WM Plenary Hall, Indonesia by Bgnr Architects

digital calculation generating minimal-waste skin

Project Specs


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Appreciations towards Bgnr Architects for providing the following description:


Located in the East Region of Surabaya, the WM Plenary Hall’s brief was simple : to create a building that caters for the annual graduation. Rather than simply designing a building that accommodates 21.500 students, we began asking ourselves, what other values can we add to make this building a student-centric building, rather than just being a monument used sparingly every year. As the project was procured through a closed competition, we look at ways to create an architecture that is different than the existing typology in the area. In the end, an idea of injecting various informal programs came into the design as a solution. The result is quite straightforward, yet unique.

▼礼堂外观,exterior of the WM Plenary Hall © Mario Wibowo

▼从西南侧进入礼堂,enter the hall from southwest © Mario Wibowo

▼礼堂东立面,east elevation of the WM Plenary Hall © Mario Wibowo


A big atrium is placed on the ground level, which leads to a multifunction hall on the second floor. We put smaller function rooms (meeting and study) on the mezzanine floor to create a connection between the main void and student’s activity. It’s purposely designed to accommodate both communal, specific and private program. The auditorium  fully occupies the entire 3rd floor alongside with backstage area and cafeteria.

▼入口大厅,通高的中庭宽敞明亮,lobby, bright big atrium © Mario Wibowo

▼自动扶梯通往多功能大空间,escalator leading to the multipurpose spaces © Mario Wibowo

▼多功能空间,一侧有夹层,multipurpose room, mezzanine on one side © Mario Wibowo

▼位于四层的祈祷室,pray room on the fourth floor © Mario Wibowo

当礼堂容量扩大到2000人以上时,新的问题就产生了。要满足上层需求,公共区域的占地面积或者立面外墙的预算便不得不减少。于是,建筑师们设计出 “高效建筑”作为解决方案,既为学生活动提供充足的空间,又有效控制了立面预算。方案保持高层的大空间,缩减低层的空间以控制表皮面积,减少浪费,使其动态地与不同类型的平面相贴合。通过对不同类型的材料和模块的仔细研究,在脚本推演和数字仿真技术的辅助下,建筑师决定用不同尺寸的铝板包裹建筑。

A new problem arises when the main auditorium capacity is enlarged to 2.000. With a much bigger upper floor, the building will need to either decrease floor area in communal area or reduce the budget given at other aspects of the building, such as the facade. To still achieve an efficient enough floor area for students activities while also having enough budget for facade, we decided that it is important to build efficiently. We decided that rather than increasing floor area at the lower levels, the building should remain ‘top-heavy’ while we look at ideas to wrap the building efficiently. The solution comes through the creation of a minimal-waste skin configuration, which is tailored to follow the different floor masses dynamically. Through a thorough research on  different types of material and modules, assisted by scripting and digital simulation, we come up with the idea of wrapping the building with various sized planar aluminum panels.

▼夜景,节能的拼贴表皮,night view, energy-saving aluminum panels wrapping the building © Mario Wibowo


The idea is to create enough rigid module of panels to be replicated randomly around the building, to give a sense of ‘randomness’ while being calculative. We started by cutting a standard off the shelf panels into two in three different areas, creating a total configuration of 6 individual sized panels. These panels will then have two different shades of colour, creating 6 pairs of different panels. Through digital computation, these 6 pairs are then put repeated and spread across the whole building, covering the protruding masses of the building like a puzzle. We then tagged each panels with codes to make sure that every panels are used in pairs whilst also creating a cutting pattern size for each individual pieces that minimise the waste of the ‘off the shelf’ panels. This method generates only 7% of aluminium panels waste, when normally it can reach up to 20-25% of waste. We focus on controlling the balance between material efficiency and the overall building form, ever changing its shape slightly to come up with the most efficient waste percentage.  Compared to the initial design in the competition, there are a lot of adjustments being done as the project goes, especially for the facade. Through digital computation, these changes can easily be controlled and re-calculated in order to keep the waste minimum. This approach also helps the owners confidence in keeping the building, especially the facade, within budget.

▼夜景,精心计算的表皮减少浪费,calculated skin design reducing waste © Mario Wibowo

▼夜景,入口处不同模数的铝板拼贴组合,night view, collage of aluminum panels with different modules at the entrance © Mario Wibowo

▼场地平面图,site plan © Bgnr Architects

▼首层平面图,the first floor plan © Bgnr Architects

▼屋顶平面图,the roof plan © Bgnr Architects

▼南立面,south elevation © Bgnr Architects

▼东立面,north elevation © Bgnr Architects

▼剖面图,section © Bgnr Architects

Clients: Widya Mandala Catholic University
Completion Year: 2019
Built Area: 7.162 sqm
Project location: Surabaya, Indonesia
Lead Architects: Ir. Benny Gunawan, IAI Utama, AA + Giovanni Gunawan, M.Arch
Design Team: Joel Ludong, Budi Riyanto, IAI, Koeslan, Rezky Andi, Nicko Nathanael, Guszeus Wisnu, Rolando Fantoni, Felicia Christella, Loundy Lompoliuw, Kevin Chandra, Denny Febrianto, Maria Imelda, IAI.
Engineering: Benjamin Gideon and Associates (BGA)
Landscape: Bgnr Architects
Consultants: Façade Consultant – Rs-s Design London
Contractors: Waringin Contractors and Engineer + SABP Interior Contractor
Photography: Mario Wibowo Photography

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