or two next time you sojourn in Central Java. It’s an opportunity to experience the beauty of architecture and nature coming together in one indivisible design.

Architect: RAD+ar

Principal Architect: Antonius Richard

Sculpture Artist: Wisnu Ajitama

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Tebet Eco Park: Ecosystem Restorations Breathe New Life into Jakarta’s Urban Parkland

Tebet Eco Park: Ecosystem Restorations Breathe New Life into Jakarta’s Urban Parkland

/ Jakarta, Indonesia /

/ Story: Kangsadan K. / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: SIURA Studio /

Environmental degradation has had a wide-ranging impact on people’s lives and the general health of flora and fauna. But the natural world is far more resilient that we realize. Let’s take a look at the design of Tebet Eco Park in Jakarta that’s exemplary of efforts at repairing damage and the upkeep of the biological community, forestland and water sources.

Like everything else, it’s been through good times and bad times to get where it is today – a city park lovingly restored to its former glory.

The fields and streams, and wetland environments are full of life and energy while lush vegetation abounds, thriving luxuriantly under scattered groups of trees.

The secret to all of this lies in creative landscape design that bodes well for the future of the complex network of interacting organisms, and beautiful esplanades lined with greenery. It’s a rendezvous where humanity and nature come together in peaceful harmony.

The years of neglect are gone now, no more flooding or being isolated from the rest of the world. And, thanks to care and attention, the park’s ecosystems are saved from destruction by human activities.

The enclosure 73,000 square meters in extent has experienced the new birth as a result of ongoing efforts at preserving the city’s green spaces and preventing wasteful use of resources.

At the same time, recreation areas and playgrounds connected by a system of esplanades were added to the mix resulting in diversity in parkland ecosystems that augurs well for a good rapport with nature.

The Tebet Eco Park Restoration Project is the brainchild of SIURA Studio, an urban design and landscape architectural firm based in Singapore.

A drawing of the master plan shows the reintroduction of greenery, a system of esplanades on both sides of the waterway and ecosystem restorations in relation to surrounding residential neighborhoods. / Courtesy of SIURA Studio

The company has enjoyed a strong track record in innovative design that prioritizes the climatic context and ecological implications of a project site. In a nutshell, it’s about integrating sustainable goals in park design so as to answer the basic recreational needs of people in urban areas.

The project began in earnest some 15 months ago. At the time, the area with small streams and wetland habitats was clearly in a state of disrepair caused by periods of low rainfall alternating with deluges of heavy rain that resulted in flash floods.

To make matters worse, flooding also brought contaminated debris into the area, while a new road running through it disrupted an ecological corridor that’s the life line of woodland flora and fauna, eventually resulting in widespread destruction of the physical environment.

That’s exactly where an experienced landscape team at SIURA Studio came into play. They were tasked with breathing new life into the area, eventually returning the urban parkland to a good condition.

This was achieved by adding greenery suitable for this particular ecosystem, at the same time improving the quality of small waterways, wetland habitats and biodiversity in the area. And all of this is done corresponding to land use planning so that society, the environment and the city as a whole can benefit from it.

First and foremost, the two separate areas of the park were combined to form a single entity, while the 714-meter-long waterway that ran through it was rehabilitated to health.

A drone’s eye view of Tebet Eco Park shows a pedestrian overpass painted a shade of red twisting and turning on a spiral course, bringing the people of Jakarta and nature closer together.

Meanwhile, the concrete road was removed and replaced by garden pathways, creating a wetland environment capable of supporting aquatic life. The stream itself was made long and winding by design, a clever hack in the waste water treatment process.

Interesting before-and-after photos of Tebet Eco Park show the reintroduction of aquatic plant species and improvements in wetland habitats.

In this way, saturated conditions on both sides of the stream became conducive to the growth of wetland plants and other organisms, not to mention an increase in biodiversity and improvement in soil quality.

The long and winding stream inside Tebet Eco Park is lined with lush vegetation after concrete embankments had been removed and replaced by aquatic plants growing vigorously.

In a gradual way, the urban parkland that once fell into disrepair was brought back to life. The trees and shrubbery now grow and develop vigorously, thanks to the enthusiasm and work spirit that advocates reduce, reuse and recycle as a means of protecting the environment.

Just to give you an idea, some of the rocks and tree stumps unearthed during the excavating process were converted into reusable building supplies, while others found a new purpose as component parts in outdoor furniture, such as park benches and equipment in children’s playgrounds. In a nutshell, nothing goes to waste.

An aerial view of children’s playgrounds designed to answer the rest and recreation needs of the people of Jakarta.

Tebet Eco Park no doubt has transformed into delightfully warm and inviting recreation grounds for the people of Jakarta. If walking is your thing, perhaps you might like to check out the esplanades on both sides of the stream.

Whether it’s a quiet saunter down the garden pathway lined with greenery or fitness walking that quickens your breathing, Tebet Eco Park is the place to be.

A pavilion used as a shelter lies on the south side of the park.

There’s even an overpass painted a bright shade of red that will take you on a twisting and turning spiral course among the treetops. By the way, walking through a park is different from strolling on the street in front of your home. Physical activity in a green space provides multiple health benefits.

