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Showing posts from May, 2009

TOY OF THE WEEK

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We went to Tong Tong Fair (Pasar Malam Besar) in the Hague last week and Harm was excited to see this traditional toy from Indonesia. He has bought it and played with it with excitement and amusement. He said it was so wonderful that the Indonesian are able to create this kind of simple technical invention as toys. It produces sounds of bombardement and the machine was generated by the fire inside. As long as the fire is on then it will moves back and forward. We thought that this sort of toy creativity is much better and challenging for boys nowadays than computer games.

BIKE TOUR

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On Sunday, 24 May, I have joined a bike tour organized by the Architecture Centre of Utrecht, Aorta. This tour was supposed to introduce an urban development of an area called Leidsche Rhijn around Utrecht. This area is famous as a remain of Romans archeological site but also functioned as a satelite city of Utrecht. The tour started at 2pm around the Utrecht Central Station led by an architect. There were 12 participants. This kind of tour requires minimum 6 participants and maximum 16 participants. So 12 was an ideal number. The guide was an architect who knew a lot of detail of every development of Utrecht and Leidsche Rhijn. That made the tour worth doing, very informative and entertaining. I have learned that every town planning is a delicate political issue everywhere in the world. There is always tension amongst stakeholders and it is impossible to make everybody happy. Knowing this fact happened, too, in Holland, at least made at ease thinking about how complicated town plann

BELAJAR DARI PARIS

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Dimuat di Warta Kota, 20 Mei 2009 Jika saya anggota DPR atau pejabat pemerintah di Indonesia, biasanya saya mendapat jatah untuk studi banding ke luar negeri. Anggaplah saya studi banding ke Paris di Prancis, maka inilah kesan-kesan yang akan saya laporkan. Siapa tahu walikota atau gubernur di tempat saya tinggal mendapatkan inspirasi. Bukan luar negeri minded lho , habis jatahnya studi banding ke Paris sih . Studi banding kan jarang-jarang di dalam negeri. Setidaknya jika saya memberi laporan tentang aspek-aspek yang positif dari Paris, apalagi bisa diterapkan di tempat saya tinggal, maka dana APBD yang dipakai untuk membiayai studi banding saya ada manfaatnya bagi semua warga. Tempat sampah di tempat-tempat umum di Paris sangat simpel dan tentunya relatif murah untuk diproduksi secara massal. Jadi tempat sampah publik tidak usah menyita dana APBD yang besar apalagi jika pemeliharaannya juga menyita banyak tenaga dan biaya pemkot setempat. Cukup plastik seperti ini yang mudah diga

INFILL DEVELOPMENT

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Perpaduan antara bangunan lama dan baru selalu menarik perhatian saya karena saya percaya pelestarian pusaka (heritage conservation) haruslah aktual dan menjawab kebutuhan zaman. Jadi tidak semata-mata dan sama sekali bukan untuk nostalgia. Jika memang niat ada banyak cara untuk mempertahankan bangunan lama dan mengkombinasikannya dengan bangunan baru. Dengan cara ini pelestarian pusaka dan pembangunan baru secara simultan terakomodasi. Solusi seperti ini umumnya disebut Infill Development . Definisinya menurut BUILD, is the economic use of vacant land, or restoration or rehabilitation of existing structures or infrastructure, in already urbanized areas where water, sewer, and other public services are in place, that maintains the continuity of the original community fabric. Solusi Infill Development juga berdasar pada semakin meningkatnya kesadaran tentang pembangunan berkelanjutan dan pelestarian lingkungan hidup. Pendekatan Infill adalah tanggapan terhadap kebijakan pemerintaha

JEMBATAN BERLAGE

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Pada suatu pagi yang cerah minggu lalu saya bersepeda melewati Jembatan Berlage di Amsterdam. Kebetulan jembatannya sedang terbuka memberi jalan bagi kapal yang akan lewat. Mungkin kombinasi antara sinar matahari, sungai Amstel dan promenade sepanjang sungai yang bersih dan menyenangkan membuat Jembatan Berlage tampak cantik di mata saya. Walaupun usianya sudah 67 tahun (diresmikan tahun 1932) namun fungsi teknis dan estetisnya tidak berubah. Arsiteknya, H.P. Berlage pasti bangga dengan pemeliharaan yang baik ini. Pada tahun 1945, sebuah plakat direkatkan di jembatan ini: " This plaque is presented to the City of Amsterdam by Canadian soldiers who served in the Netherlands to commemorate the liberation of the Netherlands and in acknowledgement of the gracious hospitality extended by the Dutch people to the Canadian forces 1944-45." Jembatan dengan fungsi teknis yang sama juga ada di Jakarta Kota (Jembatan Kota Intan, 1628) dan Palembang (Jembatan Ampera, 1962). Bedanya, ked

WORLD HERITAGE SITE : DE BEEMSTER

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I tried to visit the World Heritage Sites as many as possible. But sometimes I forget to take a look the sites in my neighbourhood. I have found out that the Netherlands has seven world heritage sites, six are in the country and one is in Curacao, South America. So I decided that I will visit at least the six sites from now on. The first site I have visited last Saturday (16 May) was de Beemster in the north of Holland. It used to be a lake called Beemster and in the early 17th century was reclamated into more than 7 thousand hectares. It was declared as a world heritage sites in 1999 as an example of man-made creative masterpiece to enable its inhabitants to live about 3,5 below the sea level. It took 43 windmills to drain the lake between 1607-1612. It was a giant's step forward in man's relationship with water. The success of reclamation of Beemster Lake has inspired many other reclamations both in Holland and abroad since that century. The land was divided into symetr

