The Architecture of Indonesia

This is my first appreciate about Architecture and my interest is The Architecture of Indonesia. The reason, because Indonesia has so many unique culture, historical stories and because I love my country. For sure I will support and will be my style identity on every design. Also I wanted to show that all the art of history, every design of the historic buildings and every produced by our ancestor. One of my strong word; "You can make of a copy of Heritage Product but you can't be legalized the past stories where they come from". and also reminded "We must love all our heritage as our Identity".

"Architecture" are often perceived as cultural symbols and as work of art. Also as Historical Civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements.  
"Indonesia" is a country in Southeast Asia, which is crossed by the equator and located between the continents of Asia and Australia as well as between the Pacific and Indian Ocean. Also Indonesia consists of various ethnic, linguistic and religious groups. Indonesia has a tropical climate.
Sumba House - Nusa Tenggara Timur
The Architecture of Indonesia reflects the diversity of cultural, historical and geographic influences that have shaped Indonesia as a whole. Invaders, Colonizers, missionaries, merchants and traders brought cultural changes that had a profound effect on building styles and techniques. Traditionally, the most significant foreign influence has been Indian. However, Chinese, Arab - and since the 18th and 19th centuries - European influences have been important.

Dieng Plateau - Batur
Prambanan Temple - Yogyakarta
Architectural heritage influenced by religious are commonly found in Java. The beginning are Hindu - Buddhist kingdoms between the 8th and 14th centuries. The earliest surviving Hindu temples in Java are at the Dieng Plateau. Thought to have originally numbered as many as 400, only 8 remain today. just 100 years later the second Kingdom of Mataram built the Prambanan complex near Jogjakarta; considered the largest and
finest example of Hindu architecture in Java.

Borobudur Temple - Yogyakarta

 The World Heritage-listed Buddhist monument Borobudur was built by the Sailendra Dynasty between 750 and 850 AD, but it was abandoned shortly after its completion as a result of the decline of Buddhism and a shift of power to eastern Java.Majapahit influencess can be seen today in the enormous number of Hindu temples of varying sizes spread throughout Bali. Several significant temples can be found in every village, and shrines, even small temples found in most family homes. Although they have elements in common with global Hindu styles, they are of a style largely unique to Bali and owe much to the Majapahit era.

Grand Mosque - Yogyakarta
By the fifteenth century, Islam had become the dominant religion in Java and Sumatra, Indonesia's two most populous islands. The new religion and the foreign influences that accompanied it, were absorbed and reinterpreted, with "mosques" given a unique Indonesian/Javanese interpretation. At the time, Javanese mosques took many design cues from Hindu, Buddhist, and even Chinese architectural influences. For example; Grand Mosque- Yogyakarta. They lacked, for example, the ubiquitous Islamic dome which did not appear in Indonesia until the 19th century, but had tall timber, multi-level roofs similar to the pagodas of Balinese Hindu temples still common today.

Mallaca Mosque Malaysia - Java Influence
These include the Mesjid Agung in Demak, built in 1474, and the Menara Kudus Mosque in Kudus (1549). Javanese mosque styles in turn influenced the architectural styles of mosques among its neighbors, among other the mosques in Kalimantan, Sumatra, Maluku and Sultan Suriansyah Mosque in Banjarmasin. Also neighboring country; Kampung Hulu Mosque in Malacca - Malaysia, Brunei and the southern Philippines.

Toraja House - Sulawesi
Indonesia has 33 provinces, Each of province has its own distinctive form and identity of traditional vernacular architecture, known as Rumah Adat in Indonesian. The concept of Rumah Adat are base on social relations, traditional laws, taboos, myths and religion. The main focus of that house for family, theirs community and some residents activities. Design of Rumah Adat didn't have an architect designer but that build their own homes or community under direction of a master builder or a carpenter. Also the amazing unique is every province has different ethnic and they have different distinctive form as well.