A pedestrian overpass in red intersects a system of esplanades on the surface combining two sides of the parkland into one single entity.

In the big picture, there’s more to a park than just restoring ecosystems to health. It involves taking the initiative to improve the quality of life for people in urban areas.

Citizens and investors can participate in city planning and making recreation grounds easily accessible to people in the community.

The bottom line is public green spaces matter. Although everything changes, the relationship between humanity and nature remains inextricable. A yearning to reconnect with the natural world never dies; it only gets stronger with time.

Because the people of Jakarta want a healthy physical environment for rest and recreation, Tebet Eco Park is there for them – an open public space that’s sustainable, creative and easily accessible to everyone.

Architect: SIURA Studio

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Pitu Rooms: A tall and slender hotel adds new landmark to Indonesian paradise valley

Pitu Rooms: A tall and slender hotel adds new landmark to Indonesian paradise valley

/ Salatiga, Indonesia /

/ Story: Kor Lordkam / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: David Permadi and Ernest Theophilus /

Standing tall and slender among quaint and inviting country homes, a unique seven-room hotel makes the most of even the smallest space. Named “Pitu Rooms,” it’s situated in Salatiga, a town in the valley of Central Java known for its relatively cool climate and authentic Indonesian lifestyle.

Pitu Rooms

The small hotel has a narrow frontage just shy of three meters, but that’s not a problem for architect Sahabat Selojene. The view of the cityscape is worth the climb, and that’s what gives him the inspiration going forward. The result is a thoughtfully devised skinny hotel that changes the town’s skyline, a design that’s exemplary of ideas in dealing with the challenges of limited space.

A street map shows the hotel’s location within the context of the city landscape. / Courtesy of Sahabat Selojene
The floor plan shows the corridor leading to a reception area on the ground floor. / Courtesy of Sahabat Selojene
Floor 2 holds a guest room at the rear and a staff room upfront. / Courtesy of Sahabat Selojene
Floors 3 to 5 each hold two guest rooms, separated only by a steel staircase. / Courtesy of Sahabat Selojene
The top floor of the building holds a dining room with a view of the cityscape. / Courtesy of Sahabat Selojene
The front elevation in cross section shows guest rooms on Floors 2 to 5 with a reception area on the ground floor and dining room with a view at the very top. / Courtesy of Sahabat Selojene
The side elevation in cross section shows guest rooms in the front and back accessed by a staircase in between. / Courtesy of Sahabat Selojene

Pitu Rooms
A remnant of old building walls is preserved for its great historic value and beautifully integrated into the hotel design.

More than anything else, it’s a clever way to make good use of land left over after the rest has been used. At the same time, it creates business opportunities and is helpful for urban planning and development in the area.

Part of a collection of artworks on display / Courtesy of Pitu Rooms

“Pitu Rooms” rises above what was once an unkempt piece of ground measuring 33.6 square meters in extent. The elongated rectangle is 12 meters long while the façade abutting on the street in front of it measures just 2.8 meters.

Everything changed after the experienced architect saw the potential and transformed it into a business space and, at the same time, took every precaution to avoid damaging or impairing old building walls nearby since their stories were unknown.

Pitu Rooms

Pitu Rooms
The bed is placed against the walls on three sides to make the most of even the smallest space.

The overall effect is impressive. The six-story tall and thin hotel offers quest rooms on Floors 2 to 5 with the lobby and dining room on the ground floor plus the other dining room with a view on the top floor. All the rooms are accessed by a steel staircase inside the building. Steel was chosen for its cost-effectiveness. Furthermore, it’s strong, durable and easy to handle.

Pitu Rooms
The top floor of the building holds a dining room with a view of the city landscape.
Pitu Rooms
An array of awning windows on the east-facing wall opens to admit light and promote good ventilation in the interior.

For good looks, the hotel’s external envelope is adorned with Agra red sandstone coverings indigenous to the area, while the east-facing wall is equipped with an array of awning windows to improve ventilation and lighting in the interior. Together they add character and interest to architectural design, providing a feature of the landscape that’s easily seen and recognized from a distance.

Pitu Rooms
The tall and slender hotel is adorned with red sandstone coverings that blend with existing homes in the neighborhood. The famous Mount Merbabu can be seen from miles around.

Architect: Sahabat Selojene

Structural Engineer: PT. Cipta Sukses

Construction: Eranto Prasetyadi

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Lost Lindenberg: An Eight-Room Bali Hotel Boasts Design That’s out of This World

Lost Lindenberg: An Eight-Room Bali Hotel Boasts Design That’s out of This World

/ Bali, Indonesia /

/ Story: Kor Lordkam / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Robert Rieger, Kopie Von, and Neven Allgeier /

If the magic of the great outdoors is your thing, here’s a small boutique hotel unlike anything out there. The ultimate hideaway with a sea view named “Lost Lindenberg” boasts high standards of comfort and deep relaxation in the midst of nature at Pekutatan, a rural village about two hours’ drive to the west of the Balinese capital Denpasar.

Lost Lindenberg Bali Hotel
Tower style buildings, each containing two rooms for guest accommodations, rise above the treetops for good views of the ocean and surrounding landscapes.

