Blog : Jakarta

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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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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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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Tanatap Ring Garden Coffee Shop: A Design Experiment on the Interaction between Commercial Space and Nature

Tanatap Ring Garden Coffee Shop: A Design Experiment on the Interaction between Commercial Space and Nature

/ Jakarta, Indonesia /

/ Story: Baralee / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: KIE, Mario Wibowo /

Introducing a prototype of the small café well thought out as place for a rendezvous. Aptly named Tanatap Ring Garden Coffee Shop, it’s a work of outstanding artistry integrating restaurant space planning with nature to form a cohesive oasis of calm. The key elements of design include a sloping garden beautifully ensconced in a stadium-like enclosure. There’s a circular path at the top of the stairs for a leisurely stroll. At intervals, the paved path is marked with outdoor tarp canopies for protection from the sun. It sends out one important message — time well spent is time spent in the great outdoors.

Tanatap Ring Garden

The theme of an enchanted garden cafe is derived from a simple question. “What is it like if a piece of architecture behaves like it’s non-existent?” In this particular case, the centerpiece of the project is a lush tropical garden enclosed by a circular glass-block building envelope.

It’s home to a café space that lies hidden in plain sight, concealed by a grassy knoll that blends perfectly into the surrounding landscape. It’s a meeting place where people mix socially and interact with one another bringing youthful exuberance to this part of the city of Jakarta.

Tanatap Ring Garden

With respect to construction, Tanatap Ring Garden Coffee Shop is the result of three design strategies combined.

First of all, it’s well planned to blend with the healthy foliage of a tropical forest setting. This is evident in the preservation of all the existing trees on the property.

Secondly, the circular building envelope is designed to encompass all positive aspects of ornamental grounds where plants grow luxuriantly. Located at the center of the floor plan, the café covered by a grassy knoll affords a large room where people meet plus plenty of ample spaces for relaxation. A few steps away, remarkable garden design offers sensory pleasure and the opportunity of reconnecting with nature.

Lastly, it’s about enhancing customer experience by merging indoor and outdoor spaces bringing them together into a cohesive whole.

Tanatap Ring Garden

Tanatap Ring Garden

The overall effect is impressive. It’s a layout that strikes the right balance between the relative size of the project, the building materials used, and the impact of color, texture and natural light in the design process.

To reduce the harshness of the built environment, the building envelope is made of glass blocks that allow maximum daylight between spaces. They add aesthetic appeal to the place and blend well with the existing trees.

Tanatap Ring Garden

Tanatap Ring Garden

As regards functional design, walk into the café and you come to a counter bar occupying a central position. Carefully thought out design promotes ease of movement in every part allowing people to traverse through and around unhindered.

The circular glass-block wall that separates the interior from the garden is decorated with lush leafy plants. It’s marked at intervals with plain-looking sets of tables and chairs for customers. Nearby, a corridor creates smooth transition between spaces giving access to the yard on the outside.

Tanatap Ring Garden

The nature-loving café project is built amphitheater style. Like so, the commercial space is positioned at the center of landscape design. It’s a beautiful greenery-covered building adorned with tiers of outdoor seating set at intervals.

Meanwhile, the boundary along the outer circumference is filled with café seating situated directly below the concrete rooftop corridor made for a leisurely stroll. From here, a vista of high-rise buildings in Jakarta’s CBD can be seen in full view from afar. All things considered, it’s a piece of architecture devised from experience in tropical garden landscaping.

Tanatap Ring Garden

Tanatap Ring Garden

Tanatap Ring Garden

By design, Tanatap Ring Garden Coffee Shop is an experimental project involving new and innovative ideas for commercial space planning. In this particular case, it provides the opportunity of observing how users react to a less familiar environment. It’s implemented with a view to identify the furniture choice, seating arrangement and features in hardscape architecture that are right for business.

It’s a design that blurs the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces. The color green that fills the landscape has strong associations with nature, hence comfortable furniture and a conducive semi-outdoor environment make perfect sense.

Plus, it’s interesting to discover how well-planned open design can facilitate social interactions in everyday life.

Conceptual Diagram Courtesy of RAD+ar
Ground Floor Plan Courtesy of RAD+ar
Roof Floor Plan Courtesy of RAD+ar
Section Drawing Courtesy of RAD+ar


Tanatap Ring Garden

Tanatap Ring Garden

Aside from that, the recent outbreak of Covid-19 was also a factor that compelled the architect to undertake this experiment to determine how a commercial space with plenty of outdoor landscaping ideas performs in the ensuing days.

It’s exciting to see how new ideas in outdoor environment design play a role in enticing people to spend more time outdoors and live a lifestyle more closely connected with nature, one of many actions people can take to support sustainable living.

