New Sustainable Town Plan for Batam and Indonesia
A team of researchers at the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) has designed a new sustainable housing type specifically for rapidly developing tropical cities. The house is called rumah tambah or rubah for short (‘expandable house’ in Indonesian).
A team of researchers at the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) has designed a new sustainable housing type specifically for rapidly developing tropical cities. The house is called rumah tambah or rubah for short (‘expandable house’ in Indonesian). It has specially designed foundations and roof that allow it to expand vertically from one up to three floors. The house can expand over time as the resident family and its income grows. The house also collects energy from the sun, rainwater from the sky and manages its own waste in a decentralised septic tank system.
First prototype constructed in Batam
The first prototype of the rumah tambah will be constructed in Batam, Indonesia. Last year Batam was the fastest growing city in the world, so it is a perfect place to test this new housing model. If successful the housing type will be exported to other parts of Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
The housing type is a central part a larger design for a sustainable Tropical Town. Tropical Town is not a master plan, but a package of technologies and blueprint plans, embodying environmental principles, and supported by capacity building techniques. The package supports a population of 6,000 residents at a density of 540 people (net) per Hectare. The urban planning is organized around four nested scales: neighhourhood, village, town and region in which productive gardens, open public space and waste water management is integrated.
The rumah tambah and Tropical Town have been exhibited at many international exhibitions, including: ‘Making City’, the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (April 2012); ‘Smart City: The Next Generation’ the AEDES Gallery, Berlin (17 May – 4 July 2013); The University of Indonesia (December 2013); ETH Zürich (September 2014); URA ‘Future Cities: Research In Action’ (January 2015). Tropical Town plans were recently published in the Harvard Design Magazine (41, December 2015), ‘Wild City? The Migrant Settlements
of Kampung Tower’.
The project is a collaboration between Future Cities Laboratory at the Singapore-ETH Centre and the University of Indonesia. The local partners are the University of Riau Islands (UNRIKA) and the City of Batam, Indonesia. Local consultants and building specialists are also advising the project.