The Gritted Grid House / Gets Architects
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Manufacturers : BoConcept, JUNG, Miele, BNB Marble, Blanco, Daikin, Ethnicrafts, Franke, Himalaya Glass, Lamitak, MIWA, Mill, Toto, noble glass
Granules of Needs – The brief required a strong connection with designated areas for togetherness and rooms for privacy in this multi-generational private retreat. The returning client desired to live in a more capacious settlement for their extended family. The Gritted Grid explores how a home can be livable for all ages and become a melting pot for the family’s granules of needs. As the couple is growing with three young adult children and four elderly parents; this house accommodates two parents’ bedrooms on the first floor, three children’s bedrooms on the second floor, and a private mass for the family lounge, master bedroom, and bathroom. Seamlessly, the unworn structure and mass somewhat connect with the current design through the renovation process. The novel internal arrangement with an extended pavilion is orchestrated around a connection between spaces. The living, dining, and kitchen spaces as the heart of the home are hardwired to those bedrooms as private areas; horizontally and vertically. Inducing respected privacy yet enclosed in warmth.
The layout is meticulously choreographed from the entrance ramp—which provides easier access for the elderly parents—towards the entry porch. This entrance ramp offers a grand welcoming gesture with its double height scale that is formed by the custom fiber cement breeze-block as the second skin. The ironwood decking material runs through the entry porch and combines with the elevated white marble slab—that gives an opening statement while becoming a visual separator and a bench for acquaintances. As a glance at the koi pond peeking through the hollow space below the marble bench, the outcome is a picture-perfect connection to the home. This same theme continues in the double-height living area where the entire space opens via sequences of floor-to-ceiling marble columns, glass doors, and glass walls.
The living area acts as a seamless court in the central axis: sandwiched between two fish ponds and flanked by two ironwood terraces that can be opened completely. From the inside living area, one can gaze across the pristine swimming pool to a picturesque green wall with various vegetation. On the other way around, the other ironwood terrace is specially designed for the enjoyment of watching the serene movement of koi fish and feeding them. Even more, the floating staircase hovers above the koi pond and has a commodious middle stair landing for the husband to sit down, relax, and watch the koi pond below. The other axis which is perpendicular to the central axis separates and gives the house a more private mass. Meanwhile, the special mass for the master bedroom and bathroom with the family lounge is parallel to the central axis. Every bedroom in this house ought to make a containment space, separating the threat-reduced interior space from the uncontrollable outside environment—by having a private bathroom and terrace or balcony for private access to the enclosed outdoors.
Having a close relationship to nature makes the architecture contribute to health and well-being for the family who treasures green scenery, especially for the elderly parents. It creates a connection with nature yet gives a sense of control and safety within private boundaries. Thus, when the global pandemic arose in early 2020, the spatially separated bedrooms with their own amenities were designed to double as self-isolation spaces if needed. As a family home, the opportunity for working from home is enhanced by the continuity of internal to internal and external to internal space. A great place to pace is the hallway connecting the parents’ bedrooms, and working rooms, the living and dining areas, and towards the pavilion. While the other family members—especially the elderly parents—engage in various activities in the living area or around the swimming pool and terraces or in the pavilion, the wife can work uninterrupted while visually looking after the family.
Homely Context – Returning to their former old neighborhood for familiarity and a harmonious living environment, this renovated home easily integrates with the adjacent houses whilst offering a singular architectural experience. As its name denotes, The Gritted Grid confidently sited at the apex of the neighborhood, providing two corners with its characteristic strength: a boldly honey-colored gridded facade. The form accentuates horizontality that is generally below the height limit to create a balanced composition. Sited to maximize penetration of natural light year-round, the design locates a U-shaped plan with ample outdoor or semi-outdoor areas.
Renovated in a serene South Jakarta, early observations proved that lush green from the adjacent park would be obtained from the second floor’s east and west vista. The three facades of this house were wrapped with custom fiber cement breeze-block, which serves as a second skin: to maintain seclusion from the street level yet engage all spaces with the lush scenery, wind breeze, sunrise and sunset. The second skin also brings continuity all around the facades, working in tandem with its lightweight-elevated structure to reduce the perceived visual bulkiness of those two-story facades. The interplay of transparency and solidity across the facade is an aesthetic decision as much as a functional one. Crafted with its uniquely signified design, the square form is formed by the structure which also acts as a shade and a canopy: providing an ever-changing shadow play.
In a light-filled, airy, and energy-efficient house that balances the demands of the family and their pets, those systems work in harmony with the environment. Along with the second skin, exposing the skylights here and there means that very little artificial lighting is needed yet protecting the interior from intense tropical sunlight. It’s a simple gesture, but when paired with additional sustainable tropical architecture elements like high ceilings, it will reduce heat and set an example. While the custom fiber cement breeze-block and high-performance double glazing maintain internal temperature, cross ventilation happens all around the house. Numerous layers of insulation, solar panels, ceiling fans, collecting stormwater, and maximizing natural light are other sustainable techniques.
A Repurposed Rapport – It was intentional to blur the distinction between the existing structure to the new layout to create a harmonious architectural entity. A once-dark, enclosed, and complicated layout of the former house was renovated to form a new, light-filled, open, and connected landscape without demolishing the original structure. As the design process progressed, the building’s structure showed several unexpected traits and then transformed into a series of designs responding in luxurious materials, sculptural composition, and warm natural tones. A journey through the residence reveals the most exquisite architectural experience incorporating the most opulent finishes and details such as polished ironwood flooring, slabs of honed silver marble, black diamond marble flooring, and timber-battened ceiling and walls. This opulence is paired beautifully with the inclusion of bespoke repurposed items such as repurposed timber walls, a marble standing lavatory, and a stunning eight-person polished marble dining table from the remaining material in the construction process. For those who value the finest things in life, this house is a must-see since it strikes the ideal balance between opulence, personalized charm, and nature.
The sunken pavilion was an addition during the construction process. The design aims to create an open, cozy and calming gathering space for extended family or friends by taking advantage of the elevation difference of the site. With a semi-outdoor dining area and generous open kitchen, these areas are defined to maximize the panorama from the swimming pool and garden area. The second floor of the pavilion functions as a gym area, dance room and guest room. With an easy spatial transition from public to private zones, inside and out, the renovated pavilion facilitated seamless integration of interior and exterior. Combined with new trees, the existing trees place the whole family in engaging contact with nature rather than occasional, exceptional or ephemeral experiences. It is initiating a new framework and is employed to help implement positive and beneficial outcomes. Facilitate a close relationship with nature through architecture. Composing views of foliage and landscape, framing it with windows, beams and columns. Increasing the sense of closeness to nature by hiding the edges of windows to create the illusion that there is no barrier between a place of refuge and the landscape outside. One of the greatest luxuries is living close to and surrounded by nature. To be in a forever home, at last.