Understanding Traditional Design: A Case Study of Kalimantan Houses in Indonesia

By Laila Zohrah and Yuichi Fukukawa.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

We overview the recent development of urban village in Kalimantan, Indonesia territory, indicate its relationship to indigenous dwelling architecture and customaries. The sustainability of traditional dwelling is initially several distinctive traditional design principles, including: Rumah Betang (RB)-longhouse and Rumah Bubungan Tinggi (RBT)-high roofed-house. The indigenous majority inhabitants such as Ngaju Dayaks and Banjarese have been built many villages and settlements along the rivers. Longhouse is a common house style for Ngaju Dayaks people while the Banjarese people have been modifying various styles. RBT is the modification of the longhouse style that had ever popular among Banjarese aristocrats in the beginning of sixteenth century. To date, long both customary houses chronologies cover from sixteenth century and the network over South and Central Kalimantan. This paper examines the identity, characters, kinship and the way of life taking into account aspect of the society changing such as culture, economics, politic, and technology. However, a record study has never been completely published. Thus, the design of the traditional house in Kalimantan satisfies the need for a good living space and reflects the tight relationship within a family group based on the cultural concept and demand for customary conflicts. The investigation highlight of the documentation of thirteen RBTs in South Kalimantan and three RBs in Central Kalimantan, two of these structures had the last significant closed relationship for the whole Kalimantan area which contributed to creating the principle of harmonious environment between upper and under world of cosmic belief.

Keywords: Regional Characteristics, Vernacular House, Traditional Design, Indonesia

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.317-332. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.936MB).

Laila Zohrah

Ph. D Student, Department of Architecture Urban Planning Laboratory, Chiba University, Chiba Shi, Chiba, Japan

I hold an architecture degree (Ir) from Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia. I worked as an architect in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, Indonesia (2001-2004). I hold Research Student for 1 year (2005) and continued to Master Degree(Msc)(2005-2007) in Urban Planning Laboratory Chiba University, Japan (2004-2006).Now I am currently in Ph.D program in urban planning, urban design and heritage studies.

Prof. Yuichi Fukukawa

Lecturer, Department of Architecture, Urban Planning Laboratory, Chiba University, Chiba Shi, Chiba, Japan

Lecturer, Department of Architecture Graduate School of Science and Technology, Chiba University, Japan.

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