The village in itself is not among the island’s top tourist destinations, and that’s precisely what gives it a decided plus. Peacefully nestled in a sparsely populated corner of Bali, Lost Lindenberg offers only eight rooms for guest accommodations tucked away at the woodland edge.

It’s an architectural crown jewel thoughtfully devised to be indistinguishable from surrounding Tropical rainforest landscapes.

Like a picture worth a thousand words, the secluded holiday getaway is perched on a hill high enough to soak up the views of the ocean and the alluring sparkle of black beaches created by the gradual erosion of lava and volcanic ash in times past.

It stands against a background of trees keeping the air fresh under the shade of a crisp cool canopy. From the design perspective, it pays to protect the area from harm and destruction brought on by overcrowding that’s taking a toll on landmarks and landscapes.

Lost Lindenberg Bali Hotel

Lost Lindenberg Bali Hotel

Lost Lindenberg consists of four tower style villas with a hip roof, each containing two rooms for guest accommodations, plus a service center with lounge style public room and a swimming pool, bringing the total to five buildings.

Accessed by garden pathway systems and a treetop flyover, all the rooms and functions are interconnected in a design where guest convenience takes priority over any other matter.

Lost Lindenberg Bali Hotel

In the big picture, it’s all about creating dreamlike experiences for people motivated by a yearning desire to be close to nature. Such is manifested in an expression that bears some resemblance to a small fleet of boats and bridges carrying people on a journey to discover the secrets of the wilderness.

Take for example the rooms above the treetops that provide a breathtaking panorama of the rainforests on one side, and the endless expanse of the Indian Ocean on the others. Unmistakably brilliant!

Lost Lindenberg Bali Hotel
A treetop room affords beautiful views of rainforest scenery, creating a great visitor experience.

Lost Lindenberg Bali Hotel

Lost Lindenberg Bali Hotel

So that pretty much summarizes the beautiful works of nature that make this small boutique hotel original and unique in its own special way. It stands hidden in plain sight, far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life and popular travel destinations.

Lost Lindenberg Bali Hotel

To make sure you don’t get lost on the way to Lost Lindenberg, there’s a bright neon sign at the main entrance that allows access to the hotel compound.

You can’t miss it. The large sign stands in contrast with dense green forest landscapes to attract people’s attention. Simply open the gate, and get away from it all. Welcome to a different kind of world where many pleasant surprises are waiting to be discovered.

Colorful neon signs at the main entrance allow access to the hotel compound. They’re made conspicuous by design to attract attention so that no one gets lost on the road to Lost Lindenberg. From here, a small gate opens to usher visitors to an exciting new world waiting to be discovered.

Architect: Alexis Dornier & Studio Jencquel

Interior and Landscape Designer: Studio Jencquel

Construction: Bali Construction

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Innit Lombok: A Hotel Built into Nature, the Roar of the Surf and Sparkling White Sands

Innit Lombok: A Hotel Built into Nature, the Roar of the Surf and Sparkling White Sands

/ Lombok, Indonesia /

/ Story: Kor Lordkam / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Courtesy of Design Hotels Virtual Press Office /

Innit Lombok is a luxury oceanfront hotel overlooking sparkling white sands on Ekas Bay, Lombok, Indonesia, a Tropical paradise island east of Bali known for being a great surfing destination. From here, the roar of the surf can be heard loud and clear. The quiet and secluded retreat offers seven modern villas with a private beach and well-thought-out design that syncs with its natural surroundings.

Innit Lombok

By and large, Lombok is more than just warm-water great waves. It’s also home to some of the most beautiful hiking routes with the Lombok volcano offering the best place for trekking and adventures.

In terms of design, each villa on the property has two hotel rooms located upstairs, while the lower floor holds an open sitting room with ocean views for relaxation. Total areas come to about 170 square meters apiece. To provide the best hotel customer service, there’s a beachfront restaurant nearby, separated from the residential zone by a swimming pool covered in black tiles and spacious terraces positioned to catch the sun.

Innit Lombok

The beachfront villas boast the beauty of box-shaped architecture that’s simple yet attractive, thanks to natural building materials being used that blend seamlessly with surrounding landscapes. They include concrete, glass, stones and timber. Worthy of note is the building envelope built of hardwood that’s organic, renewable and climate smart.

Innit Lombok

For strength and durability, the platform next to each building is built of hardwood, while the perforate façade is covered with wood panels consisting of Raju wood strips put together with spaces in between for good air circulation. Together they go to work creating a beautiful shaded retreat and doubling as a privacy screen.

The building facade consisting of Raju wood strips with spaces in between allows just enough natural light into the room while doubling as a privacy screen.

Raju timber used to build the external envelope is sourced locally from Lombok and nearby islands, while interior construction and furniture is made of teakwood native to the Region.

Inside and out, it’s a design that puts harmony with nature high on the list of priorities. This results in visual continuity that effectively blurs the boundaries between indoors and outdoors.

Innit Lombok
The open lower floor space boasts the simplicity of a living room, dining room and kitchen set on soft beach sand floors that effectively blur the dividing line between indoors and outdoors.

