Thursday 17 September 2009

Happy Ied Mubarak 1430H

*senja diatas Bali, 17 Desember 2007

senja ramadhan berlalu,menyongsong fajar idul fitri esok hari…

setelah berjuang bersihkan diri sebulan penuh…
semoga fajar fitri melahirkan pribadi kita yang baru,
putih - suci - fitrah, rendah hati, jujur
dan setia pada nilai-nilai kehidupan

semoga diberi kesempatan menyambut ramadhan tahun depan,
dan hari esok yang lebih baik...

taqabbalallahu mina waminkum,
shiyamana wa shiyamakum

minal aidzin wal faidzin...

Selamat Idul Fitri 1 Syawal 1430H
mohon maaf atas segala salah dan khilaf

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Friday 3 July 2009

Trafacon Office Building

by Lee Bee Luen

Project Name

Trafacon Office Building
Jl. Durian No. 11, Jagakarsa, Jakarta, Indonesia
Expected Completion
December 2009
Site Area
1,883 m2
Gross Floor Area
1,451 m2
Number of Rooms
Building Height
10 metres
PT. Bumi Trafacon Indonesia
Architecture Firm
Principal Architects
M. Hikmat Subarkah; Ginanjar Ramdhani
Project Architect
M. Hikmat Subarkah
Project Team
Ginanjar Ramdhani; Anggie Radik Priyanto; Irwan
Anggie Radik Priyanto
M. Hikmat Subarkah
Main Contractor
PT. Bumi Trafacon Indonesia
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer
PT. Bumi Trafacon Indonesia
Civil & Structural Engineers
Mohamad Samsi; Iqbal
M. Hikmat Subarkah; Adi Putra

A building should not only respond to contemporary notions of aesthetics or its functional requirements, but also to its locality such as culture, society and climate. In the context of Jakarta, where the city is prone to frequent flooding, architects need to take this problem into consideration during the design process so that there is appropriate and responsible dialogue between the structures and the environment.

The Trafacon Office Building incorporates measures to combat the complex flooding problem in Jakarta, and aims to demonstrate that contemporary architecture can still be applied without sacrificing the basic principles of tropical architecture. Situated on the city’s green area site in Jagakarsa, south of Jakarta, the building is the headquarters of Trafacon, a construction company. It houses the main office, advertising office, photography studio and supporting facilities.

The main concept is to create a seamless blend between the building and its surroundings. A paper-folding technique was used to come up with the spaces, resulting in a dynamic and unconventional form. The building surfaces are covered with green roofs. Apart from the host of advantages that green roofs offer, it is also a strategy to replace the green area of the site used by the building. Basic principles of overhangs, light and airwell are adopted and
traditional sustainable features such as water-management systems as well as cross ventilation techniques are integrated into its contemporary architecture to achieve good environmental performance.

The same functions are grouped together to increase efficiency. Through careful zoning arrangements, human activity is minimised, thus decreasing
heat emissions. Apart from the working zone, all the other zones rely on natural ventilation. Although air-conditioners are used in the working zone, the system is designed to perform at the optimal level, thus avoiding any unnecessary energy wastage. The large glass wall also helps to reduce the need for artificial lighting.

Conventional and high-tech methods are used to harvest water. A large green roof is used for collecting and filtering rainwater, which is then channelled into a ground tank for toilet flushing and plant-watering purposes. The filtration system is modified from the ones used by traditional Indonesian houses. Apart from a filtering chamber containing small and big aggregates and coconut fibre, existing soil and grass are used as additional filter layers. Coupled with the use of local water equipment technology, which eliminates contamination by iron, manganese, organic, and ammonium compounds, undissolved compounds, turbidity and odour, the collected rainwater can also be turned into potable water.

Low-energy materials such as concrete, glass and anodised aluminum frames are used; materials with chemicals such as paint emulsion are avoided, minimising negative impact to the environment.

The transparent glass wall is oriented along the north-south axis to avoid direct sunlight. This minimises solar radiation and heat gain, lowering the temperature in the rooms. A large roof cantilever is erected for shading purposes, and the multi-level green roofs serve as cooling layers. The courtyard consists of a water fountain and trees which help to counter the surrounding temperature and humidity. All these factors contribute to creating a more comfortable working environment. By designing a large multi-layered landscape feature that could also be used as a social space, an alternative outdoor interaction venue is made available besides the common indoor room, pantry, etc. The green interaction space provides a calming and uplifting environment, contributing to the psychological well-being of the users which in turn could also have positive effects on their health and working performance.

