Bonding Togetherness

Photography By Bagus Tri Laksono

A combined household consisting of seven families of siblings, their children and grandchildren, decided to live together in a villa in Tretes, East Java. The aim is to own a place designed as a family hub where they can spend quality time together, ranging from spending weekends to celebrating occasions such as birthdays, Chinese New Year and Christmas. Sandwiched between two mountains, the villa was designed to strengthen the family bond while enjoying nature.

Benny Gunawan dan Rekan (BGNR) designed this villa orienting to the east. It is located on a hillside, hence, with sloping site. The front part is lower than the back. It was Benny that initiated the idea to elevate the front part of the villa to make it equal to the ground level of the back part of the villa. Most of the openings are facing to the front where we can enjoy the views of the sunrise and Mount Penanggungan.

To make the most of what such breath-taking views have to offer, the family can sit at the porch. When it gets colder (sometimes they can see the fog in their front yard), the family would prefer to stay inside. Here, there is a spacious common area, consisting of a foyer, a living room, a dining room and a pantry. The openness allows the family to invite guests, hold worship and gathering events.

Designed in neutral colours, the interior is warm and not overdone. Intricate details of geometric patterns on the doors and ceiling panels add luxury to this area.

The living room, located to the right of the front door, connects to the right wing where there are several bedrooms, including the main bedroom. On the opposite side, there is a dining room that can accommodate 12 people. The dining room connects to the pantry. A bigger dining space is located at the poolside, with a seating capacity of 14 people and two additional tables for eight people, where they can gather for a pool or barbeque party. This area is designed as a terrace and connected to the porch, hence it shares the same view to the east.

Younger generations usually stay in the left wing, where there are a swimming pool and a recreational room. Each of the bedrooms has a different view and each is equipped with an en-suite bathroom. The bedrooms, which are dominated in white and some with a hint of blue, face the manicured garden as the focal point.

The architect thought carefully about the service and parking area. All service areas are hidden under the main storey, hence at the same level as the gate. Both storeys are connected with two staircases; one nearby the pantry and the other at the poolside. This way the family is able to prepare meals, especially when hosting parties by the pool. There is parking space in front of the right wing for the owners, while guests can park their vehicles in front of the service area.

While hanging around the swimming pool, or sitting at the front yard, we can see Mount Arjuna as the background. That beautiful mountainous landscape can also be seen while entering the gate, which is located at the lowest point of the land.

Asked where on the premises they like to spend time, the family points to the backyard terrace. This is where the family gathers for breakfast while enjoying the morning breeze. Other popular spots for the family include the front terrace and the poolside.

This is where they have built not just a villa but also a place where each family member can enjoy spending quality family time.

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Barbara Hahijary
Barbara earned her bachelor's degree in architecture from the Interior Architecture Program of the University of Indonesia in 2013. Historical or heritage buildings, as well as utilitarian design, fascinates her as it is the interaction between people and architecture that remains her favourite topic to explore. Besides architecture, her interests include design, handcrafts, literature and social issues.
Bagus Tri Laksono

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