Innit Lombok

The same treatment applies to the open lower floor without a wall. There is just enough furniture in the room with a view of sparkling white sands and the ocean beyond, plus a kitchen island for food preparation and dining area set on soft beach sand floors designed to bring the outdoors in.

Innit Lombok

As the architect intended, it’s a design embracing the belief that nature has a profound positive impact on human lives. Like so, it makes perfect sense to integrate natural elements in the building plan. And this gorgeous hotel in Lombok, Indonesia has shown that to be the case. Innit?

Innit Lombok

Architects: Andra Matin, and D-associates (by Gregorius Supie Yolodi, and Maria Rosantina)

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LDT Residence: A Contemporary Home Celebrates the Alluring Charm of Bali

LDT Residence: A Contemporary Home Celebrates the Alluring Charm of Bali

/ Bali, Indonesia /

/ Story: Kor Lordkam / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Indra Wiras /

A contemporary home stands amid the rice fields that merge into the breathtaking landscape of Ubud, a town on the Indonesian island of Bali. It consists of two identical houses situated, side by side, parallel to the paddy fields growing luxuriantly in front and back.

contemporary home bali

Incorporating stunning earth tones into the exterior, each building covers about 200 square meters in extent, which translates into roughly 150 square meters of usable spaces. In essence, it’s a design that celebrates the richness of culture and rustic charm typical of the Balinese countryside.

Skillfully planned, it culminates in a living space made more private without a fence, a home in the rice fields set against the backdrop of rainforest ecosystems.

contemporary home bali

contemporary home bali
Opaque front façade ideas make this contemporary home in Bali feel more private without a fence.

From the perspective of the architects who designed it, the first thing that came to mind was how to create the external envelope that would sync with the natural environment. They decided on a single-level home plan that fitted perfectly in the circumstances that formed the setting of the place. Hence, simple clean lines parallel to the horizon are a focal point in the design as we see it.

The same applies to low-pitched roofs that are chosen for their ability to fit in this environment. In this particular case, dual garble roof lines create a distinct architectural feature. Plus, they perform as effectively as high-pitched roofs without appearing too large or too heavy for the surrounding paddy fields.

contemporary home bali
Hand carved to perfection, the front door embraces the richness of local art and culture. The panel is kept relatively small for more privacy, while sidelights on the brick façade let natural daylight stream into the home.

Interior space planning is tailored to meet simple lifestyle needs. The overall effect is impressive. Step inside, and you come to a small hallway where you can feel the atmosphere change.

The house plan shows spatial relationships between living and functional spaces. / Courtesy of UOS Architecture Studio
A cross section drawing shows different floor levels in relation to ceiling heights. / Courtesy of UOS Architecture Studio

There’s a comfortable living room-dining room combo with a small kitchen, and two bedrooms at the farthest end. The sitting room looks out over the rice fields, while an in-ground swimming pool and nearby wooden decks provide a visual connection between indoor and outdoor spaces.

All the rooms open to the green expanse of rice fields at the back of the house while, on the opposite site, the solid front façade goes to work protecting family privacy.

contemporary home bali
Sidelights in the brick façade create warmth and a sense of openness in the entry hallway leading to the interior.

contemporary home bali
The living room-dining room combo opens wide to bring the outdoors in. High sloped ceiling design creates a light, airy home vibe.

By design, the nontransparent front façade creates a unique architectural feature. It uses color and texture creatively combining the brownish red of brick masonry walls with the gray of Paras Tulung Agung, a type of sand stone obtained from sources in the locality, plus the carved wood doors that convey a great deal about the island’s cultural heritage.

A rooftop skylight illuminates and improves ventilation in the bathroom, plus more privacy.
contemporary home bali
The primary bedroom at the far end of the pool has large openings connecting to nature and the outdoors.

Together, they protect privacy and make for a strong and durable home. Elsewhere, the living room overlooking the swimming pool and nearby sun decks open to admit natural light and fresh outdoor air into the home. All things considered, it’s a delightful place with gorgeous scenery to calm the mind and create deep relaxation.

contemporary home bali
Solid walls and vertical fins conceal windows and doors at the rear of this contemporary home in Bali.

Architects: UOS Architecture Studio (

Lead Architect: Gde Banyu Priautama

Design Team: Tjokorda Gede Dalem Suparsa, Putu Rahayu Sitha Dewi

Contractor: NATS.Project

Owner: Hendra Rusli

This house appears in the Special Bilingual Edition (English and Thai) of Baan Lae Suan and Living Asean, titled “Tropical Suburban and Country Homes”. It focuses on designs for cozy living in harmony with nature.

We have handpicked ten houses for this special edition that serve as the perfect example of design innovations in sync with the natural world. Front and center, it’s about the pursuit of ways to live more sustainably and create a better future for all. Looking for inspiration? Perhaps a glimpse into nature-inspired “Tropical Suburban and Country Homes” is a good place to start.