© Copyright 2009 FuturArc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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Open to Nature

A development nestled in the greenery promotes living and working amidst nature.

by Lee Bee Luen

LABO. the mori
Bandung, Indonesia
Expected Completion
Site Area
1,070 m2
Gross Floor Area
300 m2
Number of Rooms
1 office unit, 6 apartment units, amphitheatre
Building Height
12 metres (maximum)
Daniel A.M
Architecture Firm
LABO. Architecture+Design
Principal Architect
Nelly L. Daniel
Main Contractor
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer
Civil & Structural Engineer
Hamal O. Pangestu

The first thing that strikes you about the building is how airy and ‘light’ it is. Transparent glass ‘walls’ offer views to the surrounding greenery from the inside. Located in northern Bandung, LABO. the mori sits on a contoured land with a 16-metre gradient which faces a forest conservation valley. With the concept of living and working amidst nature, the mixed-use facility consists of six apartment units, an office and amphitheatre. Although it is a private development, it offers semi-public spaces for clients, students, creative workers, etc.

The idea was to avoid affecting the existing shape and vegetation of the site, especially the mahogany trees which are quite rare. As such, the different sections of the building were ‘spread out’ to follow the site contour, keeping both the outline of the land and trees intact.

The structure is built along a north-south axis, letting in all the light and air, minus the glare and heat. The green walls and roof gardens are not only visually appealing, but also help to lower ambient temperatures and improve the air quality. A large green area on the ground floor helps to prevent rainwater runoff. A reservoir collects rainwater for household needs as well as for watering the plants during dry spells. Natural materials such as wood, bamboo, bricks and other stones are used together with other materials such as glass and steel.

© Copyright 2009 FuturArc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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The 8th Renovation & Construction Expo 2009

Date March 20–22, 2009
Venue Assembly Hall, Plenary Hall and Main Lobby, Jakarta Convention Center, Indonesia
Organiser Panorama Convex Indah

For more than seven years, the Renovation & Construction Expo has successfully provided a unique opportunity for architectural, construction and interior design industry in Indonesia to display new products and technology. Now in its 8th year, the event is staged to be even bigger than before due to demands from the exhibitors and visitors to broaden the scope of the products and services showcased. As such, the Expo was held in the Plenary Hall and Main Lobby of the Jakarta Convention Center which covers over 8,000 square metres of exhibition area—a 50 percent increase from last year’s show.

The event aims to directly penetrate the market target by increasing the awareness of products and brands at the same times; to become a showcase for the largest assemblage of products, services, and expertise of local and international marketplace; as well as to allow players in the building material industry to widen their business network and explore partnership opportunities. As one of the activities held during the Expo, BCI Asia presented “Construction Outlook 2009”—a seminar which provided a forecast of the latest and future conditions of the Indonesian construction industry in light of the global economic crisis.

© Copyright 2009 FuturArc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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Thursday 2 July 2009


Jimmy Priatman
Chief Architect/Founder, PT. Archi-Metric | Indonesia

Chairman of the Center for Building Energy Study – Petra Christian University and the Principal Architect of PT. Archi-Metric, Jimmy Priatman is the energy efficiency man in Indonesia.

“Energy efficiency is an effective strategy to achieve the objectives of green design because maximising building energy performance significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions and exploitation of fossil fuel.”

Thus, he has been heavily involved in building energy efficient buildings since the 1990s. Some of his major professional projects that reflect his energy-saving concepts include the Graha Pangeran, which uses only 140kwh/m2/year, and the Grha Wonokoyo, which consumes only 88kWh/m2/year.

And Priatman’s efforts in pushing for a greener built environment have been well recognised not only in Indonesia but also across Asia.

Amongst many, he has received the Kalyanakretya Utama Award from the Indonesia President and the Minister of Research and Technology in 2002; the 2002 ASEAN Energy Award for Graha Pangeran as a tested and proven energy efficient high-rise building, as well as the 2006 ASEAN Energy Award for Grha Wonokoyo as the most energy efficient high-rise building in Indonesia and the third in ASEAN.

The fervent advocate, who is also a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture at Petra Christian University, does his part to increase awareness on the subject by speaking extensively on sustainable energy related topics at seminars and workshops throughout the country.

Of course, green building design is more than increasing building performance through efficient energy consumption; it requires a cohesive and integrated approach. Priatman recognises that although energy efficiency plays a major role, it cannot be the sole consideration for green architecture.

“To minimise the impact of buildings on the environment, energy efficiency must also be paired with other strategies such as water conservation, recycled or reused materials, sustainable site development, and so forth. Green design is a multifaceted challenge, with energy efficiency, in my opinion, being the largest facet.”

“Green building practice can’t be more relevant in Indonesia, where limited energy supply is a continuous problem and evident in occasional blackouts. We have to reduce our dependency on fossil fuel energy by means of energy conservation (using passive systems) and renewable energy, which are the proper solution to achieving both short-term and long-term sustainability.”

He also recognises that, to move things forward in Indonesia, the public must become more aware of the energy situation and the government must be committed to promote sustainable energy endeavours.

“The challenge in Indonesia is the lack of public awareness of this issue, as well as government subsidy for electricity, causing many to take advantage and rely upon the subsidy which in turn increases our dependency on fossil fuel even more. In addition, there is neither subsidy nor reward for implementing energy efficiency, such as installing energy efficient fixtures or on-site renewable energy. The government needs to be proactive in leading citizens towards a culture of sustainability.”

