Mand(A)nila House

Architect : Somia Design
designer incharge : Widiadnyana, Gerry Surbakti
Location : Renon, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
Land area : 317 sqm.
Floor area : 154 sqm.
Interior designer : Somia Design.
Photographs : Mario Wibowo

This renovated house sits on a 317 square meters lot at a small residential complex in Denpasar, Bali. Located in front of an elementary school where noise and school activities indirectly impact the house during the day time.

This house was initially a kitchen and garage of one big house that used to produce foods for a catering business. Afterwards, the owner decided to split the house into two separate houses. At that time the house was quite large, yet suffering from the minimum penetration of natural light and its conditional hodgepodge finishes.

Talking about the brief, client desires a tropical Balinese house that will suit the casual lifestyle of the family. Those issues challenge the architect to solve this renovation project. How does the architect transform a service area into a whole new livable urban house?

It was clear that the most important change would be the reorganization of the plan. The new plan provides 3 bedrooms with one bathroom for each room. The architect makes sure every room obtain plenty of natural daylight. "embracing the natural habit of tropical living - we create warmth with a seamless flow between inside and out, in a minimalistic way.”

Over than 4 meters high lattice wall covers up the house in order to reduce the noise that comes from the school. In addition to that, it conceals the residents’ activities inside the house. Made of a thousand modular arranged rosters (cement block), this wall also appears as the icon of the house. A combination of loose pebbles and wooden deck lead us to the entrance. Passing through a large pivot door, we are being surprised by a small garden that lies behind the main door, so that we can barely know which area belongs to the outside and the inside. There is no exact border between one another.

Not likely similar to any other common houses, this house doesn’t come with a guest room as we step into the house. The journey in this house starts with a hallway that can be used as a foyer to welcome the guests. At the end of the hallway, we are pleased by a feature wall made out of bricks which bring warmth into the house.

As we enter the main room, there is a living room, dining and working space held in one space without any divider wall. Here all the activities of the family member could be done together in one place. This kind of open plan—layout makes this space become more spacious. The brick wall becomes the background for the room and it brings warmth and homey feelings.

This renovation project was difficult yet challenging for the architect. It is because there was structure limitations that architect couldn’t get rid of and that is the reason why we could see a wall in the middle of the main room. It happened to be a structural column which then transformed nicely into a decorative divider wall between day bed and dining area.

The aim was to create an open space where the activities blends in to one another. For instance, daddy can work on the working desk, mommy do her duty on the pantry while the kids can play on the daybed and they all still able to interact freely in this room.

To solve the lack of daylight issue, the architect put a garden alongside the house as a wind and light tunnel. During the day, there are plenty of light coming through the rooms. It also brings a ‘breathing space’ for the house.