At the far end of an established residential neighbourhood in the hilly region of Semarang, Indonesia, stands a tall house with a steeply angled A-frame roof. High retaining walls border the property with the walls also acting as a boundary for the neighbourhood on two sides.

Tamara Wibowo Architects, who designed the house, used one of the walls as the defining point during the early design process of the project. The house was built away from the wall to create a small courtyard in-between the two structures. This wall was then reintroduced in a new way as an important element that established the meaning of the inner courtyard.

According to the studio, the courtyard was further defined by the floating massing of the second floor that sheltered the back part of the courtyard, creating a comfortable alfresco space that has an indoor vibe.

A spiral staircase in the middle of the house acts as a unifying feature for all the indoor spaces. As a sculptural element, the spiral stairs create a sense of movement throughout the interior space, adding energy.

The facade of the distinctive A-frame roof structure features custom-designed cement breeze blocks along with protruding Corten frames. In addition to enabling passive cooling, the breeze blocks also serve to minimise the visual connection from outside to inside, ensuring privacy for the residents.

Two trees placed between the facade and the house, with the leaves and branches growing out through the breeze blocks add a dynamic element to the house. The physical intertwining of the growing trees with the architecture of the house also provides for a constantly changing facade.

Photos provided by Tamara Wibowo Architects