Having said that, Priatman remains positive that the future of green building in Indonesia will be “very promising” because the public is already becoming more aware of global warming and ozone depletion issues.

“Buildings contribute considerably to total energy consumption and people are starting to realise that. This is evident in the newly-formed Green Building Council of Indonesia. Green building practice in Indonesia is still in its nascent state with no other way but to grow.”

© Copyright 2009 FuturArc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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Marco Kusumawijaya
Architect/Urbanist, Urba Corner
Chair, Jakarta Arts Council | Indonesia

An active defender of Indonesia’s urban public spaces and well-known for his cause, architect and urban planner Marco Kusumawijaya believes “in citizenship and voluntary changes”.

“Citizens’ initiatives are key to effect rooted, sustainable changes, and are the basic strength of a nation.”

Thus, it is no surprise that Kusumawijaya’s grassroots projects targeted at changing Indonesia’s built environment for the better are powered by active citizen action and public participation.

“Imagining Jakarta” is a collaborative project that this current chair of the Jakarta Arts Council has founded in 2007. It is an effort that brings together a group of artists, architects and urban planners seeking alternative presentations of the city’s public realm through the collective’s creative work—encouraging citizen action in rethinking the planning of the public domain in urban Jakarta.

Its intentions are also clearly stated on its blog site ( “Imagining Jakarta tries to present into the public sphere personal imaginations about the collective hopes for Jakarta. Imagining Jakarta offers an alternative method to experience Jakarta; one that not only serves as a source of ideas, but also as a space for interdisciplinary dialogues, among writers, artists—graphic designers, photographer, sculptors—and architects, all of them are from the younger generation. Imagining Jakarta believes in the programmatic density (and is against the mere volumetric cramming that ignore diversity), wishes Jakarta to be a ‘city of life’ (and is against the negative power that turns her into a mere ‘city of work’), hopes for her spaces to become creative spaces, considers mobility as social, cultural, and economic rights, and aims for the environmental sustainability as a goal.”

The green map movement in Indonesia, founded by Kusumawijaya in 2001 after he published the first Jakarta Green Map, is also driven by the public, the common people. Green maps point out a community’s natural, cultural and sustainable features such as open areas and green spaces to promote sustainable living, details that are not necessarily marked out in normal maps. For instance, by identifying a previously unknown green trail, it could encourage the community to seek out alternative ways to get from point A to point B. These maps are drawn up based on what the volunteers in each community mark out. Besides publishing three more Jakarta green maps, he has also helped other cities across Indonesia to be green-mapped.

In addition to Kusumawijaya’s active involvement on the ground, his 25-year career has also seen him conducting talks and lecturing widely on the subjects of environmentalism and green building; writing books on urban issues; and participating in policy and consultancy work with governments, national and international agencies. He has also worked with the Urban Poor Consortium (UPC) and Urban Poor Linkage (UPLINK) Indonesia to reconstruct villages and rebuild lives in Banda Aceh following the tsunami disaster in 2004.

His unfaltering commitment to sustainable development and urbanism in both professional and personal capacities is likely motivated by his personal mantra to “live in a better city, with everybody else”.

Kusumawijaya hopes to create “better, just and sustainable cities for everybody”, and to do that, change must begin now, and quickly.

“Climate change is present and immediate. Rapid and massive changes are urgently required, at both habitat and habitus level. These changes can only be sustainable if people understand them and take over its ownership.”

Although he foresees there is still a lot to do—and which must be done with a great sense of urgency—on the road to a greener Indonesia, Kusumawijaya remains optimistic as more people are becoming aware through greater discourse in many circles.

“I think we just need to get organised and create spaces for exchanges, build up social capital, and generate know-how among the people to increase the scale and speed of change.”

© Copyright 2009 FuturArc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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Ridwan Kamil
Principal Architect, PT. Urbane Indonesia | Indonesia

Like the legendary Dr Martin Luther King, Ridwan Kamil has a dream.

He dreams of making cities in Indonesia liveable and sustainable with “progressive design, green architecture, good business…and creative economy”, starting with Bandung, where his award-winning practice (Urbane) and grassroots programmes are based.

Like many green-conscious architects in Indonesia, Kamil is disappointed with the way cities in his country are built. “Most of the time cities are developed at a speed and [with an] attitude that ignore the balance with nature and insensitivity to the city’s own sociocultural value. Then I see how nature strikes back. Floods, acute traffic jams, homelessness that generates criminality, etc. Therefore sustainable development and green architecture is not an option. Designing and building our city in a sustainable and green way is a must.”

“I will not stop until this green and sustainable attitude becomes a norm in our way of designing and building our city.”

And it is this higher mission that drives him to be a green advocate, lecturer and writer.

In fact, Kamil has attained a somewhat rock star status in Indonesia. Fervent cheers and loud applause are not uncommon at his talks. He has become quite a familiar face on the conference circuit across his home country and the region, speaking passionately about sustainable building design.

