If you were to design yourself a luxurious custom home from which to enjoy views of a lush jungle far from the city, what would you include? How would you arrange it? Perhaps you’d give it multiple levels so you could gaze out onto the landscape from multiple directions. Alternatively, a rooftop terrace atop several stories could be added to rival the functionality of an observation tower. A combination of indoor and outdoor spaces would give you lots of ventilation and places to lounge, and of course, a swimming pool on an upper level would give you maximum privacy as you cooled off on hot days.
All of these features and more are built into the dreamy Hanging Villa, a private residence by TWS & Partners in Bandung, Indonesia. Commissioned by a client who wanted to entertain large groups of family members without giving up his own personal spaces, the house features several stacked offset volumes facing in different directions to optimize views — not to mention multiple terraces, rooftop gardens, and a palette of natural materials that create visual harmony with the home’s surroundings.
“The site takes benefit from the beautiful surroundings of deep valley and has an advantage of its proximity to the forest conservatory, which provides [the] tranquil atmosphere of the mountainside,” say the architects. “The building’s mass is originally taken from the idea of stacking boxes, which are rotated through their corner axis in order to create different walking experiences from different angles of view. This strategy also allows the users to have different orientations in different rooms and have almost 270-degree views of the surrounding valleys.”
“The building is oriented to take the full advantage of the sun’s position and perpendicular to the wind direction to maximize the wind [entering] the building, while the extensive use of glass openings allows natural cross-ventilation and maximizes [the amount of] natural light entering the building during the day. The building has been weatherized for maximum protection against the loss of warm and cool air by applying appropriate insulating materials and window glazing to reduce heat loss in ways that do not cause indoor humidity.”
A vertical circulation tower leads from the garage at street level up to the second floor, dropping visitors onto a sunny boardwalk that stretches across a reflecting pool. They then enter the villa’s main communal area, which contains the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Full-height glass walls give these more public areas of the home some of the best views, while the interiors are designed to offer a “tranquil and relaxing atmosphere.”
The reflecting pool and other water-based elements aren’t just decorative, of course. They add to the building’s natural ventilation scheme, naturally cooling breezes as air flows in to reduce the need for air conditioning. Slanted wooden louvers on the facade let even more air in while offering some protection from the sun.
Hanging Villa is a beautiful example of design that takes inspiration from local traditional architecture and works with the regional climate to produce a result that feels comfortable, familiar, and refreshingly contemporary all at once.