Architect: RAD+ar (

More about nature-inspired designs similar to the above-mentioned are waiting to be discovered. It’s a chance to meet up with Antonius Richard, architect and founder of the architectural practice RAD+ar of Indonesia during the upcoming conversation event titled, “URABN FUSION / RURAL FLOURISH: Interweaving Urban and Rural Designs”.

It’s a part of the annual “room Books X Living ASEAN Design Talk.” This year’s panel of experts is made up of four distinguished architects from three countries. The Design Talk is scheduled for Sunday August 6 at the room Showcase zone inside BaanLaeSuan Fair Midyear 2023, BITEC Bang Na, Bangkok. It’s an opportunity not to be missed. Mark your calendar!

For more details:

Register to attend at:

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Distracted House: Unique Roof Style Merges Javanese Tradition with Urban Modern Living

Distracted House: Unique Roof Style Merges Javanese Tradition with Urban Modern Living

/ Jakarta, Indonesia /

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

/ Photographs: Andhy Prayitno, of Mario Wibowo Photography ( /

Nestled on the outskirts of Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, an urban modern home aptly named “Distracted House” looks completely different from everything else. The densely populated neighborhood shares a common characteristic. It’s chock-full of one- and two-story homes closely packed in a way that it feels uncomfortable. To deflect attention away from the humdrum existence of a crowded space, a team of talented engineers at Ismail Solehudin Architecture came up with a clever idea for a craftsman-style home unlike anything else.

Distracted House

Distracted House

The result is a work of outstanding artistry made clearly noticeable by irregular polygons with unequal sides and unequal angles. But what makes Distracted House even more interesting lies in its irresistible power of storytelling.

Beautifully done, it looks the epitome of Javanese culture designed to showcase the ways of life, religious beliefs and traditional vernacular style unique to the Indonesian archipelago.

That’s what gives this home its timeless appeal that blends perfectly with the surrounding landscape.

Distracted House

Distracted House

The two-story, 420-square-meter building is home to an extended family with seven resident members on a normal day. On special occasions and holidays the number can increase to more than 10. That’s precisely a challenge that the architects had to overcome by creating enough usable spaces and functions to satisfy demands.

To fit in with the existing built environment, the only way to go was up. The architects relied on two building methods to solve the problem.

First, the roof was raised slightly higher than normal to create enough room for a mezzanine on the second floor, thereby giving the house extra living spaces, plus well thought out details make the interior feel warm and welcoming. This was achieved in a way that’s compatible with the mostly two-story homes neighborhood.

The second method involved putting in a courtyard with swimming pool at the rear, plus adding plants and greenery inside the home.

The pool that’s the focal point of the courtyard can be seen in full view from inside the dining room and sitting room. To bring the outdoors into the home, small rock gardens with lovely low-maintenance plants are integrated in the design, while skylights set into the roofline keep the interior well-lit during daytime hours.

Distracted House

Overall, the interior living spaces are invitingly comfortable thanks to a well-designed stairwell that opens to admit fresh outdoor air into the room.

Despite the limitations, attention to detail makes the home a special place to be and prevents it from becoming a stuffy, overcrowded space.

Distracted House

Apart from a bright and airy atmosphere, it’s the house’s outer appearance that’s getting the most attention. Plus, family traditions, lifestyle and religious beliefs play a part in determining the location of, and interaction between functional spaces in the home.

This is manifested in building orientation, by which the new home design axis is aligned with Qibla, or the direction towards the Kaaba (the stone building at the center of Islam’s holiest site in Mecca). Hence the Musalla, or room set aside for prayer in Islam, is located at the farthest end in this direction.

A place to quietly reflect inward and connect with Allah, it’s also used for religious ceremonies in the family.

Distracted House

Conceptual Diagram Courtesy of Ismail Solehudin Architecture
House Orientation Concept Courtesy of Ismail Solehudin Architecture
First Floor Plan House Courtesy of Ismail Solehudin Architecture
Second Floor Plan House Courtesy of Ismail Solehudin Architecture
Rooftop Plan House Courtesy of Ismail Solehudin Architecture

Like so, the main communal space of Distracted House is set oblique in relation to the rectangular yard landscape, an unusual layout that sets it apart from the rest. To synchronize modern living with traditional Javanese style and taste, the team of architects added Joglo house architecture to the design.

The term Joglo refers to a steep pitch roof at the center that was associated with Javanese aristocrats in olden times. The center of the floor plan is filled with smaller rooms and functional spaces, creating a conducive environment for a harmonious family life.

Meantime, areas on the periphery are roofed over to keep them in shade.

Distracted House

Distracted House

Overall, the building envelope is made of wood and concrete masonry construction painted white. Where appropriate, air bricks are used as part of the house’s ventilation system.