Perhaps his popularity is also due to the fact that he genuinely cares for his community and wants to make a real difference to the people. Kamil started a grassroots organisation called Bandung Creative City Forum (BCCF) in 2008. BCCF aims to transform Bandung into a more liveable, sustainable and competitive city in Asia within the next five years by bringing together creative communities (it has 30 now) to nurture innovative entrepreneurship so as to boost the economy, and also to actively turn the city’s neglected urban spaces into usable and sustainable public spaces.

Considering the myriad issues and urban problems that “the government cannot handle”, such a grand scheme is no easy feat. However, Kamil remains undaunted and hopeful. “Forty percent of our programmes has been achieved without any support from the government; the rest of the programmes are in the negotiation stage with the city and provincial governments.”

“If we succeed, then the Bandung model can be a good example to other cities in Indonesia. It is an example that the civil society movement can really transform the city into a liveable and sustainable future.”

“I believe creativity can help me to be an agent of change.”

And changing cities is not the only thing this 2006 International Young Design Entrepreneur of the Year (British Council) wants to do—Kamil wants to transform the way the man on the street, rich or poor, thinks about architecture and design.

He sees two problems with the current status quo—on the one hand, there is the poor who lacks access to good design and resources, while on the other hand, the “newly rich society” with the resources “often dictates architects badly in the design process and business”.

“Therefore, the most difficult thing for me is educating my clients. It needs extra effort and energy.”

In tackling the problem of the poor, Kamil has set up a new arm in his firm called “Urbane Community” to assist poor urban groups help themselves upgrade their neighbourhood into a more liveable one. His practice is currently doing a project called “one village, one playground” in Bandung.

At the other end, in handling “difficult clients” who are wealthy, Kamil has ingeniously created a new way of “in design process called ‘visioning service’”. This service basically comprises a series of three to four meetings with the goal of “upgrading the client’s design taste” and influencing them with research and discussing examples of “best practices on green architecture”.

“All this is done before we start drawing a single line.” And with this ‘visioning service’, Kamil says that 80 percent of his clients have become more open to new ideas and excited about experimental design approaches as well as respectful of green concepts.

Besides enlightening his clients about sustainable and tasteful designs, this busy individual, who is also serving on the boards of several NGOs, is the mastermind designer behind numerous projects—from one of the most high-profile and biggest ones like the Rasuna Epicentrum in Jakarta to more intimate ones such as his own “Bottle House” in Bandung, which he often uses to showcase his green ideas.

Looking ahead, Kamil is confident that the future of green building in Indonesia will flourish.

“We are now at the stage of observing and digesting the issue. I believe in the next five years this will be booming, thanks to the establishment of the Green Building Council of Indonesia that will act as an entity to certify green buildings.”

© Copyright 2009 FuturArc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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People-driven Reconstruction of Lives

by Uplink Banda Aceh and Gabriela Sauter

When disasters strike, leaving homes and lives wiped out, the physical reconstruction of buildings and houses is not the only means to help survivors rebuild their lives. In a way, during post disaster times, architectural end results are no longer the sole concern; it is bringing back the community economy, culture and spirit, driven by the affected people themselves, that becomes equally, if not more, important. After the 2004 tsunami, Uplink Banda Aceh, an NGO, beyond providing emergency relief, intensively promoted and supported community organisations’ “reconstruction of life”—aside from just the physical reconstruction of houses but also livelihood development, arts and culture, health and village redevelopment—for a network of 23 villages.

On December 26, 2004, a tsunami the height of a palm tree struck the city district of Banda Aceh on the island of Sumatra (situated on the western tip of Indonesia in the Indian Ocean; the city nearest to the earthquake’s epicentre), leaving a survival rate of as low as 10 percent in some of its kampungs (traditional villages). Uplink Banda Aceh (UBA) was established shortly after the tsunami to provide post-disaster emergency relief, and later encourage and support people-driven “reconstruction of life”.

The disaster altered, and for the most part destroyed, the physical dimensions of Banda Aceh (and its neighbouring villages)—from houses, landscape and infrastructure to hospitals, schools and mosques. However, “Banda Aceh is a story of two tsunamis”, says Wardah Hafidz, director of the Urban Poor Consortium (UPC). The second ‘tsunami’ refers to the destruction of social structures that entailed from the surge of unplanned, unregulated and uncoordinated international aid that came pouring into the city shortly after the first tsunami struck.

Pressures on international donors to spend money, with the belief that using contractors was the most effective way to construct housing, and an over-concentration on physical reconstruction meant that donor/aid organisations reconstructed villages according to their agendas, resulting in a fundamental change in the social attitudes and structures of the surviving communities. In addition to these challenges, communities had to face a government trying to enforce a 2-kilometre no-build zone between the coast and what would be the settlements. It was this factor that gave Uplink a basis for its work, since its local chapters have never been involved in construction processes; it provides an entry point for the organisation to facilitate the rebuilding of communities.

UBA began by ensuring people’s basic needs were being met, then collected data regarding the survivors and organised people so they could start making their own decisions, planning their own communities, and reconstructing their lives according to their needs and priorities. This “reconstruction of life” approach means UBA does not take the physical aspects of development as the end, but as a means; housing and infrastructure are seen as entry points for the building of people’s capacity; for their participation; for trauma-healing; and for their self-determination and independence.

