A strong connection between a house and its immediate surroundings is important. For that matter, context is important no matter the situation but how exactly does it impact the design of a residence? Since each project is unique, there’s no definite answer to that question. The Inside Outside House designed by Tamara Wibowo Architects, for example, maintains a close relationship with the outdoors by featuring large openings and glazed areas.
The house is located in Semarang, Indonesia and was completed in 2015. It covers an area of 600 square meters organized into a geometric arrangement based on functions. That results in three main volumes. One is a living quarters which integrates an open kitchen, a dining area and a lounge space. There’s also an office volume which also includes the garage and the first volume is the service quarters.
At the center of these three quarters there’s a void and in that void grows an old mango tree which has been there for years. This is just one of the design elements which emphasize the house’s close relationship with nature and with its immediate surroundings. Another important detail is the fact that there are numerous large openings as well as a series of skylights, all meant to bring in natural light and to open up the interior spaces to the surroundings.
The openings that we mentioned are lined in wood and this allows them to contrast with the concrete exterior walls. Also, a very beautiful relationship is established between these two materials in terms of interior design and decor. The cold, grey concrete is complemented by the warm wood and both materials are used in their raw and natural forms. This highlights their unique natural characteristics.
A series of tall pivot glass doors expose one side of the living quarters to the garden while large sliding doors seamlessly connect it to the concrete terraces and the courtyard. The concrete flooring is one of the elements which ensure a unified look throughout and which allow the seamless overlapping of the indoor and outdoor spaces.
The visual connection to the surroundings in maximized through the large glass openings but also through a careful selection of materials and finishes. The design strategies vary based on the function and the ambiance in each particular space.