Except for its unusual shape, the entire roof is covered in terra cotta tiles in a dark shade of orange that’s consistent with other houses in the neighborhood.

Distracted House

Distracted House

In summary, it’s a well-thought-out design that speaks volumes for lifestyle, a strict adherence to religion, and cultural heritage passed down through generations of a family.

A new home made with skill, creativity and imagination, it’s a look that conveys a great deal about the residents through interior and exterior design.

Who would have thought that a home with absolutely unique physical features would ease into beautiful suburban vibes? Interesting, to say the least.

Distracted House

Architects: Ismail Solehudin Architecture (
Lead Architect: Ismail Solehudin
Design team: Radhian Dwiadhyasa
Building contractor: Wani Build
Structural Engineer: Pt. Desain putra persada (new building) Andi Dzikril (building structure)

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Andra Matin’s Modern Tropical Home in Indonesia

Andra Matin’s Modern Tropical Home in Indonesia

/ Jakarta, Indonesia /

/ Story: Wuthikorn Suthiapa / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Sriskul /

Everything about this modern home by Andra Matin presents a perfect example of tropical residential architecture. Check this out.

Andra Matin

Andra Matin, the homeowner and designer of AM House, greeted us with a smile in his spacious multi-purpose room dominated by a solid-wooden long table.

His tropical modern home was made of concrete, its unique stilt structures were outstanding. These elements intrigue us to hear what he had to say about the house.

Andra Matin
The living room on the second floor is visible from the street. Patches of greenery provide camouflage for privacy

According to Matin, this state-of-the-art work took five years to finish.

“I began building this house in 2008, starting out with a cube-shaped design. As construction was underway, more details were added. By slowly and gradually building the house, I had time to consider the best option for our family.”

Andra Matin
The pathway glides past a pond to the second floor. The entire ramp is paved with strips of timber set at half-inch intervals.
Andra Matin
A wood deck extends from the multi-purpose space.

Matin is widely known for his attention to detail. He is responsible for pioneering modern tropical design projects across Indonesia.

When it comes to designing a house to suit a hot and humid climate, he relied mostly on nature and a clever floor plan.

There are only two air-conditioning machines in the house. One is located in the basement bathroom, to control the humidity. And the other is on the top-floor bedroom.

Andra Matin
The multi-purpose room on the second floor is easily adaptable. The design is in accordance with tropical climates.
Andra Matin
The cooking station is built into the tabletop. An oven and a nearby refrigerator are disguised by Ulin, Indonesia native timber.
Andra Matin
The staircase is protected by a screen of vertical strips that double as a handrail.

“I have always been interested in spatial relationships rather than the form per se,” Matin mentions his interest which he adopted to his works and the designing of his home.

“Good design is one that takes ‘Spatial Relationships.’ into account. It looks into all kinds of activity that will take place within, and not just the room hemmed in by four walls.

“In reality, there exists an in-between space that subtly tells one room apart from the next, be it sitting or sleeping, walking or standing. After that, we look for the form or configuration that best fits in with those spaces, the climate, and ways of living.”

Andra Matin
The spiral staircase leads to a spacious bathroom with a walk-in closet. A shower area and a bathtub lie under a skylight.
Andra Matin
A small lodge in the backyard is Matin’s favorite hideout spot.
Andra Matin
The third-floor living space is adequately lit by natural light via the skylight, right. On one side, floor-to-ceiling windows allow soft, diffused light in. During the day, there’s no need for an artificial light.

Matin sourced materials locally. This is not only to support the locals, Matin believes local artisans know their stuff.

“Local builders have insight know-how and skills. These materials weren’t hard to find and savvy,” said Matin

Apart from architecture, Matin also has a strong passion for travel. Hence, this house is full of fun gimmicks to make walking from room to room like an exciting adventure.

The entrance is through the hill. Followed by a lounge area with a spiral staircase as a shortcut to a rooftop on one side and a tilted floor leading to a small lodge. A children’s room is also accessible through the lodge. A working space on the ground floor also has a backdoor hidden behind a bookshelf.

The endless wonder in this modern tropical home is indeed no less than Peter Pan’s Neverland.

The sloping lawn that covers the rooftop gradually descends and ends up on top of the bedroom window.



The horizontal opening in the wall allows just enough natural light inside. The design is to avoid strong tropical sunlight.


Architect: Andra Matin (


Tanah Teduh: A Beautiful Modern House Set amid Old Orchards

Tanah Teduh: A Beautiful Modern House Set amid Old Orchards

/ Jakarta, Indonesia /

/ Story: Ajchara Jeenkram / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

This house among the trees is part of a suburban residential development nestled in a wooded area where calming fruit orchards once grew. It is comforting to know the developers have made every effort at preserving as many trees as they possibly could. Like so, the houses are built around mature trees that have long been there. Here’s one of them.

