South of Jakarta, Indonesia, the TWS & Partners design practice and the structural engineers at Purwa built the Distort House. At first glance, it seems nothing more than a traditional residential structure in a lush tropical setting. At a second, third, fourth glance, it all becomes increasingly clear – something is askew in terms of perspective. The designers’ experiment departed from the location of the construction site, in a southern Jakarta neighborhood, which features and ample public park with old tropical trees. In order to play off the rich natural beauty of the surroundings, the house’s main structure was sent as far back to the perimeter of the site as possible, twisted by a subtle 15% and left with a vast green area out front. Its thatched red roof, beautiful floating exterior staircase and outdoor wooden deck make it look like a home out of a fairy tale. Its ample glazed surfaces, punctuated with wooden blinds, provide the inhabitants unhindered access to the wonderful surrounding landscapes. And then, the charming décor details step in to add further contrasting, complex layers of contemporaneousness and tradition to the home’s overall vibe.
Such an ingenious home could not afford a lack of sustainability in terms of technical details, building materials and other such stats. Some of the materials used have been recycled (reused steel bars, recycled wood planks for the wooden ceilings, etc.). Overall, the Distort House is a fabulous reinterpretation of local construction habits, re-contextualized in the post-modern frame of the 21st century.