Creating Added Value


Benny Gunawan & Rekan Architects, also known as bgnr architects, is one of the esteemed architecture firms in East Java. They are moving forward with creative premium design solutions that add value and efficiency to a space.


The studio was founded by Benny Gunawan 28 years ago in Surabaya. Benny is known as a prominent architect in the city, and for the last few decades he has scaled his firm–Benny Gunawan & Rekan Architects–to greater heights.

The firm’s works have graced the landscapes of the capital city of East Java, as well as a number of regions in the province, including some Bali. Also known as bgnr architects, the firm commenced its operations with commissions to design small-scale projects of private homes and commercial sites in the 1990s.

Entering the new millennium, Benny realised the need to be able to provide all-round design and architectural services. The result: the integration of Benny Gunawan & Rekan’s affiliated companies into bgnr architects. The services include providing clients with pre-concept design and research by kantor-gg, interior and exterior construction by sabp, as well as furniture, fixture and equipment (FF&E) by Insima Furniture.

Bgnr architects sees the importance of delivering an end-to-end service to clients and developers. The company has been able to provide an extensive list of design services, ensuring all parts of design are catered–from urban planning and site analysis to architecture design and its visualization, to full interior design, and all the way to construction and FF&E. This way, clients including those of developers are better equipped with an integrated design-build service in order to create a project more efficiently.

The firm is currently a team of three partners and around 30 architects. The principal architect, Giovanni Gunawan, is known for his expertise in building geometry design utilising digital computation design.

Giovanni, who is Benny’s son, has had experiences working in Tokyo and Melbourne. And the firm’s interior design principal, Joel Ludong has also had experiences working in projects in cities, like Surabaya, Jakarta and Melbourne, as well as on Bali Island.

“We are striving to become an architecture firm that delivers investment assurance to our clients. For that reason, we often start a project by working together with property consultant, processing and researching market data before applying into design works,” Giovanni asserts.

He adds what distinguishes bgnrarchitects is the firm’s ability to generate algorithm that processes economic-related data and uses the data in the design process. This results in a project design which is within budget, but with maximum profitability.

“We also incorporate computer programming and computational design into generating advanced form of geometry that can still be rationalised; thus, reducing cost and creating an added value. We are also now developing advanced architecture design process, where we can use computation to create efficiency in budget and maximise sellable area,” Giovanni further explains.

“Everyone in the firm believes that by thinking outside the constraint of the known geometry, it is possible to create extraordinary spaces that will transform the way we live. That’s why the designs and plans coming out of the firm’s drawing board carry high-level concepts that are modern and are imbued with a high-level concept, which is out of the box, while retaining maximum economic efficiency,” he concludes.

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Aulia R. Sungkar
Writing has always been his passion and endeavour since his college years in the 1990s at the University of Arizona. Flash forward, the Jakarta-based writer and entrepreneur has contributed hundreds of various writing pieces to esteemed publications and does copywriting projects for corporate clients from many industries.