Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pasar Johar, a Building With Hundred of Octagonal Skylights

Currently, the building of this traditional central market building looks as a messy old building that surrounding by other new buildings. From day to day Pasar Johar always surrounding by large numbers of peoples who involve in traditional daily trading activities, because Pasar Johar might be the remaining largest traditional market in Semarang City where traditional traders meet with the customers.
When we come to enter the inside of the building, I think we can directly recognize 'the beauty' of the building. Under the huge large flat concrete roof we can find spacious internal spaces that consist of two floors with large atrium in the middle. Since the building is designed and built during Dutch Colonial Era, this building should be one of the largest modern market building in that era. The design was generated in modern approaches.

There are specific details we can find here are the interesting octagonal shaped roof skylights and many of typical structural columns with mushroom shapes that support the large flat concrete roof. If we zoom the building in from "Google Map" we can calculate that there are more than a hundred of octagonal skylights on the roof of Pasar Johar. Skylights that promote tropical daylights come through to the internal space of market and also enable natural air circulations.

Nowadays, Pasar Johar still alive within its functions a smain central traditional market in Semarang where can find most of daily needs such as books, magazine, shoe, textiles, vegetables, fresh meat and others. Today, Pasar Johar still looks busy and always crowded with peoples with their daily traditional trading activities.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Masjid Kampung Layur, an Old Small Mosque with a High Minaret

There is an old small mosque that is situated slightly hidden in the middle of "Kampung Layur", a dense quarter near busy commercial area of Johar Semarang. The quarter itself is originated in 18th Century. The existence of the mosque could be identified from the distance by the appearance of its tower that is raising high in between crowded housing scenery. A high elaborate minaret for muadzin to calls the prayers. By that time, the existence of this round masonry high minaret is not something typical in common mosque in Central Java.

This small old mosque is situated about 700 meters away from The Kauman Mosque at "Pasar Johar" area or about 400 meter from "Hotel Dibya Puri". In the past time, this mosque is situated in the middle of busy ship loading and unloading harbor area. And today the mosque is slightly recessed in the middle of urban quarter, not far away from central commercial area.
This mosque also known as Masjid Kampung Melayu.

The main part of the mosque is a small square building with its "Meru' like roof that hidden inside a high masonry wall fence. Just like typical mosque in Central Java, the roof top is decorated with sculptural crown object that is consisting of breadnut leaves and cudgel shapes, instead of crescent moon and star.
Window details are interesting, particularly on the detail of its perforated louvers with repetition of "Arabic" geometrical star shape patterns. Its combination with green transparent glass on window transom creates a simply beautiful daylight reflection through the interior spaces.

This small mosque seem like a small garden where two different flowers are growing together as a symbol and reflection of take and give process where two different cultures are met together and understand each other in mutual orders.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hotel Dibya Puri; an Old Hotel at Bodjong Street

Currently, "Hotel Dibya Puri" is an old empty building that is situated in a busy crossroad in Semarang City. The hotel actually was placed in a prominent spot at the crossroad off amous old Bodjong Street and other roads that lead to "Pasar Johar" the old central market and old parade square (alun-alun).

The hotel itself is originally built during Dutch Colonial Era and become one of famous city landmark near Johar Area, a busy business and commercial area in Semarang. The hotel existence could be identified by its simple symmetrical and geometrical shapes. The main entry is situated in the middle part of the building, room bays are placed in two different wings that are ended with the existence of three storey towers (at each sides).

The building is properly set back away from the Main Street and pedestrian lines. and trees around its parking area nicely provide green covers that conceal the building from busy ambience of Johar Area. It should be a nice spot for a city hotel, but nowadays the building remains empty.