Monday, September 19, 2016

Publication : Slanted House by Budi Pradono Architects in Bob Magazine no 146 / 2016

This small house is located on 8x20m lot in Pondok Indah district. Although it is a part of gated community, this building located on the edge  small river with a village right across the river. Pondok Indah in South Jakarta is a residential area which is indeed successfully built in the 80’s. since then, Pondok Indah is being a symbolic status. Some of the most successful parliament member in Jakarta as well as some celebrities who come from other regions feel like a must-have house in this area. This symbol of success is generally showed by architectural language. For instance, structural column is similar to that of Italyor France. This pillar shows a success. To answer this challenge, the designer starts to ask the homeowner whether she still needs those symbol or vice versa. It turns out that she agrees to demolish this situation by deconstructing this common discourse, tilting the whole house to be something that almost fals down. This house is also next door of Indonesian musician, Ahmad Dhani. His house is painted totally black whereas this house is all white. This unintentionally coincidence reinforces (Slanted House) as an architecture which criticizes it environment. The spatial function of the house uses a new sequence. The public area is placed on the first floor, which consists of pantry, study area and swimming pool. Second level has private rooms such as master bedroom, wardrobe and bathroom. The bathroom acts as a response to the current trend of urban lifestyle. People normally spend more time in a bathroom for quiet time and contemplative room while using smart phones, reading newspaper or social media as a communication device. The top level is used for lounge and guest room. In the building section, the private area is put in the middle, like a sandwich between public areas. The whole building relies on the steel structure as a representative of a modern housing which depends on fabrication. This framework is now agreed to be slanted as a symbol of instability and a deconstruction of surroroundings.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Publication : Asean Architect 04 - Budi Pradono Architects Indonesia in ASA Magazine - Architect'16 Review, Thailand no 03 / 2016

This fourth installment in the series of articles on selected young ASEAN practices is focused on an Indonesian design studio that has gained much traction in the industry in this region with their distinctively exploratory approach to architectural design. Budi Pradono Architects (BPA), founded in 1999, is a research based architectural studio with an interdisciplinary focus on inclusive rigorous methodologies of research, collaboration and experimentation. It believes in the concentration om the characteristics and specificities of each and every project as part of its individuality and conditions that surround it. BPA seeks an architecture or design that interlinks, shifts and expands on considerations that range from program, to typology, material, structure, to larger contexts of social, environmental and cultural dynamisms. It engages itself on various scales of project to relate design in search of connectivity and relation at multiple levels and facest – be it product design, or urban infrastructure. BPA pursues a resonance in the creative explorations during the design process as an opportunity for connections and relations. A selection in three of the studio’s project is presented here to explore this perspective.

The first example to illustrate BPA’s design philosophy of connecting architecture with its users and environment is the A House. The 183-sqm residence, located at a corner af a street in Bintaro area in the periphery of Southern Jakarta, was designed around an existing 9m-tall Ketapang Kencana tree. The design team first sought to preserve the tree and used it as a guiding principle design element by organizing living spaces around and in relation to the tree. With an objective to achieve a ‘home with environment  as a new oasis to live’ several fundamental questions were raised during the design process – such as ‘what if the bed is on top of the tree?’, ‘what if the homeowner can do the contemplation in the bathroom, in the middle of the tree?’ etc. Some additional trees were also planted on site to amplify this feeling of living in a jungle. To translate the idea into reality, the design team inserted the master bedroom with its en-suite bathroom on the 3rd floor – 8m above ground, among the tree canopies. Some parts of the roof is made with a glass skylight to bring in natural light and to induce a stack effects of air movement from the bottom of the house up to the roof level. A ceiling with reflective material was additionally applified throughout the house to give it a character and to reflect the light from the outside and the tree silhouettes. The living room is placed on the 2nd floor adjacent to the lower part of the tress, with an intended increased visibility to the branches, where by the noisier 1st floor houses the pantry and dinning room. To mitigate noise pollution stemming from motorcycles passing by every morning and evening, a barrier wall with its stepped down section toward the inside of the house is provided. The amphittheatre-like shape of the wall is used as additional seating area for the dinning room. It is intended that this micro-scaled home greening strategy would eventually contribute to a greener Bintaro district.

