Three students from the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia (FTUI), designed “The Passage”, a flat design that can be a solution in providing housing for urban homeless people during the pandemic. The design led Aurelia Audrey, Rifki Fauzan, and Tannia Aurellia to win 2nd place in the international competition Skid Row 2021: International Design Competition. This international competition is organized by The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on Design.

The Dean of FTUI Prof. Dr. Heri Hermansyah expressed his appreciation for the international achievements achieved by FTUI architecture students and their supervisors. The FTUI team is supervised by lecturers from the FTUI Architecture Department and professional architects, namely Ir. Evawani Ellisa., M.Eng., Ph.D., Baiq Lisa Wahyulina, S.T., M.Ars., IAI, and Farrell Jeremiah, S.Ars. The Passage competes with other works from around the world in a competition held from October 8, 2021 – January 3, 2022.

“Homelessness is an inherent problem and a crisis in most of the cities around us. In a slum area in the Skid Row District, Los Angeles, United States, there are 10,580 people and about half of them live as homeless people. Surprisingly, the majority of the residents of this slum area are adults of working age. This is a problem because there is a certain mindset among homeless people that they continue to be trapped living in slums without feeling any hope of changing their fate,” said Aurelia regarding the condition of the residents of the Skid Row District.

Tannia Aurellia describes The Passage’s design philosophy as a narrow path, but also a place to live a big and dynamic life. “We want The Passage as an impetus to move forward and always move towards a better, fulfilled, safe and healthy way of life. Through this design, we want to make a change for people to open their minds to achieve productivity and togetherness. An effort and also hope for the homeless to live a better future,” he said.

Evawani Ellisa, who is known as an expert on urban design explained, “This design is expected to be the answer to the three main problems faced by the homeless, namely unproductiveness, discrimination, and the absence or lack of protection for them. We want The Passage to be a space for pursuing productivity, ensuring protection for individuals to increase their opportunities in society and as a platform that supports community-based activities that promote equality and social interaction.”

“Circulation is one of the most important and fundamental design themes, where circulation provides a life experience that is not entirely foreign to them. Habits of interaction and living as a homeless person rob them of opportunities for healthy, positive interactions. So, the idea here is to create a space with openness and flexibility that focuses on the positive aspects of street life (dynamic living and social interaction), and recreate these aspects in a safer and better space to live in”, Rifki said.

“The Passage’s design is in the form of two main building masses that are embraced by voids to emphasize the strategy of forming the main circulation space which is linear. The connecting circulation element between units is designed in the form of a ramp that forms a multifunctional linear communal space that can be used for self-development activities for the homeless. The mass of the ‘staging’ building divides the hierarchy between functions, the lower floor level is oriented to public functions, while the higher floor level is the domain of private functions. The layout is an open plan to respond to the challenges of future space requirements, both in pandemic and non-pandemic conditions,” said Baiq Lisa Wahyulina. She explained that the layout and allotment of space are ‘convertible’.

The community room is placed at the very front. It is an open space filled with greenery and stairs equipped with a sitting area. The aim is to create a friendly environment for the community, increase interaction with each other, and to carry out social activities for the community. Starting from the second to sixth floors, the living room of the building is equipped with a long ramp that connects all levels containing residential units to the top of the building. Every time you move to the next floor via a ramp, residents will pass a terrace equipped with green open space. Its function is as a buffer and a common space for residents on each floor.

Prof. Heri hopes that the students’ achievements can motivate other architecture students to develop their interests and potential in the field of architecture and increase their confidence in competing in the international world. He hopes, “The Passage design can be implemented in Indonesia by adjusting the existing conditions as an alternative solution to the problems of homeless people and beggars that are increasingly prevalent in big cities in Indonesia.”


Public Communication Bureau
Faculty of Engineering, University of Indonesia