From our journey to Palembang, South Sumatra
Mostly, traditional houses in Indonesia are ‘stage houses’ (houses that are raised above ground level). The tradition kept to be used in dwellings in kampongs (the calling for group of houses). With simple material like woods, the house stood.
And that what we saw in Palembang, mostly the houses are stage houses and made of woods. The condition of wetland made the people need a good solution. Or because of the hot climate, the stage houses give good airflow inside the rooms. Usually the houses have certain kind of shape and designs.
The wetland area of the house could also have a function, as a storey, animal storey and other function according to the user. Usually the area was opened area, but now these lower part of the houses are closed, made to be store, other room to live, or other purposes.
The condition of the environment, the need and the changes of mindset are factors to influence the shape and functional transformations of the houses. The lack of timber, made it more expensive. The possible way is to use other material instead of wood, like concrete, glasses, iron and other.
These changes are kept going on, that finally may loosen the local architectural identity. This is a fact going on.
The situation inside a house which uses wood material for the wall and the construction of the ‘stage house’. Notice that the room is not completed with heavy furniture, but a simple mat to minimize the live load of the building.
Some objects photographed in the journey.
A new monument in Palembang
A mosque in Palembang. Acculturation of western architecture, Chinese, and local (Sumatra), in harmonious way.
by Nasrul Amin
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