Traditional Architecture of Indonesia

Traditional Architecture of Indonesia

by John Gillow
     
 

Traditional architecture, which has evolved in harmony with the natural environment and the rhythms of a daily life far removed from industrialized society, is currently inspiring an awakening of interest throughout the world. Nowhere is more deserving of this attention than the islands of the Indonesian archipelago, whose wide range of peoples and terrain have… See more details below

Overview

Traditional architecture, which has evolved in harmony with the natural environment and the rhythms of a daily life far removed from industrialized society, is currently inspiring an awakening of interest throughout the world. Nowhere is more deserving of this attention than the islands of the Indonesian archipelago, whose wide range of peoples and terrain have produced the most extraordinary vernacular building. Characteristic of many Indonesian architectural styles are village houses raised on stilts, high above monsoon muds and malarial mosquitoes, where they benefit from cooling breezes. Walls, window frames, posts and pillars are often beautifully carved and painted with images of guardian spirits and ancestors, animal and human figures, spirals, and floral and geometric patterning. Majestic roofs can dwarf the living accommodation; their sweeping slopes dispel tropical rainwater, and their overhanging caves offer shade from the sun. Construction with pegs and wedges instead of nails affords buildings both the strength and the flexibility needed to withstand earthquakes and yet be easily dismantled and transported to a new location. In many communities the house is regarded as a spiritual, almost corporeal entity, whose construction involves many rituals and superstitions. It forms the focal point for a villager's sense of community, ancestry and social standing. Barry Dawson and John Gillow's firsthand research has provided the basis for this detailed examination of Indonesian vernacular building, which analyses the predominant types of each island, and how they relate to the architectural needs of the present and future. Historical photographs, drawings and nearly 200 dazzling photographs of villages, houses, barns, meeting halls, places of worship and domestic interiors, vividly illustrate the enormous diversity of traditional styles to be found throughout the islands. From the dignity and grandeur of the Minangkabau houses of Sumatra to the imposing so

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Editorial Reviews

Alice Joyce
On the whole, there are remarkably more similar elements to be found in the architecture of Indonesia than disparate aspects, especially given the great ethnic diversity existing among its peoples and the vast distances separating its scores of islands in the Pacific. Although their descriptive style is dry, Dawson and Gillow may be commended for an expansive overview of the country's vernacular buildings and rich decorative heritage. Traditional village life is defined by colorful images of common structures--thatched rice barns, threshing houses, public meeting halls, and family compounds, often distinguished by steeply pitched roofs and stilt foundations. Black-and-white drawings augment the text, detailing building methods, materials, and symbolism.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500341322
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
09/25/1995
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
9.04(w) x 10.33(h) x 0.95(d)

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