UBA is an attempt to develop a people-driven post-disaster reconstruction model. It seeks to demonstrate that the priority must not be how to spend the money as quickly as possible, or be solely about physical reconstruction, but that the interests of the people and their welfare should be the primary concern. Reconstruction is about lives, not just houses, and it can be taken as an opportunity—and particularly so in a case where international funding was significant—to deal with underlying/previous poverty and environmental problems and to improve the lives of low income communities, without creating a dependency on external organisations.

For this reason, the purpose of UBA is not to establish itself as a permanent entity in Banda Aceh but to help develop communities’ ability to rebuild their own communities physically, socially and politically, so that they have the capacity and strength to determine their future and to advocate/negotiate on their own behalf.

UBA is part of a 14-city network or coalition of Indonesian NGOs and community-based organisations that focus their initiatives and concerns on urban poor issues. UBA’s funding is generally provided through the national Uplink secretariat in Jakarta. The mission of Uplink is grassroots empowerment through advocacy, organising and networking. The backbone of the coalition is the grassroots groups, and the NGOs are the facilitators.

Main activities
UBA’s main activities can be understood in three phases: emergency response, integrated reconstruction and community development. Although followed through in sequence, they are often overlapping, especially with reconstruction and community development.

Phase 1: Emergency response
The emergency response phase lasted three months, from January to March 2005. Much of the emergency response effort in Banda Aceh was relatively well coordinated between organisations, but this was not the case for the reconstruction phase.

Phase 2: Reconstruction
At this point, UBA proposed NGOs active in the area to coordinate their efforts. This proved unsuccessful as the various NGOs, donors, aid agencies came in with their own visions for reconstruction, often resulting in two similar programmes by different organisations in the same village (with up to 10 NGOs working in one village simultaneously), or families acquiring two houses from different organisations, while others are left without anything. International organisations working on disaster response were under pressure from their head offices or from those who funded them to spend money, and given the fact that people needed immediate and significant help, they began their work as quickly as possible.

Although UBA was unable to get the needed coordination with these other organisations, it facilitated the establishment of Jaringan Udeep Beusaree (JUB)—The Village Solidarity Network. It also began collecting information, with the help of JUB members in different villages, on, for instance, the villages’ demographics, former land plots and sources of employment. With this information, it was able to organise the communities in their reconstruction process and determine the eligibility of each family, according to their previous houses and land plots. By May 2005, the network had expanded to 23 villages, and delegates from each village discussed housing types and how to build. The construction teams from each village were responsible for coordinating between UBA and the communities. Distribution of materials was done through a card system, where each family was given a card stating the type and quantity of materials needed, which they would take to the supplier to collect.

In the first phase of construction, only one house per village was constructed. Although this may have been perceived by international funders as an unnecessary delay in construction, it meant communities were able to see their future houses, and make changes to the design. The rest of the houses were also built in phases, depending on the community’s coordination and abilities in construction. The entire reconstruction process in Banda Aceh was completed (for the most part) by February 2007, with over 3,300 houses having been constructed by the community members.

Given its strong network and spirit of collaboration, JUB and UBA were able to coordinate with other organisations, including Greenpeace for solar energy cells (for streetlights); a local sanitation NGO for sanitation infrastructure expertise; Bumoe Leuser, another local NGO, for documentation and helping to develop the community database; and the International Labour Organisation in basic construction training for residents. UBA then updated the housing database and added data from other NGOs to determine how many houses have actually been constructed in all 23 villages, including those by the BRR (the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Authority established by the government for Aceh and Nias) and various international NGOs/donors.

Reconstruction, however, was not only about the reconstruction of houses, but integrated reconstruction, dealing with every aspect of villagers’ lives. UBA and JUB made plans to develop their communities as ecovillages, known as Gampoeng Loen Sayang.

They defined an ecovillage as urban or rural communities of people, who strive to integrate a supportive social environment with a low impact way of life. To achieve this, UBA and JUB integrated various aspects of ecological design, permaculture, ecological building, green production, alternative energy, community building practices and much more. Gampoeng Loen Sayang are now being created intentionally, so that people can once more live in communities that are connected to the Earth in a way that ensures long-term sustainability, i.e., the well-being of all life forms into the indefinite future.

The people-driven reconstruction ecovillage design was accepted by the authorities as the plans for a 2-kilometre construction-free zone were dropped. Unfortunately, this design was not made mandatory by the government, and was thus not implemented by communities outside the JUB, nor realised to its full extent in all JUB villages.

Phase 3: Community development
The third, final ongoing phase of UBA’s work in Banda Aceh is community development. This overlaps significantly with the reconstruction phase, as it is about integrated reconstruction—from the physical, environmental and social to the economic and political. The purpose of this final phase is to ensure the autonomy of the JUB network so that it can operate independently and self-sufficiently when UBA shifts its focus elsewhere. The UBA aims to achieve this through the development and strengthening of JUB by facilitating meetings and supporting its various initiatives.