This relationship between architecture and its surroundings was further explored in the Dancing Mountain House project. Here, instead of designing a house around a tree, the approach was tested on a much larger scale – to mimic the topographic character of its natural setting at 2.000m above the sea level on the ridge of Mount Merbabu, and with it being surrounded by several other mountanis. The project was conceptualized by interpretation of the multiplication of Javanese village houses and the reinterpretation of the traditional roof structure by adding the mountain-shaped roof features which serve as skylight to bring as much natural light as possible into the building.

The structure was made entirely out of bamboo with traditional techniques assisted by new construction technology. Local materials such as brick, bamboo and stone were used in differing ways. There was, in addition, a starategy to utilize recycled and reused from the old house that used to be sited there. What is more surprising is the fact that the house was not built by a professional contractor but by the local community  at large. The homeowners are both retired lecturers who wanted to share their collection of economic and science books to the surrounding community, so there is a part of the house that is dedicated to serve as a library that can be accessed freely by the local people. To summarize, this house is a noteworthy example of how architecture can engage various aspect of social and economic drivers and putting them together to function.

A concept similar to the Dancing Mountain House is applied once more for the design of I-Shelter, a 30-sqm bike race shelter for the Tour de Ijen, an event organized annually in Banyuwangi of East Java. The form of the shelter was derived by mapping the height of mountains and the depth of volcanic craters in the region, a method referred to by BPA as the ‘Specificity Of Place’. The fragment formation of such topography is then realized three-dimensionally by the stacking of 5mm wide bamboo laths vertically and horizontally. The whole shelter is made of Petung bamboo that can be found around Gunung Ijen, a building material that was preserved traditionallly by soaking it in the river for 8 months before use. A layer of polycarbonate sheet is then slipped into the centre of the bamboo roofrops to make the shelter functional. This location is also well known as a popular hiking trail, where the shelter can be used as a resting spot for hikers and bikers outside of the competition tournament. Though small in size, BPA believes im how architectural design can become a device for making more meaningful places rather than just functioning as nere shelters. As aptly stated by Budi Pradono, ‘I believe that a small project is a chance as well as a challenge for an architect to build a strong concept and also to utilize architecture as a device to elevate local strengths, re-elevate the local preservation method which has long been forgotten, as well as creating a unique and specific place’.

BPA’s works ilustrate that there are several ways in which the surround and context-natural of human, can be integrated in the initial approaches to architectural design. A sensitivity and respect to the givens in context can work together with building techniques to conjure meaningful spaces, and subsequently social communities. These are frameworks upon which BPA challenges themselves to rethink, reevaluate and inform in the basic necessities of buildings and surroundings in their work. The attention to social and environmental awaremesses and the responsibilities that carry along with them, adds yet another dimension to the mere intrinsic nature of buildings and shelters. When carried across a multitude of scales and sites, the results can often produce appropriate and enlightening responses that delights an enriches, hences providing that connectivity that is often so critical in engaging both project requirements and site locale together. This thus becomes a paramount attribute that illustrate and perhaps should inspire architectural practices on how they can engrain themselves in the context that they operate – responsibly.

Q & A

Each place or project has a hidden and specific characteristic. This is where we are very interested at exloring more in local environment characteristic, such as wind, lighting, as well as local material, or space program required by clients. The invisible character that we found in the field may be become our tools so that it can create such new ingredients for a new architecture.

BPA as a research based architecture firm uses a variety of methods in each project for finding the invisible characteristics of a site; that even is able to gather standard programs to be the new ones. Thus, we are very glad to have collaborated with a variety of disciplines, so that we can obtain new things in the design process. Another strategy is using mock-up models and 3D software as both tools in parallel procedures. In this process, it creates space and the experiment of programming and materials in which, I believe by making the real model in scale is very important, it can allow the space to be intuitionally felt directly. This stage is very crucial to us.

During my study in my undergraduate program in Yogyakarta, I have explored the architecture approaches by Bernard Tschumi who wrote “Manhattan Transcript”, a book mainly focusing on the dis-programming theory. At the same time I was also interested at studying any theories on deconstruction architecture, maninly expressed by Peter Eisenman giving questions on status quo of modern architecture. After I had graduated, I was in obsession with Rem Koolhaas’ writings in S M L XL, as well as I started to love and like the architectural works by Tadao Ando, a Japanese architect, whose works I visited throughout the world. However, the one that gave me the architecture view and strength before I opened my own practice was Kengo Kuma. I worked with him for two years in Tokyo, and had the opportunity to explore architectural design in millimetre scale sizes. As I further studied in broader scale (urban scale) from Winy Maas (MVRDV) under his studio at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam Netherlands, I came across studies in kilometre scales, it required me to lay the grounwork for design methods that propose contemporary architecture.

