Sunday, January 23, 2011

The GKBI Building at Mpu Tantular Street

Batik is a kind of traditional cloth in Indonesia which is popular with its richness of patterns that are applied with particular wax-resist dyeing technique. Since long time ago, Java is very well-known place that produce many kind of batiks. Both batik craft making and its trading activities have already became important business in Java, especially in its local towns such as Surakarta, Jogjakarta, Pekalongan and some others. Seemingly, Semarang as a capital city of Central Java and as harbor was becoming an important place in related with this batik industry. Maybe this is a simple explanation in related with the existence of GKBI Building in Mpu Tantular Street Semarang.

As clearly indicated, a text signage of "Gabungan Koperasi Batik Indonesia" is still remaining embedded in its building facade. At least this describes previous owner of the building, The Association of 'Koperasi Batik' of Indonesia. At the other different side, a roof top signage with the acronym text of "GKBI" is also strongly visible at the top side feature tower.

The is building always clearly visible when somebody takes a walk or drive to Semarang Harbor and "Tawang" Train Station from mBerok Bridge. The building is situated about 200 meter from mBerok Bridge. This is a simple long building with its feature tower at north-end side. It seem un-occupied and maybe just getting older and older in the next few years.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Djakarta Lloyd Building and Hundred Years of Shipping Lines History

As history have noted, originally the building is built for "Stoomvart Maatschappij Nederland", a Dutch Shipping Lines Company in Colonial Era. The current owner of the bulding is PT Djakarta Lloyd, is also a Shipping Lines Company that owned by Indonesian Government. Might be this is an obvious evident that Semarang is an important harbor city since Dutch Colonial era.

The building situated directly beside of Bank Mandiri Building (former "Societeit de Harmonie" Building).The Djakarta Lloyd building is also placed in a corner-end of a 'T-intersection' street and has two facades that facing to two different streets. Main facade is facing to Mpu Tantular street that lead the daily traffic to Semarang Harbor and Tawang Train Station. While the other side is facing to a smaller street that will lead the traffic to the location of the famous "Gereja Blenduk" site


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

PTP XV Building; and Hundred Years of its Reflection on "mBerok" River Water

Currently, the building is closely associated with polluted black water river which is existed in front of the building. Damaged asphalt road with its daily messy traffic of the 'orange microbus', a kind of urban mass transportation car are becoming day-to-day scenery around this old building. Street vendor's kiosks are stand in a row along the river bank at the opposite side of the building.

Despite most of the building details are almost in damaged and aged conditions, the remaining outline shape of the building is still reflecting its 'good-looking' appearance in the past time. There is a facade signage of PTP XV that is still embedded in the building entry canopy that identifying previous building owner. Actually, a severe damage is happened and it made one of its twin towers with 'doom-like roof' is already collapsed and the building have lost its original symmetrical shape.

History noted that this building is built during Dutch Colonial Era and originally owned by Cultuur Mij der Vorstenlanden NV before PT Perkebunan XV (PTP XV), a government-owned company took over the building ownership.

The black water river always reflects half of building shapes, since the slum kiosks are also reflected as well to cover reflection of the lower parts of the building. Wild plants are already grew on building roof and corner-end side of the building. After hundred of years, it seem the building is already end up to its old days, inline with changes of the urban landscape around the old city conservation area.