Delve into the new book today. It’s hitting Thailand shelves now. For more details, visit

For bulk ordering, contact

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Stalk Jakarta, the Tree-Hugger Bar: A Restaurant and Bar That Cares about the Environment

Stalk Jakarta, the Tree-Hugger Bar: A Restaurant and Bar That Cares about the Environment

/ Jakarta, Indonesia /

/ Story: Kanamon Najaroen / English version: Bob Pitakowng /

/ Photographs: Mario Wibowo /

As its name suggests, Stalk Jakarta, affectionately known as the Tree-Hugger Bar, has environment protection as its front-and-center concerns. It’s a design that integrates the relationships between all things as the primary framework before additional tasks can be taken. The result is an enchanting restaurant and bar amid an oasis of lush greenery in a busy area of the city.

The building is roofed over with a tensile fabric cover supported by membrane structures resembling the coming together of five huge bell marquees. There are openings at the apexes to let tall trees grow through reaching up some 30 meters into the sky.

Stitched together so that they become a whole, the five bell tents work in tandem to protect the place of business underneath from severe weather. At the same time, tree crowns and overhanging branches cast shadows on the fabric cover, creating visual interest with contrast in design.

From a distance, a combination of huge bell marquees rises among the treetops creating a visual blend with the natural surroundings and buildings in the background.

The completely tented restaurant space may seem incompatible with other buildings in the neighborhood. But from the parametric design perspective, it’s a sustainable architectural approach that makes sense in every possible way.

In essence, it’s about trying to minimize any negative impact on the environment. And in this particular case, saving all the existing trees on the premises is of the utmost importance. It’s a noble thing to do to leave the trees where they have always been and let them thrive.

From the look of things, it’s thoughful and unique design that puts Stalk Jakarta, the Tree-Hugger Bar, in a class of its own. It’s the product of step-by-step planning that results in a situation, in which each side benefits in some way.

The restaurateurs get the perfect space they need to do business, while the trees get a new lease on life. On the whole, completely tented design provides a commercial space that’s eye-catching, while shady tree canopy ideas make customers feel calm and peaceful away from noise and distractions outside.

Stitched togethered so that they become a whole, bell-shaped tensile fabric tents have openings at the apex to let trees grow through the roof keeping the restaurant space in shade.

In the big picture, it reflects the design team’s vision of creating a piece of architecture that’s inextricably linked with the environment and the circumstances that form the setting of a place. Especially for Stalk Jakarta, it’s the team’s intention to try out new design possibilities to ensure the viability of the project.

They also plan to share their experience with business property developers with a way to reduce negative effects on the environment and, at the same time, maintain the existing state of affairs and physical features of the land. In this way, property value in the central business area will not be negatively impacted.

A drawing of the first-floor layout shows the welcome area leading to clearly defined VIP rooms and semi-outdoor dining rooms embraced by lush greenery. / Courtesy of RAD+ar
The open concept second floor holds a restaurant and bar in nature’s peaceful embrace. / Courtesy of RAD+ar


A side elevation drawing shows spatial relationships between shade trees, tensile membrane structures, and restaurant spaces. / Courtesy of RAD+ar

Stalk Jakarta, the Tree-Hugger Bar, consists of two floors. The first floor holds a number of drinking and dining rooms for private parties, aka VIP rooms. To get conversation going upon arrival, there’s a spacious welcome area decorated with plants with an inverted bell-shaped canvas roof serving as the focal point in the room.

From here, the dining hall on the second floor can be accessed via a ramp that winds around the upside-down bell curve at the center.

A ramp winding around the inverted bell-shaped fabric roof cover provides access to the upstairs dining hall.

The second floor contains a restaurant and bar, 750 square meters in extent. It’s roofed over with a combination of huge tensile fabric tents with openings at the apexes to allow shady trees to literally go through the roof reaching up for the sky above.

The thick fabric cover and the canopy of the tall trees protect the restaurant interior from heat during the daytime. In a way that arouses interest, overhanging brances cast shadows of the fabric cover creating a light and shadow play that changes in length and direction over the course of a day.

After sunset, beautiful chandeliers turn the dining hall into a well-lighted place with easy listening music provided by a live band.

An intriguing combination of color and texture makes the VIP room feel warm and welcoming.

Return to the first floor, and you find several VIP rooms clearly defined and separated from one another for privacy. Metal wall panels hammered to look like water surfaces and sandy soil add visual interest to the rooms.

At a glance, it’s a sight that evokes pleasant memories of a journey deep into the forest where the sun shines dimly and slightly, thanks to strategically placed lights in the interior.

An intriguing combination of color and texture makes the VIP room feel warm and welcoming.

All things considered, the high tension membrane roof cover comes in handy for the team of architects at RAD+ar to create an outstanding piece of parametric architecture. It looks the epitome of elegant design and an interesting amalgam of the built environment and the lush green surroundings.

What makes it the perfect rendezvous is the open concept layout that provides good natural ventilation, keeping the interior cool and calm with the sound of leaves rustling in the wind.

Without unsightly solid walls, the restaurant and bar space feels bright and breezy, thanks in part to the tensile membrane structure that performs two functions simultaneously, as fabric roof covering and semi-outdoor enclosure.

In the fewest possible words, it’s the best example of design that’s good for people living in the big city, and good for the environment, too.

