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Category Archives: ARCHITECTURE & PLANNING

The Famous Majapahit Hotel

Almost last two weeks there was a public holiday. In all of a sudden, I happened to have a chance to visit the famous Majapahit Hotel. This hotel is originally built in 1910, and had changed name from Oranje Hotel, Yamato Hotel and to Majapahit Hotel at the last.

The hotel is located on Tunjungan Street, Surabaya, a street which used to be known as shopping street. The hotel is the place where Indonesian heroes tore down blue color at the Dutch Flag to claim back Indonesian Independence.

Majapahit from above - Google Earth image

Majapahit from above – Google Earth image

What interesting about this hotel is its outdoor space. The hotel orientation to its inner garden, function as a patio, a view and a way to breath to the architecture itself. The column repetition made the hallway looks long and has no end. Its art deco architecture style is reflected in each of the detail, from exterior to interior of the building. It can be seen in the detail of column, fence, railing, and the building façade. The classical arrangement also can be noticed in the symmetrical plan of the building.

The architecture which is not just a sculpture, but architecture that fits to the environment, thus sustains through ages.

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Posted by on October 5, 2015 in ARCHITECTURE & PLANNING, Uncategorized

 

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A Glance of Architectural Exhibition : How did Architects respond immediately after 3/11?

Just recently, from January 27th to  February 5th, I visited am architectural exhibition with my colleagues. The exhibition theme is: How did Architects respond immediately after 3/11-the greatest East Japan Earthquake ?

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Poster displays

There were some case studies on posters and models displayed in the exhibition area. Some interesting objects which we saw namely: evacuation shelters, housing for all, village recovery planning and common space design.

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Temporary housing in Miyagi Prefecture

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Evacuation shelter from cardbox

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Restoration plans by young architects

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Container temporary housingbin Onagawa

All designs were results from immediate responds of architects for the tsunami 3/11 affected area, especially from the Japanese architects like Shigeru Ban, Toyo Ito, Young Architects and etc. They observed what people need and put their utmost efforts to help people in need. This is such a great efforts I learned, that in total despair, people should help each other. I amazed of how these architects worked and how they could implement their designs and plans. For me, this is the most important part, where plans are not just a plan, but plans which turned into reality.

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Participation planning

As an architect also, I would like to reiterate that we must design and plan considering the people. Architecture is not only about buildings, but it is the people who brings energy to what we as architects create and called as an architecture.

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2015 in ARCHITECTURE & PLANNING, Campus Life

 

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Earthship for this planet : What would the Architects do?

I just watched the movie ‘Garbage Warrior’ after for a long time wish to. First time I heard about the movie was when I attended the Green Economy and Planning Seminar in Germany. My Indonesian friend gave me, and told that this movie related to global warming, that’s all. I kept it in my laptop, but didn’t have time to open it at all. After some months, I read in Ms Astri Sari’ s blog about this movie, and it is related to green architecture. This has triggered a strong impulse to my desire to watch the movie.

It was about the very simple way to sustain in our planet Earth, and this architect Mike Reynolds would think and do anything just to build something which beyond conventional system can do. He invented the Earthship, a house which can produce energy, no bill for electricity, no bill for utilities, and even more, it has plants, trees, birds, to guarantee that we could live free at our own.

This earthship things attracted several young men, which came to help to multiply this earthship, but however, not everybody agrees with this awkward idea. The jurisdiction in Taos, New Mexico, did not agree for a house without road, water, electricity, and sewage. That could not be called a subdivision. It was good that Mike did not give up so easily, and he finally can propose something called site test law, which finally could be accepted after years of debating in the Senate.

The Earthship concept though is accepted in Bengal, India and Andaman Islands, where tsunami has devastated the place and wipes away people. The necessary things people would need in that occasion are : SHELTER, SANITATION, and WATER. Thus, Mike and his friends came together with the local people start to build the shelter to answer the need. The shelter was built from used tires, bottles, collected by the community, especially women, and children.

The tremendous thing from this is how we can learn to survive, because earth is leaking. If none of human beings care, end of days will come sooner. We as the architects, what would we do? Just follow the conventional rules and made thousands of houses which look the same, without seeing our surroundings suffer from scarcity of water and food, the high temperature due to global warming? Perhaps we could just think for a moment, what things that we have abundantly for free, and what thing could we make out of them. I, myself, perhaps also start thinking for some wildest idea for my own living place. Hope in the future, this will not be just idea, but also improving quality of life for people surround me. For now I would say it as THINK GLOBALLY but ACT LOCALLY 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in ARCHITECTURE & PLANNING

 

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A place to live – Housing for people

“In the future, people must be able to improve the quality of their lives through anextension of their responsibilities, a deepening of affections and hope, in a fashion which, though we can aim at it, we can only dimly perceive. The truth is that we must not despiseor forget basic needs when we have been granted them and others have not. To do so is not only inhuman, it is anti human.” (Lazenby, 1977).

This little fragment of a book – Housing People – has reminded me of the importance of sharing hope and affections for such people long for a decent place for living.

A house should be the most comfort place to live for each owner. It might be comfort for a family who live in, but might be not for others. Each person is unique and having personal needs, preferences, and characters. The only common thing is a house should be the basic need for people. Whether they are rich or poor, young and old, house is a primary thing.

If someone has the capacity to construct a nice, clean house, then perhaps he/she could choose a vacant lot then design the living place according to the needs. Even so, one can hire architects to help owner in realizing their dream. In an instant way, one can select desired houses from real estate or property developer, and this should be done in a careful way. In Indonesia, it is a MUST to buy only houses with clear and valid CERTIFICATE. There are many cases when the property developer ran away after receiving money without fulfilling their promises.

What if no enough money to buy a house? The economic crises, the high inflation, have affected the housing prices. Although there are some micro finance scheme for the payment, there are many people cannot afford to buy a house. Many of them finally squat on vacant lots, riverbanks, under the bridge, railways. Imagine how they would survive in such condition. Their children are going to school, doing homework and school assignment in such living place. The mother cooks, washes laundry, and does all activities in a same area. Even worse, most often there is only one place to sleep for the whole member of the family. Also most likely, they live adjacent to garbage place.

I, myself, have a dream for everyone to be able to live in decent house. How nice if we all can live in a decent place. A place where we can invite friends to come, a place where we can have community activities together, a place where we can also have privacy, a place where we can say my dreamed house become reality. Right now, I am working as an architect, on my way of making other people’s dream came true. I wish all of my design creation will make this city a better place, will make people happier, and wish also someday I could design my own house and make it true in reality.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in ARCHITECTURE & PLANNING

 

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