Many other NGOs came, built houses and infrastructure, provided cash grants for income generation activities, sometimes provided training in handicrafts, and then left. This form of aid breeds dependency, and its short-term nature means communities are left with little more than a handful of material possessions without sufficient capacity to develop further, both in terms of construction and social development.

Communities were affected in all aspects of their lives both from the destruction caused by the tsunami and then by the social, economic and environmental implications of the extensive and unregulated surge of international money. Prior to the tsunami, most of the villagers were involved in fishing, farming, trading and processing coffee. Since the tsunami, many are now afraid to go out to sea to fish, and significant amounts of their land are still damaged by the saltwater. Many are still working in the construction industry, rebuilding houses, streets, drainage, etc., particularly since many NGOs are still in the process of constructing houses.

Most of UBA and JUB programmes have been ongoing since the construction phase, and they still carry on till today despite the completion of housing, so as to ensure that communities remain strong and continue to work together. Such activities include arpillera (Chilean quilt work); alternative health; mushroom cultivation; composting and active micro-organism liquid fertiliser production; advocacy training; and livelihood programmes.

By treating affected persons as victims, rather than survivors, external organisations generate dependency and the way they operate means local communities also begin seeing themselves as ‘recipients’ and helpless sufferers. The presence of organisations willing to flood local communities with cash in Aceh over three years created a form of powerlessness in many communities in determining their outcomes and developing their communities independently. This sense of powerlessness also contributed to communities taking all that they could and seeing external funding/aid as their right.

Some NGOs give out cash to villagers to do work such as street cleaning, preparing houses after construction and attend community meetings. UBA’s approach is rather different, as it believes cleaning one’s house is an ordinary, daily activity that should not be paid for. Cash-for-work programmes have fundamentally altered people’s community values and have indirectly (and inadvertently) promoted self-interest and segregation, making it more difficult for organisations like UBA who are trying to promote teamwork and community development.

UBA and JUB’s intention to create ecovillages has been inhibited by many of the policies of international donors, for example, the large sports utility vehicles used by the donors, the growing use of motorcycles funded by donors’ cash grant programmes, and the large NGO offices with air-conditioning and new computers. Not only have UBA’s attempts to reconstruct the communities in a manner that is environmentally friendly been offset by the practices of these external organisations, they have been strongly influenced by the growing trend of motorcycle ownership.

Many international donors thought that hiring professional contractors was the most efficient way to get things done quickly. They saw more participatory forms of reconstruction as slow, ineffective and of low quality. But by February 2007, UBA/JUB communities have constructed over 3,300 houses (including infrastructure), while others have built much less with more budget.

Although Banda Aceh became an aid destination for over 500 international organisations with funding amounting to billions of dollars, those who benefited most from this inflow of cash were not the tsunami survivors but contractors, architects and engineers (from outside Aceh) who were commissioned to work by these international agencies. Many contractors took the money and left without actually doing the work for which they had been contracted. And then there were contractors who had subcontractors who, in turn, had subcontractors—so it was very difficult to track how funding was used. With each subcontract, the quality of the housing would be reduced to generate more profits.

Construction difficulties
UBA also experienced some technical difficulties in facilitating the rebuilding of houses and communities. Some of these issues are illustrated below.

1. Ineffective coordination from the authorities created problems when it comes to prices of materials, environment-related issues and corruption. The agency-in-charge failed to set and control standard prices for building materials that resulted in prices of cement, wood, steel and others skyrocketing, and are even subjected to speculations. The logging ban for Aceh, an important and correct policy for the environment, has led to very rampant illegal logging in the area due to unchecked corruption practices. The overemphasis on building construction has triggered environmental destruction such as stone mining of hills and mountains. UBA tried to prevent it from escalating in the UBA and JUB hill areas but with little success due to a lack of strict government regulation.

2. There has been a growing trend towards concrete houses in Aceh, in part because of their ‘modern’ image and their perceived strength, and in part due to the external influence (from other NGOs). Most villagers have chosen to build concrete houses with a ground floor. UBA found a struggle between providing what the villagers wanted (at least initially), and that which is more environmentally-friendly and traditional to the area’s culture, i.e., stilt houses. Despite the many benefits from stilt houses, UBA had trouble convincing people of their advantages. For example, if fishermen were to choose stilt houses, they can use the space available underneath to store their tools, nets, fish, etc.

