Ivan Priatman crafts an oasis in Surabaya


The feeling of arriving home after a busy day is similar to that of finding an oasis in a desert. It’s an impression of peace that permeates body and mind–and the impression offered by this house, designed by Ivan priatman Architecture in West Surabaya.

Photo by Chendra Cahyadi

Ivan Priatman says that the way people feel about home comes from remembering warm family interactions, as well as our personal interactions with nature. When designing this home, Ivan wanted to create space for many functions on the same level. The open plan of the living room, dining room and pantry, all on the ground level, was intended for the host family to feel at peace in the same space–and to foster interaction. With the open plan, members of the family can also meet while doing their own activities. The open area has direct access to the sun deck and swimming pool, which allows nature to imbue a general feeling of ease. A floor-to-ceiling glass door opens for even more intimacy to the nature, while the glossy marble floor reflects greenery from the window–and makes the room feel even more spacious.

The L-shaped plan ensures that each room is filled with natural daylight and offers vast views of the landscape and neighbourhood. This virtual outdoor living experience continues above, as a rooftop garden faces west, making it a perfect place to watch the sun set behind the skyline of Surabaya. It is also an ideal spot for a barbecue–or to watch the fireworks while celebrating New Year’s Eve or other holidays.

While other houses keep service areas such as the garage in the basement, here the architect keeps the facilities on the ground, choosing materials and colours that make this level look distinct from the upper levels that act as the foreground. The street view, thus, remains the focus, while the illusion of an inferior position gives the service-oriented areas less prominence.

Facing west, the front facade of the house has a massive wall to reduce heat. There’s an extra added advantage in reducing noise from the street, while the exterior walls have a double-layered system for optimum function. There are two masses stacked vertically, each representing different floor. The first floor is covered with a patterned pre-cast brick wall, which is the outer skirt of the house; while the second level is wrapped in shimmer grey-toned cladding. The pattern of the pre-cast blocks gives a playful shade to the interior. Overall, the material selection of the house offers an abundance of visual and sensory experiences.

The second floor has a lighter finishing. The facade facing the swimming pool is mostly covered by glass windows, filling the rooms with sunlight. Material selection makes the architecture look light and modern. More than half of this level is occupied by the master bedroom. The spacious walk-in closet and bathroom that comes with it makes preparing to leave–and coming home–a relaxing time. The level holds two additional bedrooms, all facing south, where the landscaping is, and are thus protected from the sun. Opposite, a staircase on the north side of the house connects all floors and divides the house. It’s also a natural skylight and provides air circulation, thanks to the clerestory windows that face the south.

A person’s journey to and from the house passes through the granite staircase and exotic solid-wood door. During weekdays, the house offers an exceptional relaxing experience with its tranquil ambiance, while the arrival of the weekend brings with it the potential for more pleasure, where the family can gather. “The most important thing in home design is to make it comfortable for the inhabitants. A good house, after all, is a reflection of all the qualities longed for by the owner,” architect Ivan Priatman said. This place of relaxation and recreation is a veritable oasis that stands in contrast to the city’s bustle.

Project Name

DDYW Residence


Perumahan Graha Famili, surabaya

Land Area

552 sqm

Gross Floor Area

1,185 sqm



Architecture and Interior Design Consultant

ivan Priatman Architecture

Principal Designer

Ivan Priatman

Main Contractor


Interior Contractor

  1. Omega Mas





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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.

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