Architect: RAD+ar (Research Artistic Design + architecture) (

Lead Architects: Antonius Richard Rusli

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ACH House: An Airy, Bright and Well Composed Indonesian Home

ACH House: An Airy, Bright and Well Composed Indonesian Home

/ Jakarta, Indonesia /

/ Story: Kanamon Najaroen / English version: Bob Pitakwong

/ Photographs: Ernest Theofilu /

Here’s a narrow lot airy Indonesian home beautifully nestled in the south of Jakarta. Named “ACH House”, it’s simple yet strikingly contemporary in appearance. A brick façade in rustic reds adds visual interest and texture to the exterior. To create a calm and peaceful living space, the house plan is divided into two parts with a lush courtyard in between that increases natural ventilation and daylight streaming into the interior.

ACH HOUSE airy indonesian home
A façade of bricks laid at a 45-degree angle adds a classic, timeless look to the home exterior, a perfect complement to nearby concrete walls in cool-toned white.

The south-facing property gets the most natural light during the day, plus heavy rainfall that varies with the seasons. To deal with the problem, the architects rose to the challenge by creating a perforated façade of red bricks laid at a 45-degree angle to keep the heat out and let fresh outdoor air into the home.

In the meantime, tiny vents in the wall let trapped moisture escape into the air and evaporate. This enables the building envelope to withstand wear and damage over a long period of time, while the classic color and texture blends with nearby concrete walls in cool-toned whites.

ACH HOUSE airy indonesian home

A flight of stairs on the left side of the house plan leads to the main living area on the second floor.

Walk in the door, and you find the home made up of two buildings separated by a lush center courtyard with a swimming pool. It’s a layout that strikes the right balance between the south-facing front building that holds service areas and a carport, and the building at the rear that provides quiet, more secluded living spaces.

The center courtyard offers many benefits. Among other things, it lets natural light and breezes into the home, thereby reducing heat trapped inside, a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect.

ACH HOUSE airy indonesian home

ACH House is a well thought out two-story home. The first floor has all the service spaces located in the front building; they include a carport, storage, washing and laundry, plus a domestic employee’s lodging. At the same time, the building at the rear contains children’s rooms, study room and bedroom for houseguests.

Floor Plans. / Courtesy of Wiyoga Nurdiansyah Architects
A side elevation drawing shows spatial relationships on the left side, top, and the right side of the house, bottom. / Courtesy of Wiyoga Nurdiansyah Architects

The second floor holds the main living areas easily accessed via a flight of stairs on the left side of the house plan. The front building has a prayer room and the primary bedroom with a bathroom en suite.

On the other side of the pool, the building at the rear holds a roomy sitting space with a kitchen and dining room. For added convenience, all the upstairs living areas can also be reached via an outdoor ramp on the right side of the house plan.

ACH HOUSE airy indonesian home

The primary bedroom is upstairs in the front building overlooking a swimming pool and wood deck connecting to the living room at the rear of the house plan.

Taking everything into account, it’s an airy Indonesian home that embraces the beauty of simplicity. The house is built using materials readily available in the locality.

There is one exception. Its gable roof is adapted for use in a new environment. It’s made asymmetrical for good reason. The steep pitch roof facing outward provides excellent water drainage, sending rainwater straight to the front yard and backyard gardens below.

In the meantime, the reasonable pitch roof facing inward allows rainwater to flow away gently onto the center courtyard garden, an easy hack to protect against flooding.

ACH HOUSE airy indonesian home
Seen from the primary bedroom, the kitchen and pantry, left, and main living area, right, are easily accessible via a wood deck by the swimming pool. At extreme right, an outdoor ramp connects to the front yard below.

ACH HOUSE airy indonesian home

ACH HOUSE airy indonesian home
Asymmetrical gable roof design. A high pitch roof makes the interior feel more spacious, increases ventilation and is more effective in shedding rainwater.

The design team wraps it up nicely. Despite its narrow frontage to the street, ACH House is made for calm and peaceful living. It’s very well composed to form a beautiful whole with all the spaces and functionality needed to fill the heart with happiness.

Plus, there’s a sense of open-air space that comes from having a lively green center courtyard and balance in interior design. Together they work in tandem to provide the peace of mind for whatever the future may hold.

ACH HOUSE airy indonesian home
There is beauty in simplicity. This airy Indonesian home is built of materials readily available in the locality, including deep red bricks and cement.

Architect: Wiyoga Nurdiansyah, of Wiyoga Nurdiansyah Architects (

Design Team: Adecya Louis Azzahro, Ananda Trisiana, Mohammad Diky Priatna

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Blackbird Hotel: Hotel in Bandung Enlivened by a Round Honeymoon Suite Trio

Blackbird Hotel: Hotel in Bandung Enlivened by a Round Honeymoon Suite Trio

/ Bandung, Indonesia /

/ Story: Phattaraphon, Kor Lordkam / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Nilai Asia /

Blackbird Hotel in Bandung remembered for its modern white building has undergone exciting expansion by adding a trio of unique round shaped rooms to its vibrant Indonesian country garden setting.