Batak Karo - House
The characteristic Architecture of Indonesia such as timber construction, varied and elaborate roof structures. Concept design overall; symmetric, nature contextual and used nature materials. Some of design form come from domestic architecture influence religion foreign such as; Java, Bali and others province common Austronesian ancestry (originating in Taiwan, c. 6,000 years ago). The earliest Austronesian structures were communal longhouses on stilts, with steep sloping roofs and heavy gables, as seen in the Batak rumah adat and the Torajan Tongkonan. Variations on the communal longhouse principle are found among the Dayak people of Borneo, as well as the Mentawai people.  

This is my concern interest and I will talk for details Traditional Architecture of Indonesia explain on my next blog.
Mentawai House - Nias

This is my concern interest and I will talk for details Traditional Architecture of Indonesia explain on my next blog.

Pagaruyung Palace - Sumatera Barat
Istana (or "Palace") architecture of the various kingdoms and realms of Indonesia, is more often than not based on the vernacular adat domestic styles of the area. Royal courts, however, were able to develop much grander and elaborate versions of this traditional architecture. the Pagaruyung Palace is a three-storey version of the Minangkabau Rumah Gadang. while the omo sebua ("chief's house") in Bawomataluo, Nias is an enlarged version of the homes in the village and the palaces of the Balinese such as the Puri Agung in Gianyar use the traditional bale form.

Kraton Yogyakarta
Similar to trends in domestic architecture, the last two centuries have seen the use of European elements in combination with traditional elements, albeit at a far more sophisticated and opulent level compared to domestic homes such as the Javanese Kraton, for example, large pendopos of the joglo roof form with tumpang sari ornamentation are elaborate but based on common Javanese forms as well.

Also The Javanese palaces the pendopo is the tallest and largest hall within a complex. As the place where the ruler sits, it is the focus of ceremonial occasions, and usually has prohibitions on access to this space.

Museum Jakarta - Old Cty - Jakarta Kota
The 16th and 17th centuries saw the arrival of European powers in Indonesia who used masonry for much of their construction. Previously timber and its by-products had been almost exclusively used in Indonesia, with the exception of some major religious and palace architecture. One of the first major Dutch settlements was Batavia (later named Jakarta)   which
in the 17th and 18th centuries was a fortified brick and masonry city.

Although row houses, canals and enclosed solid walls were first thought as protection against tropical diseases coming from tropical air, years later the Dutch learnt to adapt their architectural style with local building features (long eaves, verandahs, porticos, large windows
and ventilation openings). The Indo-European hybrid villa of the 19th century were among the first colonial buildings to incorporate Indonesian architectural elements and attempt adapting to the climate. The basic form, such as the longitudinal organisation of spaces and use of joglo and limasan roof structures, was Javanese, but it incorporated European decorative elements such as neo-classical columns around deep verandahs.

Whereas the Indo-European homes were essentially Indonesian houses with European trim, by the early 20th century, the trend was for modernist influences—such as art-deco—being expressed in essentially European buildings with Indonesian trim (such as the pictured home's high-pitched roofs with Javan ridge details). Practical measures carried over from the earlier Indo-European hybrids, which responded to the Indonesian climate, included overhanging eaves, larger windows and ventilation in the walls.

Art-Deco House Bandung - C.P.W. Schoemaker.
At the end of the 19th century, great changes were happening across much of colonial Indonesia, particularly Java. Significant improvements to technology, communications and transportation had brought new wealth to Java's cities and private
enterprise was reaching the countryside. Modernistic buildings required for such development appeared in great numbers, and were heavily influenced by international styles. These new buildings included train stations, business hotels, factories and office blocks, hospitals and education institutions. The largest stock of colonial era buildings are in the large cities of Java, such as Bandung, Jakarta, Semarang, and Surabaya.

Bandung is of particular note with one of the largest remaining collections of 1920s Art-Deco buildings in the world, with the notable work of several Dutch architects and planners, including Albert Aalbers, Thomas Karsten, Henri Maclaine Pont, J Gerber and C.P.W. Schoemaker.

Colonial rule was never as extensive on the island of Bali as it was on Java— it was only in 1906, for example, that the Dutch gained full control of the island—and consequently the island only has a limited stock of colonial architecture. Singaraja, the island's former colonial capital and port, has a number of art-deco kantor style homes, tree-lined streets and dilapidated warehouses. The hill town of Munduk, a town amongst plantations established by the Dutch, is Bali's only other significant group of colonial architecture; a number of mini mansions in the Balinese-Dutch style still survive.

