Rempah RumahKarya, A Green Space for The Green Movement

DSC_0410_1“Going green should come cheap, easy, affordable, and with good quality.” Based on this philosophy, architect Paulus Mintarga attempted to create a green facility that is honest with its material characteristics and recycling explorations. “Honest” means to expose its nature without giving too much intervention in form and finish. With minimum effort, such facility is hoped to give maximum impact to the society.

The idea of Rempah Rumahkarya began with the architect’s passion for collecting various secondhand building materials and have them recycled. Located in Gajahan, Colomadu, Karanganyar, Solo, this house is a place for arts, culture, and design experiments and explorations. Like a superhero’s lair, Rempah Rumahkarya is the headquarter for a design community that are committed to utilise waste and recycle them to eco-friendly goods. On this area of 2280m², architects, designers, artists, academics, and entrepreneurs will come to discuss ideas, research developments, and conduct implementable joint studies with ranging topics from material structure design, alternative eco-friendly energy, to mechatronics and informatics.

Building A Green Workshop

Rempah Rumahkarya is made 90% out of recycled material. The organic building masses are created from arrangements of recycled CNP steel as their structure without changing various steel lengths. The steel channels stretch from 1,7m to 2m, creating a nice organic and iconic loop shape. The roof is supported with wire mesh and bamboo, covered with cement paper, painted with asphalt liquid as waterproof coating before another layer of fibers and vines were added on.

For the outer wall, Rempah Rumahkarya made use of iron frames, then covered them with glass or waste wood with various shapes and sizes. The columns inside the facility are made from knockdown concrete that are made separately. For the mezzanine railing, the designer decided to made use of iron plates extracted from mill waste. These iron plates use polystyrene, arranged with wire mesh, which are filled with mortar for construction. As for floor finishing, Mintarga tried to explore with new materials such as resin coated, woven bamboo slats.

The zoning of each building mass has been determined by activity. The east side mass is used for daily routine, and formal activities such as office and multifunction room. The workshop area on the west side is allocated for experimental and less formal activities. As the main interest, there is a big meeting point highlighted with a big umbrella, made to emphasize the space. Both building masses, the east and the west, are arranged opposite each other with a pool and connecting door on the gap between the two long sides of the building. The other additional facilities are a warehouse that is located at the back of the area, a humble guest house with kitchen and bathroom, and a retail area for designers to sell their products made in Rempah Rumahkarya.

Rempah Rumahkarya is designed with lots of big operable windows to enable using sunlight as the main lighting source. As of for artificial lighting, Rempah Rumahkarya uses energy-efficient LED lamps. To create shading effects beneath the big “umbrella,” pots of planting were put between the wire mesh holes. Timed sprinklers are used as the watering system. The same method is also implemented on the vertical greenery on the wall.

Alongside the educative discussions, open houses are often held in Rempah Rumahkarya to introduce the down-to-earth and fun green movements to elementary school students. With this, Rempah Rumahkarya is expected to be the new art idiom without losing regional identity and culture. ( — ED)

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