Blackbird Hotel Hotel in Bandung

The new extension, aptly called “The Drum Rooms” for its likeness to a set of percussion instruments, is the pride of the Blackbird Hotel located in the major West Java city about 3 hours’ drive from Jakarta, the capital.

Occupying 200 square meters of land inside the hotel compound, the trio of round shaped rooms offer opportunities to discover stimulating new experiences in travel, comfort and relaxation in the form of innovative design in synch with the rhythm of nature.

Blackbird Hotel Hotel in Bandung

Blackbird Hotel Hotel in Bandung
A river rock path winds among the trees and round shaped rooms set on the ground, standing back to back for increased privacy.

Built of wood in varying shades of brown, the three of them sit beautifully ensconced amid lively green surroundings. They are viewed as a unit apart from the nearby main hotel building.

Marketed under the name The Honeymoon Suites, the new extension project was quite a challenge event for experienced builders. It was built while the Blackbird was operating normally. Like so, every precaution was taken to ensure that nothing would impair its ability to perform business functions.

This was achieved by avoiding wet construction, such as poured cement or concrete, at the same time focusing on dry construction, which included materials such as wood and steel framing preassembled in the factory.

The new extension now stands out from the rest thanks to the unique building envelope made of timber in a beautiful mix of brown tones. The wood used in the project came from many different sources.

Blackbird Hotel Hotel in Bandung
Multiple pane skylights illuminate the bathroom upstairs while a louver window allows fresh outdoor air into the room.

Blackbird Hotel Hotel in Bandung

For good ventilation, louvered wall panels let air flow freely into the room and illuminate the interior space during the daytime. Each of them has a bedroom with bath on the first floor. The second floor holds another bathroom with a bathtub under multiple pane skylights with a view of lively green treetops and blue skies.

For harmony, unity and variety, the extension project also contains penthouse suites built of timber in complementing shades of brown.

Blackbird Hotel Hotel in Bandung

There is more. Besides the round shaped room trio, the extension project also includes two penthouse suites at the top of the main hotel building. Built of timber and steel framing to avoid impacting ongoing business operations, they come complete with a food preparation area, living room, and a small balcony plus a semi-outdoor Jacuzzi bathtub.

From a distance, they add visual interest to the white hotel building and prove a perfect complement to the round shaped room trio on ground level.

Blackbird Hotel Hotel in Bandung
The louvered walls of the penthouse suite serve as engine that drives natural ventilation.
A beautiful array of large windows connects the penthouse bedroom with the vibrant natural environment.
Blackbird Hotel Hotel in Bandung
Redefining bathing experience, the bathroom lies illuminated by a round-shaped rooftop skylight mimicking a Jacuzzi bathtub below.

Taken as a whole, they evoke admiration through size, color, texture and well-thought-out design. And the result of all this: a beautiful piece of modern architecture amid nature’s peaceful embrace. A unique travel experience, no doubt. Swing by the Blackbird next time you’re in Bandung.

Architect: RDMA (

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Antonius Richard Rusli, RAD+ar: Integrating Nature with Design from the Perspective of Tropical Architecture

Antonius Richard Rusli, RAD+ar: Integrating Nature with Design from the Perspective of Tropical Architecture

/ Jakarta, Indonesia /

/ Story: Kor Lordkam / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Courtesy of RAD+ar /

For Antonius Richard Rusli, founder of the Jakarta-based designer group RAD+ar (Research Artistic Design + architecture), the totality of the circumstances and the Tropical climate characteristic of the Indonesian archipelago present both opportunities and challenges that test the abilities of architects, designers and thinkers. The group’s outstanding achievements, both completed and experimental, encompass a wide range of property developments design, from residential real estate, to offices, to café and restaurants, even mosques to name but a few. Interestingly, they share a set of common attributes that speak volumes for a determination to reconnect with the surroundings and harness the healing power of nature.

Hence, it’s no surprise that nature permeates through their design, forming in a distinctive element in everything they have accomplished. Yet, it’s incorporated precisely and delicately.

In a rich and subtle way, it reflects a belief that well-thought-out design is a must-have strategy needed to overcome the challenges. Plus, it comes from a vision that looks deep into nature for a possible course of action that bodes well for a sustainable future.

Here’s a glimpse into his biophilic design reconnecting people with the environment and nature through architecture. Antonius Richard Rusli is one of the distinguished guest speakers at the annual room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023.

This year’s conversation event is on the theme of “URBAN FUSION / RURAL FLOURISH: Interweaving Urban and Rural Designs.” It’s taking place at the room Showcase zone inside Baan Lae Suan Fair Midyear 2023 on Sunday August 6 at BITEC Bang Na, Bangkok, Thailand.

Antonius Richard

Q: First of all, how would you describe your work style compared to others in your professional circle?

A: Strictly speaking, I call our approach the Decentralization of Sustainable Architecture.

In this particular case, it’s about creating property planning well suited to the Tropical Developing Economy of Indonesia. It involves identifying potential in outlying areas that can be developed and blend harmoniously with the natural surroundings.

By devising a plan that’s fit for the context of a place and the ways of life of people in a community, we stand a good chance of making it a success.

