Originally published in restlestliving.com on March 26th, 2021
It all started with the owner’s strong desire for a change. He lived most of his life in old-fashioned houses, but this time, he wanted a modern and simple house to call home. In short, that is why the J House was brought to life.
The modernist residence introduces a Japanese architectural style combined with the Wabi-Sabi approach to life, which in essence, advocates the acceptance of imperfection and the beauty of simple and natural things.
We had the pleasure to talk to Yohanes I. Limandjaya, Principal Architect at y0 Design Architect and the mind behind the J House. When asked about the inspiration for the project, Yohanes starts: “ The idea behind this project actually came f rom the owner ’s wish for a new house with modern yet still simple shape – the styles of modernist architecture à la Le Corbusier which happened to be highly favored by the owner.”
As a result, the house embodies modernism with its simple geometric shapes and the use of concrete, steel and wood; in addition, it makes use of the principle of functionalism to respond to the fact that the house is hit by sunlight from the west. “ The sides of the house that are exposed to direct sunlight, especially from the west side, are filled with spaces or architectural details that can help reduce the heat”, Yohanes explains.
The Wabi-Sabi ideology is visible through its walls that “ were just left painted without any additional covering materials. To truly admire the beauty of things, sometimes we need simplicity, without trying too hard to be unique or special”, as Yohanes puts it. By applying Japanese design principles to the home design, the house presents a special vibe. As Yohanes elaborates: “Starting from the arrangement of the rooms; the spaces in between, this house is designed to optimize the use of natural lighting and ventilation. The circulation is concentrated on the living area at the first floor and connected to various rooms around it. Natural themed materials are used to further increase the feeling of living in a Japanese modern house.
Also, this house is surrounded with Zen themed dry gardens and terraces for outdoor activities.” Essentially,
the house consists of two volumes. A ground floor accommodates a dining and living room, which blend in together to offer an integrated social experience with the outside patio; and a guest bedroom. The first floor is reserved to a more intimate experience, as it takes in bedrooms, an office and a master bedroom. Interestingly, the J House is a modern home in an urban area dominated by traditional and conservative ones. Yet, the project team aimed to design a house that distinguishes itself from the neighborhood, but not in a haughty way.
“ This house is considered to be a contrast with the surrounding environment which is filled with outdated old-fashioned houses. But, this house was carefully designed from the beginning not to appear arrogant or luxurious, with the main goal being to appreciate the surroundings”, Yohanes reinforces. To conclude, we asked Yohanes if he had any final story about the development of J House to share. Yohanes conclusively responds: “Honestly, this house is designed and made in preparation for the owner ’s wedding ahead. But, unfortunately things changed halfway. ‘Now I can do whatever I want without any intervention. It sure is fun!’, said the owner.”