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Project 08 – Alfa Omega

Alpha Omega school is an educational building with the spirit of locality. Located on Tangerang city, it sat on 11700 sqm area with the prior condition of the swamp and paddy field. The design responded to this unstable soil condition by raising structure to 2.1 m high above the ground. The site itself was chosen as part of the design scheme, —corresponding to its natural surroundings, in order to give children a sense of closeness to nature, thus invoking outdoor-learning experience.
(The building integrates 4 modular buildings, with an efficient access point in one central courtyard, due to limitation of local land zoning of what can be built and what can not be built.)

photography by Eric Dinardi

The solution to answer the brief of the project is to create an optimum collaboration, or bridge relationship in the economic and creative process of construction in two important levels of masonry steel and bamboo construction which can enrich the economic impact of the surrounding.
Steel structure, not only for its ability to hold structural load effectively but is also chosen for its construction speed and vigorous durability. The whole building based on this framework, from foundation to roof component. Steel in its variation from thickness to treatments, opening chances in versatile details of the design. While bamboo, on the other hand, is a flexible matter that requires little maintenance in long-range which always available in that area. This availability also related to brick and concretes in that area. The structure is combined with bamboo for the roof to create a parabolic shape which enhances the character of Nipah which can be tilted or bent while keeping the cost constraint on budget. The brick is stacked in solid void pattern to allow cross air circulation in the facade. Meanwhile the polished bare concrete is used as floor finishes as its durability for a daily school activity.

Another target of the project is to create a collaborative bonding within people and its buildings. Initiating a healthy social cycle with local involvement has proven to unlocked the collective creative process of the construction. This achieved by hiring diverse local craftsmen, rather than employing prime developers. This project completed by local stone masonry, to steel welder from the Salembaran area, and bamboo craftsmen from the Sumedang area. Each has its originality, without losing its ubiquitous understanding of school design.

The local craftsmanship is the answer of 3 problem, which is: 1. Optimum resource, 2. Time constraint, 3. Manpower. The material resources can be found within 5 km from the site to accelerate development while reducing the carbon footprint at the same time.

In 4 months range, the craftsman is categorized into two types:

(1) Light structure, which is concentrated on the roof. Constructed by a triangular light steel frame per 600 mm, man-powered by 40 Sumedang craftsman. Its low-cost material had reduced 30 % initial budget, using bamboo and Nipah entirely.


(2) The heavy structure is built for modular classrooms by Salembaran craftsman constructing masonry and steel framework. By the first 2 months, light structure craftsmen had constructed dock, followed by roof and ceiling details. In followed 4 months they joined in heavy structure part. The school is built in 4 months’ time.

atap sekolah alfa omega di Telok Naga, model pertama menggunakan struktur bambu. Model kedua menggunakan struktur besi. Kedua model tersebut menggunakan curva parabloid untuk konstruksi bubungan atap.

The school designed as a passive cooling building, which relied heavily on natural cross air ventilation in its construction. The open-high ceiling designed as an airing pathway, followed by porous solid-void brick on each side of the classroom’s wall. This way, interior airflow is circulated optimally without the necessity to use the air conditioner. For heat problem, the structure on top of the corridor is cantilevered by 2000 mm to create natural sunshade while providing protection from heavy rainfall. Nipah’s roof, brick’s solid void facade, bamboo’s ceiling, and concrete’s floor finishes provide low thermal conductivity materials that allow the building to cool down in an average whole year, interior temperature to 27-celsius degree. it the opening in the building designed for 100 percent daylight until afternoon, and 100 percent LED in the night time.

Oleh Realrich Sjarief

Founder of RAW Architecture

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