ARA Studio Desk / ARA Studio
ARA Studio Desk / ARA Studio
Text description provided by the architects. A “phenomenon of contradictory design” in relation to its typology. Located in a dense shopping complex in the southern part of Surabaya city, ARA Studio’s office is only 2.3 x 12 meters deep like its existing building, which is an unusual size for a store in Surabaya. It is located a few blocks from the entrance to the complex, where visitors and workers must enter a straight, narrow lane between two rows of 3-storey – shophouses with few setbacks between buildings. Additionally, service amenities and building accessories such as outdoor air conditioners, signs, and awnings protruding from their facade are becoming a stereotypical design typology among these shophouses to gain maximum interior space while interfering with the public space.
In order to avoid public interference, ARA Studio Office aims to disappear, which contrasts with the phenomenon that occurs where other shophouse facades stretch out and are covered in color, using black texture paint to become mute and by creating a setback on the facade of the building to provide more space for service items camouflaged by vegetation. Responding to the context of the site, this design acts as a break between the two sides and the opposite sides of the neighboring facades of the shop.
ARA Studio Office is designed to meet the needs of an architect’s studio, so it is important to get enough space that meets its functional needs despite its horizontal and vertical constraints. Its main program is to create pockets of activity for their staff and circulation spaces without interfering with their workspace. Therefore, the previous typical floor plan is transformed into irregular zoning to meet its needs as a studio.
The entrance starts from the ground floor where its space is divided perpendicular to the axis of the lane to create a streamlined circulation on the left side and a work space on the right side. Passing to the second and third floors, the circulation is defined vertically by its continuous staircases at the rear and the pockets of activity located at the front facing the neighboring shophouse. Regardless of its limited space, voids with metal grating are placed as a transition between stair circulation and pockets of activity to achieve an interactive connection between each floor.
In addition to its environmental needs to be a comfortable working space, cross ventilation becomes the key point to provide sufficient airflow. It is designed to take advantage of the existing situation which is located on one side of the shophouse aisle where a micro air flow can pass through the office building increasing its ecological performance. This response is attempted by giving large openings at the front of the building with a layer of greenery as a framed transitional view from the office to the adjoining shop. As well as openings in the back of the office that have a wide enough open space without any building obstructions, so that the wind can pass through and provide cross ventilation throughout the building.