Tanatap Frame Garden

Frame garden Café called Tanatap is another iteration prototype of a multi-leveled greenspace with dynamic platforms that rise and fall to create a walkable roofscape that acted as the extension for publics to enjoy public park from a better and grander perspective.

Pursuing a façade-less architecture, design was started with the question, what if flexibility of community activities, art exhibition, and garden spaces acted as unlimited permutation of functional façade that defines the space and shaped the identity of the architecture itself. The design was to demonstrate a selfless approach to create many sheltered indoor spaces, hidden within a simple multi-leveled garden. Spaces that were created became a sequential space and were not an initial space.

The playful juxtaposition of 4 types (stainless, artwork, GRC, glass) of frames enhanced two way perspective effects for both visitors could enjoy the park, and public park could see the visitor of café garden as the object of art being framed. Architect wanted this to be a refreshing and dynamic new civic space that is sustainable – business wise in developing country cities like Jakarta, where government-run public spaces typically are less reliable.


Frame garden celebrates its porosity being as open as possible as a contribution to the cityscape. The building was nothing more than just a framed garden, hovering double shaded – low energy indoor area. An oasis like rainbow skylight in the middle of the garden lets the sunset rays penetrate right into the middle of the indoor café. Creating many causal contrast spaces that are produced from optimizing negative section spaces. Built as a commercial garden in the middle of compact residential that has an extremely high thermal environment of Frame Garden, as many other experimental Tanatap commercial garden design, use this particular location to prove a point that regardless the macro environment challenge, a passive low energy commercial design would still be achievable and profitable in tropical-developing country.

The design explores the simplicity of basic geometry. Design was to introduce a strong volume of cubes, carved by a series of symmetrical playful plan on the ground floor and a contrast of organic amphitheater on the second floor. Without a front or back, the building is free to be approached from all directions while taking advantage of the surrounding landscape. The frames acted as a catalyst for the wind tunnel effect letting visitors enjoy the scenery of a public park in the breeze.

As visitors enter the Frame Garden, the typical space expression they will get is the sandwich of closure enclosure of both wide and height of the space. Upon entering the building, they are walking underneath a very low ceiling of 2.2m height that slowly increases the height of space into 7.5m as the visitor walks from the front garden to the back garden on the ground floor. Pathway access that connects 2 existing gardens that blurs the definition of indoor and outdoor space. Upon entering the spaces, they were teased by what appears to be sliced skylight and people activities in the garden above. Weaving yet symmetrical indoor spaces open up a big intro of similar tunnel experiences connecting to 9 m height sheltered public gardens that slowly change perspective as visitors walk upwards deep inside the garden. Spaces that are leading to the main spacious multi-leveled garden area as the ending and indirectly persuading visitors to enjoy more of what a tropical garden could be.

As many experimental tropical coffee gardens before, RAD+ar has been optimized for a bespoke definition of the inside-outside concept is integrated by series of shades of the floating garden that casted a different ambience every hour, achieved by seamlessly borrowing visual of the public park across, it invites for a unique experience for visitors to enjoy semi outdoor & indoor art gallery blends with man made jungle. The open layout creates an efficient interior unit flow and interaction of the bar area, communal table and circulations.

It was designed as experimental programming to see and learn how users will behave once the architect restructures the hierarchy of space. RAD+ar uses this project to learn more about visitor behavior in defining spaces they don’t understand, that is why most of the furniture in this café is undefined, blended with the hardscape and feature of the landscape, therefore acting as an experiment of how visitor/user defines their own meaning of comfort in using this furniture. It was seen as a social experiment on how people keep redefining their sense of third space, in open space/garden and keep changing it to keep up with the crowds at different times of the day.

The new coffee garden will serve as a public living room for the locals and a new exciting destination for everyone with a passion for the arts. A space dedicated to nourishing curiosity, knowledge and creativity. Exposure to great art and music can be flexible and transformative. Enriching our lives with vibrant colors and taking us places we never knew existed.

Initiated by Antonius Richard, Tanatap is trying to stay consistent with its vision to decentralize sustainable buildings through sustainable business. In developing country such as Indonesia, the design was committed to host a creative community in its gallery – commercial garden set up.