The ideal project is both small project an big project. In millimetres and kilometres, both have very extreme difference. We expect that each year we will get two types of these projects.

In the next five years, the researches by BPA hopefully can collaborate with the programs in some of the universities in the world, so that these will create further innovations in architectural design.


With AEC, we should study with those in Europe. There must be integration between ASEAN level competitions concerning the public building such as campus, schools, as well as social housing. The similarity of climate and material can be anticipated simultaneously, meanwhile these will give new strength for ASEAN to get rapid new generation with specific characters. As for the cooperation with universities, it must also be encouraged, so that there will not only be a platform of cross culture but also a platform for cross knowledge, which is neccessary for the future of ASEAN architecture.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Fortress Europe

Fortress Euroepe

What should architects do ?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

architecture as a device by budi pradono


Friday, 26 Feb 2016
09.00-11.00 WIB



"CLAY CITY" book signing after the Lecture

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dancing Mountain House on d+a singapore


d+a design and architecture

Budi Pradono builds a family home made of bamboo for a retired couple that mimics the peaks of nearby mountains in central Java

text Rebecca Lo // PhotograPhy FeRnando GomuLya and FX bambanG Sn

where they can view the waltzing mountains within a generous space they occasionally share with children and grandchildren returning from abroad.
‘Along with being a university educator, my client was a father figure and democratic freedom fighter during (the late Indonesian) President Suharto’s regime,’ says Pradono. ‘The couple has a collection of science and economic books that they wanted to share with the surrounding community in a sort of public library. They appreciated the bamboo structures which the community is beginning to abandon, and they wanted to learn more about this renewable material. I ended up seeking an expert in bamboo construction, as bamboo forms the main structure. I also found a village full of bamboo furniture craftsmen not far from the site.

‘The home is in a rural area and is surrounded by trees. Its shape is rather triangular, with a steeper side so the land appears wider than it actually is. The most difficult task was bringing memory into the new house. Since the owners’ children live in Berlin and Sydney as well as Timor-Leste, Yogyakarta and Jakarta, the house has to have the spirit of home. This spirit was translated into a large open space, using waste materials salvaged from their old house, such as timber window frames or teak doors.
‘In plan, the dining room became the home’s centre. For 30 years, this family relied on the dining table as the centre for all activities, as well as a knowledge generator and communication device. It was a tool to communicate creative ideas, talk about international politics or trivial matters surrounding the funny events in the village; a place to share stories, eat together, a place to learn and meet. Other programmes in the house

were arranged linearly from the dining room. The main bathroom near the home’s entry is a semi- enclosed, social space that allows for dialogue as the walls are just under 2.2 metres. It reflects our childhood in the 70s when the activity of doing laundry or bathing in the river was also a time to share many things. The side of the building towards the park was left open to represent the house’s concept of being borderless – a nod to my client’s political past.’
The house is laid out along the south end of the site, with public areas such as the large kitchen and dining area taking up the front portion. This is a reversal of the hierarchy found in traditional Javanese homes, where the pendana or front of

the house is where men welcomed guests and the pawon or back of the house is where women are relegated to do the cooking. Pradono’s concept echoes the peaks of the nearby mountains with bamboo roof structures that form cones above each area. The house’s structure relies on locally available materials, such as petung bamboo with diameters of 12 to 15 cms used as angled support columns. Walls are clad with glass and steel, with red brick delineating perimeters; floors are exposed concrete, chapped bamboo in bedrooms and andesit stone in bathrooms. Natural sunlight is encouraged through full-height glazing to reduce the reliance on artificial lighting, while water is heated using solar panels for hot morning showers in the chilly mountainous climate.

‘The house activated the surrounding communities,’ says Pradono. ‘At the beginning of the project, I mapped the region and found many interesting materials such as bamboo, bricks, clay and stone, which were all available very close to the site. Approximately 20km away, in a village called Sekarlangit, there are many cottage industries that manufacture bamboo battens and rafters. We made the house’s rafters from petung bamboo, split into five centimeter widths and then soaked into the river for three to six months; this reduces their glucose and makes them ready for building. The owner became his own project manager, to save on costs. We also engaged the local craftsmen and the surrounding community to build together. There is an oval shaped space to one side of the house designed as a study and small library. It is open to the local community to come, read the books and learn with their children.’