When it comes to staying comfortable in tropical climates, you can either seal yourself up and blast the AC or open up the house to the cooling effects of nature. The R-House by architects Budi Pradono squarely chose the latter by incorporating pools, trees, breezes and a green roof to keep cool under the Indonesian sun. The complex is designed to create an “adventure” -- multiple paths throughout the home are woven in with greenery and water elements.
From the street the home looks almost typical for the neighborhood; it’s graced with a large terrace that connects with the street and a gate that has been turned into a green wall. The true scale of the home is first revealed by a large daylit transition space crowned with a skylit roof covered in perforated metal. Three mature trees are inserted into the heart of the house, where they grow through holes in the roof. This unique design gesture expresses the intent of living with nature rather than attempting to control it.
White floored open hallways are lined with a cooling pool that leads to glassed private quarters. Slender light shafts shaded by the metal screens also run the length of the halls to ensure good daylighting throughout the home. Much of the roof is covered in grass — another powerful natural cooling technique that reduces storm water runoff while softening the home’s profile. The combined element creates a cooling micro-climate.
The main bedrooms lie in the core of the home, which is cooled by prevailing breezes directed through the main hallway. The floor plan fingers out from a central gathering space dominated by the kitchen and dining room. The back opens up to a swimming pool and large green space. Several smaller bedrooms wrap around the property to create a courtyard, where the home seems to pour into the landscape.