Ananta Iswardhani

Heritage & Architecture: Semarang Indonesia

Three types of relationships between the existing and interventions

Cultivating heritage - Recuperating Dutch colonial architecture’s relation to local community’s practices through heritage and socio-cultural approaches in Kota Lama Semarang, Indonesia

"Cultivating Heritage" aims to bridge the distance between abandoned Dutch colonial heritage that embodies past discrimination and the Semarang community that suffers from poverty and manifold environmental issues. The project transforms a former agricultural trading office that practiced force labour into a co-operative office that integrates the community's informal trading.

Heritage is used as a tool towards sustainable socio-economy and environment with community as the driving force. Close-readings of the architecture and community’s spatial culture result in three types of interventions that consider the reciprocity between old and new:

1. Preservation of the high-valued entrance, with subtle changes to establish connection to public realm, 2. Interlocking the office space with local crafts and communal configuration to reverse the segregated spaces, 3. Adding a socio-production pod that introduces permaculture practices.

By implementing improved traditions as strategy, the project lets the community appropriate the shared-heritage by themselves, while nurturing a sense of belonging.

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