"538 heritage buildings in Bandung were threatened from the last few decades."
Bandung is one of Dutch-colonial cities in Indonesia. It was established around 1808 by Herman Willem Daendels during the construction of Groote-post weg from west to corner east of the island. This great road was utilized to strengthen military power from Britain attacks during the occupancy. The embryonic process of the city started around 1820, by superimposing the existing village and farm with new roads and modern shop-houses. From 1920 to 1945, the city was robustly developing, inviting many architects to experiment and build buildings there. Dutch called it ‘Parisj van Java’ due to the vibrant atmosphere of the city. On that era, the populations are mainly consisted of Dutch, Asian (chinese and few japanese) and locals. They lived in different neighborhoods throughout the city.
One of the significant districts in Bandung is Banceuy- ABC. The district was former commercial hub, supporting the marketplace nearby. Merchants and buyers from different ethnicities were gathered, selling daily goods, fabrics, and other supplementary. The district is known well as part of Bandung heritage zone. The urban fabric of the district constitutes of pockets and perimeter blocks, composing alleys to connect outside and inside. The misguided development leads the district into chaotic state. Moreover, the ignorance of the local citizen adds its complexity.
The project departs from the deep sensibility of the historical value of city, to refine and reinvent the ‘genius loci’ that has been long buried by layers of time. The relation between physical elements of city and memory of people interplays within the remaining urban fabric. The existing alleys act as linkage of crowded perimeter blocks and silent-residential pockets inside. For me, the emotional tension of the alley was still subtle enough, bringing the trace of atmospheric past. This identity of the districts meant to be cherished.
Memory of past was brought back to present time, materialized through the patina of the former place; rustic door metals, flaked masonry bearing wall, squeaking wooden panels. The ‘alleys’ are physical symbolization of assimilation, a process of ethnic immersion in social rigidity on that era. The rediscovering of tension between static and dynamic, peaceful and chaotic, silence and crowded provoked me every time passing those alleys.
Bandung Center of Heritage has to become an integral part of historical district development, pioneering the further heritage awareness of city. The edifice acts as contemporary intervention within the historical- yet ever changing district. The building preserves the existing urban fabric. The poetics of alleys are reinterpretation of remaining values. This will be the center where people could cherish and celebrate the spirit of immersion of multi-ethnicities. The new body of architecture is inspired by the blocks and alleys. It uses same language as the previous fabric. People could understand, explore, discuss, transform and archive the heritage culture of the city. A transformative heritage place to celebrate and cherish the culture and history.
The designated site are approximately 7500 sqm area, covering half of the preserved heritage urban fabric (pockets and perimeter blocks.) Bandung Center of Heritage (BCH) aims to revive the spirit to immerse and acculturate within the pockets. The visitor learns and eventually appreciate the heritage as part of their history.
The edifice keeps the perimeter blocks intact. The 'alleys' are carved in a way to link the perimeter and the pocket, and also show the newness of current contemporary architecture design. They leads to secretive heritage plaza, tunnels the crowded commercial perimeter to secluded inner-court. It allows the citizens to contemplate and celebrate heritage in urban solitude.
Brick walls can be found in the decayed-old buildings around. It can be seen through the white-flaked mortar. So, BCH implies the similar used material as a metaphor of 'brick walls' covered with 'white mortar.' The outer facade is painted rough white. The facade is vertically divided, creating repetitive shop-houses pattern. The inner-court is enclosed with repetitive walls, amplifying the sound of silence.
Bandung Center of Heritage (BCH) consists of different programs to accomodate the desire to preserve and celebrate the heritage, but at the same time support the commercial activities in the districts. The 7482 sqm building comprises of commercial hub, heritage community hub, cafe & restaurants, heritage plaza, heritage gallery, city development gallery, archive gallery, contemporary gallery, and observation deck. The flat slab reinforce concrete are used in this proposal. The brick is constructed using steel beam as reinforcement. These construction method and materials are common in Indonesia.
The drawing shows the entire scoop of BCH proposal. Some former drawing show the figure ground analysis and the process of reinterpretation. The visual rendering shows how the completed proposal is going to be. The building preserves the old identity, but in a way adds different layers of time. The supporting plan and section are later on.
Site coordinate : (-6.9181361,107.6065036)
Mentors : Caecilia Wijayaputri, Franseno Pujianto, Alwin Suryono Sombu.