Tropicality, revisited: a new exhibition exploring modern Indonesian architecture

Tropicality, revisited: a new exhibition exploring modern Indonesian architecture

While Indonesia is a fast emerging global economy, one of the most populated countries on earth and a source of rich traditional design and building heritage, its contemporary architecture still remains unchartered territory for many. A new exhibition at the German Museum of Architecture (DAM) in Frankfurt is set to bring modern Indonesian architecture to the forefront of the design world.

In collaboration with Peter Cachola Schmal, DAM’s director, ’Tropicality Revisited’, which opens on 29 August as part of the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair, has been curated by Avianti Armand and Setiadi Sopandi, both strong voices in the world of Indonesian architecture.

The exhibition is split into two sections, ’Tropicality’ and ’Case Studies’. The former examines the ideas, events and issues that have led us to our current understanding of tropical architecture. It follows seven different stages, exploring climatology, the history of tropical architecture and also its modern reinvention.

’Case Studies’, takes 12 recent Indonesian projects by local architects and looks at how each design responds and reacts to its site. The projects and their locations are hugely varied and the audience is led from small, concrete or terracotta family homes in tiny villages, to a bamboo beachfront restaurant, an open-air cinema, a tourist-spot hotel and a mosque.

The architects featured include Achmad Tardiyana, Andra Matin, Djuhara + Djuhara, Mamostudio, Urbane Indonesia, Studio Tonton, LABO, Studio Akanoma, Eff Studio, Eko Prawoto Architecture Workshop, Csutoras & Liando and D-Associates. Ahmad Djuhara of Djuhara + Djuhara describes tropicality as ’the dialogue between nature, human body and building’.

Through a combination of drawings, photographs, models and a detailed catalogue, the spectator can begin to grasp – even from afar – an understanding of the new and imaginative approaches to tropical architecture these native architects are continually coming up with.

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