MULTICULTURAL DINNER

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With over 170 different nationalities and a 45% ethnic minority, the population of Amsterdam is one of the most diverse in Europe. It is a picture also of other big cities in the Netherlands. In a more personal perspective I could give you a tiny example of a dinner I have attended on 10 May. It was a dinner in a friend's house and all attendees cooked something specific from their origin countries. We have ended up with delicacies from Indonesia, Jordania, Aljazair, Poland and Somalia. It was fun to try new tastes from various countries. But it also show that our society has a rich culture that should be a social capital instead of social threat as much discussed lately. Only when everyone is willing to integrate and simultaniously maintain their own identity. No need to confront both sides because an identity could be a blend of a lot of things and if all those things are genetic or historically attached to someone, nobody can erase them. It is healthier to admit the fact and no

LONG LIVE THE WINDMILL!

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Saturday and Sunday, 9-10 May 2009 were the Windmill Days in the Netherlands. I was always enthusiast about windmills. Somewhow it offers me a feeling about tratidion, history and something typical Dutch. My family and I biked to Abcoude to the first windmill but it was closed due to restoration. Then we went to Weesp and visited one of the windmill in Utrechtsestraat. The windmill is called "De Vriendschap" (The Friendship) built in 1694. It is still active with flour production using wind as the power generator. For me it was impressive to see the interior of the windmill during the flour production and to listen to stories that windmill can be used for various function that needs huge power. I think it is smart to take benefit of the wind since Holland is windy most of the time of the year. Public, especially children and foreign tourists, visited the Friendship windmill last Saturday. It was nice to see how young generation learn about the windmill. They could eat &quo

FUN HISTORY

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Between 19-25 April I accompanied 6 colleagues from Yogyakarta and Jakarta on their visit to the Netherlands related to the heritage education pilot project sponsored by the the Dutch Government. We visited a lot of institutions and one impressed me : ANNO. ANNO is located in the Hague and this organization has task to promote history of Netherlands to public and education institutions. To give a quick picture : ANNO has organised an exhibition about history of beauty in shopping malls. How perception about beauty changes from time to time. This relativism of beauty is the message of the exhibition. The fact that ANNO exhibited its works in malls has intrigued me since I have tried to do the same in Medan several years ago. Many Indonesians love malls and they visit malls regularly. So in Medan we have cooperated with some malls to exhibit "Medan in the Past" showing black & white pictures from the good old days when Medan still looked clean, green and romantic. Many vie

SENSITIVITAS FUNGSI BARU BANGUNAN BERSEJARAH

Warta Kota, 27 Maret 2009 Bangunan berusia minimal 50 tahun yang mempunyai kekhususan dari segi arsitektural dan menjadi bagian dari memori kolektif masyarakat layak disebut sebagai bangunan bersejarah. Indonesia mempunyai banyak sekali bangunan bersejarah yang sifatnya tradisional maupun kolonial. Untuk melestarikan bangunan bersejarah, selain peremajaan secara fisik juga perlu adanya fungsi baru. Fungsi baru bangunan bersejarah sebaiknya memperhatikan aspek-aspek : · Tata kota (lokasi bangunan dan lingkungan sekitar) · Fisik bangunan (arsitektural, konstruksi, organisasi ruang, fisika bangunan) · Ekonomi (potensi untuk memobilisasi pendapatan) · Sosial (potensi untuk kesejahteraan dan kebanggaan masyarakat) Pengalaman menunjukkan bahwa memutuskan fungsi baru bangunan bersejarah tidaklah sederhana karena selain harus memperhatikan nilai fisik, kita juga harus menimbang dengan cermat nilai intrinsiknya. Mungkin itu sebabnya kasus Buddha Bar di Jakarta menyeruak karena fungsi yang

KAWASAN BERSEJARAH BEBAS KENDARAAN

Warta Kota, 30 April 2009 Salahsatu aspek penting dalam pelestarian pusaka adalah pengelolaan lalulintas khususnya di kawasan bersejarah di pusat kota. Lalu lintas harus dibatasi seminimal mungkin untuk mengurangi dampaknya terhadap bangunan bersejarah sekaligus menciptakan kenyamanan bagi para pengunjung. Lalu lintas menciptakan polusi suara dan polusi udara; serta merusak fungsi sosial dan rekreasi yang ditawarkan oleh jalan, gang dan trotoar. Bagi kawasan bersejarah seperti Jakarta Kota, Braga di Bandung, Malioboro di Yogyakarta atau Kesawan di Medan dampak polusi udara lalu lintas jelas terlihat dari penampilan fasade bangunan yang kusam, berdebu dan kotor. Polusi udara, beban dan getaran dari lalu lalang kendaraan merupakan ancaman bagi bangunan bersejarah dan lingkungan sekitarnya. Usaha untuk meredam lalu lintas di kawasan bersejarah sudah pernah ada. Ambil contoh di Jakarta pada pertengahan April lalu dengan gagasan bebas mobil walaupun hanya satu hari. Di Medan, usaha menci