The lack of development due to the Great Depression, the turmoil of the Second World War and Indonesia's independence struggle of the 1940s, and economic stagnation during the politically turbulent 1950s and 60s, meant that much colonial architecture has been preserved through to recent decades. Although colonial homes were almost always the preserve of the wealthy Dutch, Indonesian and Chinese elites, and colonial buildings in general are unavoidably linked with the human suffering of colonialism, the styles were often rich and creative combinations of two cultures, so much so that the homes remain sought after into 21st century.

Native architecture was arguably more influenced by the new European ideas than colonial architecture was influenced by Indonesian styles; and these Western elements continue to be a dominant influence on Indonesia's built environment today.


Early twentieth century modernisms are still very evident across much of Indonesia, again mostly in Java. The 1930s world depression was devastating to Java, and was followed by another decade of war, revolution and struggle, which restricted the development of the built environment. Further, the Javanese art-deco style from the 1920s became the root for the first Indonesian national style in the 1950s. The politically turbulent 1950s meant that the new but bruised Indonesia was neither able to afford or focussed to follow the new international movements such as modernist brutalism. Continuity from the 1920s and 30s through to the 1950s was further supported Indonesian planners who had been colleagues of the Dutch Karsten, and they continued many of his principles.

Despite the new country's economic woes, government-funded major projects were undertaken in the modernist style, particularly in the capital Jakarta. Reflecting President Sukarno's political views, the architecture is openly nationalistic and strives to show the new nation’s pride in itself. Projects approved by Sukarno, himself a civil engineer who had acted as an architect, include:

Bundaran Hotel Indonesia - Jakarta
  • A clover-leaf highway.
  • A broad by-pass in Jakarta (Jalan Sudirman).
  • Four high-rise hotels including the famous Hotel Indonesia.
  • A new parliament building.
  • The 127 000-seat Bung Karno Stadium.
  • Numerous monuments including The National Monument.
  • Istiqlal Mosque the largest mosque in Southeast Asia.
Jengki House - Jakarta
 The 1950s jengki style, so named after Indonesian references to the American armed forces as 'yankee', was a distinctive Indonesian architectural style that emerged. The modernist cubic and strict geometric forms that the Dutch had used before World War II, were transformed into more complicated volumes, such as pentagons or other irregular solids. This architecture is an expression of the political spirit of freedom among the Indonesians.

When development picked up in the early 1970s under Suharto's New Order administration following the turbulent mid-century decades, Indonesian architects were inspired by the strong American influence in Indonesia's architecture faculties following independence. The International Style dominated in Indonesia in the 1970s, as it did in much of the rest of the world. The 1970s saw the Indonesian government promote indigenous Indonesian forms. Constructed in 1975, the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah theme park re-created over twenty buildings of exaggerated proportions to showcase Indonesian traditional vernacular forms. The government also called for Indonesian architects to design an Indonesian architecture, and by the 1980s in particular, most public buildings were built with exaggerated elements of traditional vernacular forms. These the large concrete Minangkabau style roofs on government buildings in the city of Padang, the giant Javanese joglo structures at the University of Gajah Mada, and also the Javanese-Balinese meru multitiered roofs of rectorate tower in University of Indonesia. 

Sudirman street - Jakarta

BNI Tower - Jakarta
The 1970s, 1980s and 1990s saw foreign investment and economic growth; large construction booms brought major changes to Indonesian cities, including the replacement of the early twentieth styles with late modern and postmodern styles. The urban construction booms have continued in the 21st century and are shaping skylines in Indonesian cities. Many new buildings are clad with shiny glass surfaces to reflect the tropical sun. Architectural styles are influenced by developments in architecture internationally including the introduction of deconstructivism architecture.

I like this blog, remind me how beautiful my country with some unique Architecture Style and rich of Heritage. Also likes the stories about Post Independence Architecture with the leader who understand about Architecture and Remind how important to have city without lost our real identity. heheheee.... Peace...!!! ;)))
Future Jakarta