Take for example small business enterprises, such as café and restaurants. To assess whether a design will perform as intended in real life, we start out with a prototype of the small business, much like those sustainable housing designs that can be built over and over by the private sector. That’s the way I see it.

Antonius Richard
Refraction House / Photographs: William Sutanto

Q: What’s your perspective on Tropical Architecture? Any thoughts on that?

A: To answer, let me call your attention to two premises set out to describe our approach to Tropical Architecture.

First, to some extent, it’s easy or perhaps the easiest to bring about sustainable living in the Tropical Belt environment.

For the most part, the Region only consists of a rainy season and a dry season. The differences in temperature extremes in the Tropics are not great, although water scarcity issues can happen from time to time.

We receive plenty of sunlight to illuminate the home during the daytime plus heat that comes with solar radiation. You put plants in the ground and they grow very well, thanks to the consistency in natural light and thermal energy that’s a gift from nature.

That being said, sustainable living in the Tropics can be achieved simply by creating well-thought-out design that’s fit for the context or the setting of a place.

Refraction House / Living spaces seeking reconnections with nature represent both the objective and design principles of the atelier RAD+ar of Indonesia. / Photographs: William Sutanto

Secondly, the Tropics and Subtropics are home to more than one-third of the world’s population. As to be expected, increases in the population have become a factor that impacts our ecosystems, not to mention the extraction of resources from the environment at a fast pace to the extent that it undermines the Earth’s ability to replenish.

Besides promoting sustainable living among the population, everyone can contribute his share of a joint effort at preventing environmental degradation.

Ironically, it’s easy to make sustainable living by being more sensitive to the environment. It’s also easy to choose not to do it. For us architects, it’s an opportunity to focus on carefully thought-out design that’s suitable for the circumstances.

The key to success lies in research to identify architectural design strategies that work in the context of a location. At RAD+ar, we do our part by building a prototype of the project and putting it to the test in real-life situations. In the end, a design that’s right for a place will give us the inspiration we need going forward.

Antonius Richard
Bioclimatic Community Mosque of Pamulang / Photographs: William Sutanto

Q: As an architect, what are the things you want to do to bring about positive change in urban and rural developments.

A: In the short term, we will focus on furthering the progress of the Decentralization of Sustainable Architecture to ensure it fits in with the context of both urban and rural developments at least for the next five years. Our priorities include:

1. The integration of passive cooling technologies as key elements in Tropical vernacular design. This is particularly true with respect to commercial spaces.

2. A strict adherence to our Nature First policy, under which the preservation of the world’s natural resources takes precedence before others.

3. Creating prototypes of sustainable housing design that’s easy to follow for both new and renovated home projects.

4. Staying focused on mosque architecture with a view to incorporate sustainable features in the design. This is particularly important because it’s the style of building design and construction that speaks to the hearts and minds of the followers of Islam across Indonesian society.

Bioclimatic Community Mosque of Pamulang / Carefully thought-out materials paired with the right form, color and texture result in an appearance that blends perfectly with the cultural context of a landscape. / Photographs: William Sutanto

Q: Give me a few examples that speak volumes for RAD+ar thoughts, identity and experience.

A: Tanatap Ring Garden Coffee Shop. It’s a carefully planned design experiment aimed at evaluating the performance of a commercial space in real-life situations.

In this particular design, a small restaurant serving coffee and light meals in the garden is enclosed inside a building envelope made of glass blocks for maximum daylighting. The small café per se hides in plain sight, beautifully ensconced by a grassy knoll that’s the centerpiece of the interior landscape.

The atmosphere is made attractive by split-level outdoor rooms that connect to every sequential space and function in the design. The result is a playful yet relaxed rendezvous for socializing with friends and loved ones.

We want it to be a refreshing, dynamic civic space, one that’s positive in attitude and full of energy. Designed with nature in mind, it’s a sustainable commercial space that fulfills people’s needs in Jakarta, where occasionally government-built public spaces may not be consistently good.

An exciting new alternative, Tanatap Ring Garden Coffee Shop is just one of many design experiments being undertaken by RAD+ar.

Antonius Richard
Tanatap Ring Garden Coffee Shop / Photographs: KIE, Mario Wibowo
Tanatap Ring Garden Coffee Shop / For the architects, designers and thinkers at RAD+ar, natural features are as important as the design of a place, perhaps even more. Their notions about the role of nature are clearly manifested in this project named, “Tanatap Ring Garden Coffee Shop,” situated in Jakarta, Indonesia. / Photographs: KIE, Mario Wibowo

Discover new ideas in design, architecture and useful pieces of advice similar to the above-mentioned projects at the upcoming room X Living Asean Design Talk 2023. It’s an opportunity to meet up with Antonius Richard, architect and founder of the design atelier RAD+ar of Indonesia, along with a panel of experts from three ASEAN countries.

This year’s conversation event is on the theme of “URBAN FUSION / RURAL FLOURISH: Interweaving Urban and Rural Designs.” The Talk is scheduled for Sunday August 6 at the room Showcase zone inside BaanLaeSuan Fair Midyear 2023. Admission is free. Just a friendly reminder, seats are limited. Hope to see you there!

For more details:

Register to attend at:

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