The project appropriates the terraced building as an alternative proposal of social housing for Jakarta, which reintroduces the open-plan alleyways of kampung kota and the everyday labour dynamics within it.
The five-storey height is retained; a mid-rise instead of a high-rise is important in negotiating density with the resident’s unfamiliarity with height and the need for a sense of connectivity to the ground. The building includes housing units, production spaces, and spaces for spillages.
Utilised as housing units, the long inside spaces of each floor are elongated to different lengths to accommodate varying sizes of productions taking place at the rear spaces. It becomes longer as the rear production space becomes deeper towards the lower floors. Each housing unit is a room that functions as a bedroom and storage. The kitchen, laundry, bathroom, and living room all spills into the verandah and parts of the rear production space.
The rear spaces are altered to be completely open for multiple reasons. In the tropical climatic context of Jakarta, where insulating walls are not needed, the open peripheries of the rear production spaces allow for natural light and ventilation; spatial versatility for appropriations; less use of materials and lower construction costs.
Circulation is provided by a U-shaped external staircase, which provides a persistent sequence of access from the outside throughout all the floors. The open and exposed outside space becomes a vertical extension of the street. While the verandah becomes circulation corridors, providing access to individual housing units and across the building.
Additional steps are placed to suggest where public horizontal circulation across the building takes place. Although this is likely to be altered by the residents, the circulation implied by the additional step divides the verandah into two, further suggesting its use as rooms to inhabit.
A goods lift, which services the rear production space, is also external to the building to maintain a similar experience of accessing from the outside.
Appropriated into the floodplain site of kampung neighbourhood, the ground floor is altered to accommodate flooding. It is left completely open to allow both the restoration and occupation of the floodplain. Unlike the remaining floors, the ground floor has a persistent stepping that extends beyond the three adjacent spaces and out towards the river. Allowing flooding within the building negotiates the restoration of the flood plain for the city’s flood management effort without relocating kampung residents away from their neighbourhood.
Testing its multiplication possibility into a mirrored twin, the restored flood plain is occupied as a market on one building, and a neighbourhood association facility on the other. However, on both buildings, the ground floors are essentially water treatment facilities, which serve both the mid-rises and the neighbouring low-rise houses of the kampung. The mirrored buildings created a new alleyway that opens up into a riverside square, which reintroduces the public use of the riverside. The square is occupied by both low-rise houses and a constellation of public furniture and spaces.
In imagining the building’s inhabitation, I looked into the camping-like way of inhabiting the kampung alleyways that allows for such spillages, and the necessary infrastructure that facilitates it. A communal water tap, electricity point and laundry hanger, for example.
Therefore, the detail of the building is designed to turn the building into a framework for such a nimble way of inhabiting. Services such as lighting circuits, electricity sockets, communal water taps, and water drainage are mounted on the walls and left exposed. This allows for easy alterations as well as periodic maintenance by the residents. Hooks are mounted onto the columns to suggests the possibility of appropriating. The columns can be turned into a laundry line, shade, and perhaps an eatery banner, while every other part of the building is left for the residents to appropriate and misappropriate.