Tanah Teduh
The cube-shaped façade looks out over the front yard. Large glass windows in wood casings stretch across the entire face of the building. To let nature permeate, patches of greenery occupy every open space including the rooftop deck.

The cube-shaped façade looks out over the front yard. Large glass windows in wood casings stretch across the entire face of the building. To reconnect with nature, patches of greenery occupy every open space including the rooftop deck. Meanwhile, open concept floor plans allow abundant natural light. The positioning of windows and other features ensures minimum consumption of electricity, which translates into big savings. More than anything else, it’s about building a relationship with the natural world.

“Tanah Teduh” is the name of the housing development. It’s a reminder of the residential projects where a large number of houses of similar design are built closer together, creating a friendly neighborhood in which everybody knows everybody.

Here, all the residential units have access to common areas via both front and back doors. Well-thought out design ensures security is achievable without sacrificing privacy. Taken as a whole, the housing development is situated on 21 Rai of land (roughly 8.3 acres) that once upon a time was a thriving fruit orchard.

Tanah Teduh
Exterior walls covered in coat-button vines help cool down the interior living spaces.

Inspired by the need for nature conservation, the project developer offers only 20 modern houses with a view of the lush garden landscape. The privacy of its residents takes priority over any other matter. But the beauty of the landscape is important, too. So, instead of building boundary walls that can be unpleasant to look at, the homes are kept separate from each other by green hedges and other smart architectural hacks.

It takes a team of top ten Indonesian designers to make this housing development exceptionally good. To avoid repetition, the front façade varies from one unit to the next, and each unit is a signature of an individual designer.

Tanah Teduh
A relaxing multi-use room in the front part of the house. The sliding door and exterior wall are glazed using clear glass to take in the garden view and ensure there’s plenty of natural light in the house.

Oranat Pernquist is the owner of the house that we visited on this housing development. A Thai lady who has come to call Jakarta home, she welcomed our editorial team to take a look around. Overall, the home was beautiful, well-designed, and nicely decorated.

Andra Matin, the designer and project director, sure did a good job at it. He put in a small center courtyard to let nature pervade throughout the home. Natural light and correct building orientation were taken into account, resulting in well-connected, warm, and inviting interior living spaces.

Meanwhile, the external envelope showcased the charm of modern design, something akin to the works made famous by world-renowned architect Le Corbusier, but with an Asian outlook.

Tanah Teduh
The dining room features a large wood table capable of seating 6 to 8. The table and chairs are made to order from Jakarta. Glass-front armoires in the backdrop are imported from Thailand.

The house has two wings. The ground floor of the first building offers a good-sized sitting room, dining area and kitchen. Glass siding fills the entire exterior wall on one side, making the center court clearly visible from within. The second floor holds a home office, while the third is a sundeck converted into a sky garden.

Tanah Teduh
The kitchen is connected to the dining room. A utility table on wheels compensates for the absence of a kitchen island. The center courtyard can be seen in full view from here, thanks to glass siding that stretches across the exterior walls.

The second building also has two levels with multi-use spaces on the first floor. The second floor contains a sitting room with access to the garden. It’s decorated with a sofa in soft hues and a set of table and chairs. There is a park bench made of concrete for relaxation in the outdoors.

Tanah Teduh

The perimeter wall made of perforate cement blocks not only protect from the sun’s harsh glare but also allows air circulation. Breathe block design adds modern curb appeal to the home.

The designer is passionate about Thai-modern design that’s evident in the interior decorated with simple materials. They include real wood, bare concrete walls in lighter shades and a perforate shell. Every living space is designed for specific use. It looks uncluttered and opens to let nature permeate.

Oranat said that her other half, Anders Pernquist, traveled abroad for business often and brought home beautiful objects from Italy, Taiwan, and India. She wrapped it up nicely: “Anders is responsible for purchasing,” and she for installation. No wonder home interior design is so full of life.

Tanah Teduh
The master bedroom on the third floor has floor-to-ceiling windows and wood flooring in glossy finishes. Different materials serve as boundary markers among the internal spaces. The en suite bathroom showcases fine-stone terrazzo flooring with a dressing room and walk-in closet.

“Anders likes Asian style handicrafts. Works produced in this region are beautifully crafted. We have glass-front armoires with superb wood carving imported from Thailand, area rugs from India, and other pieces that are made to order in Jakarta,” said Oranat.

“Our collections come from various parts of the world. They remind us of our long journey.”

The bedroom overlooking the courtyard has a wooden bed with area rugs and bed cover in complementing hues from India. A birch veneer IKEA chair adds Scandinavian vies to the room.
Wall openings keep the interior well-lit by natural daylight. The architect put this opening in the kitchen on purpose to take in the views.

Architect: Andra Matin

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