A personal story
Ridwan Husen first came to know of UBA through one of its COs in February 2005. Uplink held a meeting in Lam Rukam village with its survivors, who, at that time, were staying in the refugee camp further inland, to discuss the village’s future plans. Given the 2-kilometre no build zone policy plan, NGOs were very hesitant to reconstruct villages in situ in cases where they were near the coast. Uplink, however, advocated on the coastal communities’ behalf, organised villages to come together to protest against this regulation, and provided them with temporary shelter and food/cooking supplies to help them to start rebuilding their communities. In Lam Rukam, as in other UBA villages, the community formed various teams (e.g., logistics, construction), consisting mostly of men, while the women and children remained in refugee camps, and once JUB was formed, these united to work together. “By working together in the construction process, we feel we were building better bonds between villages. To coordinate with other NGOs and to strengthen this bond, we decided to formalise the network,” explains Husen. “I feel now we are more solid as a community and with other villages and have less friction than we used to because of JUB and UBA. Other NGOs give a lot of cash grants that cause clashes among villages, where some get the grants and others don’t. After most of these NGOs left, communities’ values were changed, and whenever a new programme starts with a new NGO, the first question is always: will we get paid? UBA avoided this because it just makes us more dependent. Instead it helped us with training and linking with other villages through JUB. Now we have new knowledge from Uplink and we can be more independent. So if we need fertiliser, we can make it instead of buying it. If we want to expand our houses, we can do it ourselves, and if we want to make sure it’s safe, we know how.”

© Copyright 2009 FuturArc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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Sunday 18 January 2009


Date October 28–November 30, 2008
Venue Indonesian National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
Organiser Goethe-Institut Jakarta

Where does design end and where does art begin? What connects the two? Where are they mutually exclusive? The border between art and design, as unclear as it is fascinating, is explored by 29 young German artists whose work is shown in “Come-in”.

On display were a variety of objects, installations, videos and photographs occupying over 800 square metres. In conjunction, a seminar on the theme “Interior Design as a Challenge for Contemporary Art” was held on 28 October which featured Dr Renate Goldmann, curator from Germany; Claus Föttinger, artist from Germany; Enin Supriyanto, curator from Indonesia; FX Harsono, artist from Indonesia, and Nirwan Arsuka as moderator.

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Wednesday 14 January 2009

Pod meeting

A constellation of small ‘pods’ redefines the concept of the traditional business and leisure hub.

by Lee Bee Luen

Project Name
Jl. Jenderal Sudirman, Pintu Satu Senayan,Jakarta, Indonesia
Expected Completion
November 2008
Plaza Lifestyle Prima (subsidiary of Plaza Indonesia Realty)
Architecture/Interior Firm
DCM – PT Duta Cermat Mandiri
Principal Designers
Budiman Hendropurnomo; Dicky Hendrasto
Interior designers (Pods)
Pod 1 by Zenin Adrian
Pod 2 by Indah Fajarto
Pod 3 by Krish Suharnoko
Pod 4 by Ridwan Kamil
Pods 5 and 6 by Yori Antar
Pod 7 by Willis Kusuma
Pod 8 by Avianti Armand
Pod 9 by Dicky Hendrasto
Pod 10 by Leonard Theosabrata
Pod 11 by Alvin Tjirtowirjo
PT Harjaguna
11 pods with 3 sizes:
Small (12.6 m2) capacity of 6–8 people
Medium (18.9 m2) capacity of 10–14 people
Big (31.4 m2) capacity of 20–24 people

Unlike the regular mall or entertainment centre, the new fX Lifestyle X’nter was conceived to combine both business and leisure. This trendy mall, strategically located at the heart of the CBD in Jakarta, seeks to appeal to young working professionals aged 25 to 45. To cater to meetings, the owner’s initial brief was simply to design a food court that comprises some private rooms equipped with projectors and Internet connection. However, the designers came up with the idea of having multifunctional private spaces to suit the lifestyle needs of young urban executives. They termed this unique concept of an edgy meeting hub the fPod.

The fPod features 11 meeting rooms or ‘pods’, of which Pods 5 and 6 are conjoined. Aside from being a novel concept, another special thing about these pods is that each one is designed by a well-known local interior designer. The freedom to design the pods resulted in dynamic and creative spaces, which married aesthetics and function. As Ridwan Kamil, principal of Urbane Indonesia points out, the fPod was “transformed into an art and design gallery which people can use functionally. The coordination between the main architect and 10 designers has created a small forum within this project.”

The meeting hub is located at the centre of the second floor or F2 level. Resembling cocoons, the structure of the pods is composed of steel frames and clear glass cladding. The cocoon-like structure and colourful graphic stickers create some privacy for its users, but the glass walls also allow a degree of transparency which panders to the ‘wanting to be seen’ exhibitionist tendency of the young. The pods come in round, oval or ‘kite’ shapes, and sport three different sizes—small, medium and large—with different capacities. Services and facilities include Internet access, fax and printing machines, projectors and other multimedia tools. Apart from business meetings, the pods can also be used to host leisure activities such as games or karaoke sessions, movie screenings, exhibitions, private gatherings or parties.

The style of each pod could not be more different. Pod 11 by Alvin Tjirtowirjo—one of the young and upcoming local designers—sports a futuristic and avant garde look. With the aim of making the round-shaped pod as attractive and distinctive as possible, the designer with a fetish for organic shapes designed the furniture in fluid white lines. The shell of the furniture was created using solid surface and fiberglass. For the upholstery, synthetic leather was used due to its durability and ease of maintenance.

