Saturday, October 2, 2010

Did "Sputnik" Ever Landed in Semarang City?

When we take a walk around Pandanaran Street near Tugu Muda area, about 200 meter from Lawang Sewu we can find a unique small building that its appearance is retained according to its original conditions. Visually, this building is not really obvious from the steet since it is already covered with high pedestrian trees and also surrounded with many of umbrellas belong to steet traders.

But we can easily identify it when we see a unique shape above the trees, a kind of futuristic satellite round shape with its antenna sticks on the nose of a rocket plane. Yes, this is only an artificial and sculptural object that become part of the building facade belong to originally "Apotik Sputnik" building. An old or might be one of the first modern drug store in Semarang City.

Don't be surprise if currently we could not found or even buy a medicine here, because the current owner have changed the function to become a store that sells food and snack for gift. The great thing is the owner still maintain almost all physical detail appearances of the building both the exterior and interior sides. Even the facade signage of "Apotik Sputnik" is still retained as is originated.

Maybe the name of the drug store "Sputnik" is inspired by Soviet Union's space exploration program during 1950-1960. The building itself might be designed and built during same era with Sputnik age, something that have no direct association with medicine matters.

From design point of view, the building details are unique, particularly on the appearance of free curved shape that encloses remaining facade signage that is combined with sculptural model of a rocket plane with Sputnik on its nose. This free curved 'amoeba' shapes are also found on the detail shape of windows, doors and other joineries inside. Most of the original joineries and fixed-furnitures are remained on place in current interior space which are combined with the existing floor tiles in chequer pattern.

Finally, we can answer the question in this blog article head that "Sputnik" actually have never stopping by in Semarang City. But maybe the spirit of space exploration itself was really well-captured.

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