Story by Vira Tanka | Photos by Nilai Asia
Architect Denny Gondo and interior designer Yuni Jie have successfully translated the couple’s vision of Permata Hijau House in South Jakarta into reality, resulting in the house being a perfect blend of a tropical simple modern architecture and a Japandi interior.
Upon arriving at the house, you will be welcomed with strong geometric forms in exposed concrete. It will probably remind you of those blocks you played with when you were a child, but not in bright colours. After passing through the carport and climbing the stairs, you’ll step into an L-shaped front yard with a pond that immediately gives a sense of tranquility. Across the pond is a terrace with a table and seats under the wooden steep sloped roof. The bottom of the roof almost touches the outer wall, you’ll feel like you’re indoors and protected.
From the exterior, you will learn how the homeowners love practical design and clean lines. “They wanted a house that’s modern, functional and have a strong character without looking glamourous,” Denny says about the request. And he translated the aspiration really well by creating basic and simple forms and using raw materials for finishing. The majority of materials used on the house are black granite, basalt natural stone, merbau wood and exposed concrete. The trees and other plants soften the whole feel of the façade.
Then when you step into the house, the character is enhanced by Yuni’s expertise in Japandi style. The interior design focuses on fusing clean composition and a notion of rustic detail, using pared-back designs and natural materials. “Having the experience of studying in Japan is probably part of the reasons why they wanted that style applied in their home,” Yuni says. “They didn’t want anything to be fussy. Modern Japandi style suits them because they love a mix of East and West,” she adds.
The house is furnished with a lot of Nordic furniture, from the legendary rawhide Egg Chair designed by Arne Jacobsen to more current pieces. “They make the house look very contemporary, yet timeless at the same time,” Yuni says. The kitchen, dining and living room are open plan, leaving the heart of this home friendly and inviting. There is a lot of muted colour furniture, but the wooden ceiling adds warmth to the house. A beautiful red Kimono, a gift from the Japanese Emperor to the family, acts as the main focal point in the dining room.
The three-storey house has five bedrooms that consist of a master bedroom, a guest room and three kids’ rooms. In the master bedroom, the natural teak flooring contrasts with contemporary furnishing. The window nook with a long seat adds the cosiness of the room. The ensuite pristine bathroom becomes a perfect transition space between the master bedroom and the walk-in closet. A spectacular spiral steel staircase is located in the master bedroom’s study loft, allowing space for double full-height bookcases and extensive Gundam and Lego collections.
The house is located in a quite busy area of the city. However, the occupants don’t have to feel disturbed by the commotion because it is designed as an introvert house. “It is oriented inward with windows strategically placed and some of them are hooded,” Denny says. The light that showers through the windows and skylights are sufficient for the whole house. A sunroom is located by the master bedroom, where the occupants can soak up the vitamin D every morning while preparing for the day’s activities.
The elegant ambiance of the house is predominantly two toned, alternating between dark and light to create an interesting play of visual contrast. The wood slats create poetic shadow lines on the walls and floors, which move slowly according to the time of the day. The house is romantic that way, at the same time, very high-tech as it is highly automated. “Everything is controlled by Siri,” Yuni says. From the interior designer’s point of view, that simply means there is less electrical panel that they had to work with.
In its refinement, this residence shows all the characteristics of a modern home that celebrates the art of living. The design delivers a highly nuance composition while embracing a state of grace and humbleness.