Pods 5 and 6 by Yori Antar of PT Han Awal & Partners Architect evoke a feeling of being in a spaceship with its ‘fluid’ interior and sleek design. Solid surface was used to achieve a clean, glossy look and the bright red colour of the table accents the space. Envisioned as a flexible space to accommodate various activities, a modular table was used. “The design has to be adaptive with the function,” Antar emphasises. “Instead of creating a ‘fixed’ space, we decided to create a modular table that can be arranged into many formations. The table
module can be placed in various ways, generating an extensive range of spatial, seating and orientation options,” he explains. The table also solves the problem of space unity created by the narrow section where the two oval-shaped pods join.

Another pod that is hard to miss is Pod 4 with its unusual beehive-like skin. Designed by Ridwan Kamil, the hexagonal patterns form a white skin which defines the space for the interiors. The sophisticated design aims to respond to the hip and vibrant surroundings at fX, and the additional layer also aids in filtering views from and into the interiors. The furniture inside accommodates the same layout and theme, with the chairs and tables designed in hexagonal-like shapes; functional hexagon modules are also used as a rounded wall shelf for the users of
the pod. The main material used was plywood because of its flexibility to be carved asymmetrically with the help of computer navigation and manual carving on site. White glossy paint was used as a final finish, to add a touch of class.

The design of the pods also influences the functionality of the spaces. For example, for more formal meetings, Pod 2 would be a suitable choice since it follows a more traditional layout. Designed by Indah Fajarto of Angnga Studio, the pod consists of an oval-shaped table with surrounding armchairs, akin to a boardroom. The furniture has been ergonomically designed to ensure the comfort of users in long meetings. In addition, an extra layer of skin made of artificial rattan covers the lower half of the pod, which not only makes it more aesthetically appealing from the inside and out, but also increases the privacy of the users inside. Another unique element in the pod is the stylish multilayered ceiling which helps to improve the acoustics in the room.

On the other hand, Pod 7 was designed to be a space for hosting more informal activities such as social gatherings. “In this pod, we explore the lesehan concept as a traditional meeting space and redefine its idea in the current context,” explains principal designer Willis Kusuma. Lesehan is a Javanese term which means sitting on the floor a la Japanese style. With such a concept in mind, it is unsurprising that the pod does not have proper chairs and, instead, only has a wide cushioned space with a table in the centre, allowing plenty of room for the users to roam freely. The materials used are mainly wood with paint finishing and a combination of solid surface with artificial leather.

© Copyright 2009 FuturArc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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Tuesday 9 December 2008

architecture@09 Book Launching

Inside the architecture@09, detailed coverage is given to future landmark buildings in Middle East, Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Each article includes a description of the building, site plans, floor plans, elevations, renderings and summary information. The projects, selected each year from more than 100,000 future projects reported by BCI Asia and BCI Australia researchers, help define the changing face of architecture.

Design process presentation by :
Andra Matin

Pandega Desain Weharima

Yu Sing

Friday, 12 December 2008
14.00 - done

f5, lifestyle X’nter
Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Pintu Satu Senayan

Free Of Charge & Limited Seat Get free FuturArc Magazine, For 50 first registrant

for registration and confirmation contact :
Ziza +62 856 9159 5804 / +62 21 5790 2930, or email at:

Supported by : Australindo Graha Nusa
Organized by : BCI Asia And FuturArc

"Get special discount 'architecture@09' on site! 25% Off"

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UI Station 1 and UI Station 2

Universitas Indonesia



Universitas Indonesia (UI); Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI); PT. Kereta Api Indonesia (PT.KAI)
Architecture Firm
PT. Arkonin
Principal Architect
H. A. Noerzaman
Other Architects/Designers Architects
Ir. R. Taufick Hardi; Indriati.ST; Amelia Mursalim.ST
3D Artists
Andri Iskandar.ST; Marcus Claymant; Mahulete.ST
Yolanda Fitria Septiani .ST
Ir. Adrian Tendean
Ir. Heru Budi Santoso
Ir. Agus Setiyono
Consulting Engineers
PT. Arkonin
Site Area
70,400 square metres
Gross Floor Area
3,250 square metres (UI Station 1)
3,250 square metres (UI Station 2)
Building Height (metres)
Building Height (storeys)
Construction Start Date
Scheduled Completion Date

The University of Indonesia or Universitas Indonesia (UI) maintains 100 hectares of forest within its 309-hectare site area. With six lakes scattered over the campus area, it offers a harmonious jungle environment for the school. The UI Station 1 and Station 2 are an external and internal means of transportation to and from the campus.

The stations are designed to blend and connect with its surroundings, linking to pedestrian and bicycle tracks to provide easy access. Where necessary, new walkways and cycling tracks will be built to further improve accessibility. The bridge connecting the UI campus to Station 2 will become a new main gate for visitors.

The design of the new stations is inspired by the concept of movement; the building masses were made ‘fluid’, to represent the dynamics of the train movement.

Reforestation has also been carried out along the sides of the train track, so that the trees will work as a barrier or divider between UI and Margonda area.

© Copyright 2008 Architecture@09 and BCI Asia. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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