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Riset KK ITB 2008 PDF Cetak E-mail

Case Study: The Architecture of Art Deco Bandung

Himasari Hanan, Arif Sarwo Wibowo, Desmala Wulandari, Syarifah Ismailiyah

KK Sejarah, Teori dan Kritik Arsitektur

Sekolah Arsitektur, Perencanaan dan Pengembangan Kebijakan

Institut Teknologi Bandung

Labtek IXB, Jl Ganesa 10 Bandung

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Bandung is well known as an ideal colonial town and for the largest collection of Art Deco Style buidings. Colonial time is the period in the Indonesian architecture history wherein modern design is being introduced to the existing local tradition of one-storey building. The local domestic architectural vocabulary has been extended to a mixed-use typology of commercial building, hence creating the new urban architecture in Indonesia. The new architecture at jalan Braga has enunciated the shift of design approaches, from the tradition of cosmological based design influenced by the aristocratic living culture to the modern art of building design which is based on the individual interpretation of the professional architect. The Colonial Architecture with Art Deco Style in Bandung therefore has contributed to the rational approach in architectural design and the actualisation of western formal concept to the local environment.


This research is intended to find out the formal system of the modern art of building introduced by the Dutch architect during colonial time. It is assumed that the modern movement ideas in Holland has been brought over to Bandung and has influenced the design approach in new Commercial Architecture. Since there is neither reports nor graphic documentation of the buildings, the first thing to be done is to measure and to photograph existing buildings, and out of them technical drawings are being produced by Autocad. For the purpose of analysis, the most representative and well preserved building next to Braga Permai restaurant is selected as the case study. The formal and proportion system being applied to the architectural composition is scrutinised by comparing them to the geometrical order and design principles of the Neo-Classical & Modern Architecture. The Research of Jan Molema, TU Delft, on Analysis of Buildings, Proportion and Measurement in early Twentieth Century Dutch Building Practice has inspired the method of investigation.



Mixed-use building (Rumah-Toko) types of jalan Braga Bandung, built in ca 1930 during the Dutch colonial time. The architectural composition has introduced the geometrical order and mathematical principles in building design.

The architectural composition consist of two (2) distinctive parts. The upper part is rather elaborated embellished and the lower part is more simple and clear as its function is on purpose of public and commercial display. In the upper part, domestic activities are taking place and exclusive for the inhabitants. These two different functions are interrelated by manipulating building components in accordance to mathematical and geometrical principles. Commercial part of the building is represented in functional modular structural frame opposed to rythmic solid-void composition of the private domain, even though the horizontal lining of the building does not correspond to the floor height. The beauty of the composition is built up out of the coherency and harmony of components and parts that are well proportioned in a ratio analogous to the classical order. The proportion of 1:2, 3:8, 4:5 are applied as the formal system, and the mathematical system of translation and reflection are implemented for the formal composition. The balance of geometrical order and proportion system of the facade has promoted the appearance of the building. Hence a new formal system of architecture has been created for the urban context whereas the new architecture has liberated itself from local tradition and construction techniques. Universality has thus been carried out and rational design has gained ground in the development of Modern Architecture in Bandung. The impact of tropical climate to building material and facade design has not been considered seriously. Large transparent wall opening at ground floor is immediately exposed to sunrays, and windows opening at second floor are not well protected to rain exposure. But as a complementary to the formal system, the effect of light-shadow manipulation on the building facade has emphasized the coherence and harmonious composition.


The Dutch Colonial Architecture at jalan Braga in one hand has brought over some universal ideas, in the sense of rational design and formal system in architecture, on the other hand it carried on the building tradition of Neo-Classic Architecture without introducing any progressive ideas. The Art Deco Style of Commercial Building at Jalan Braga, therefore, is representing the stage of transition period to the International Style of the 20th century modern movement, conceivably the proto-modern. It has successfully set up the combination of individual detached housing with urban setting that demands new order and new typology. The new geometrical order was apprehended through the interplay of light-shadow effect on the building facade, which is very common in the region and well known as the expression of local tropical architecture.
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