Saturday, April 30, 2011

ITC Building, a Simply Contrast Neighborhood Building for "Blenduk" Church

The ITC (Indonesia Trade Center) Building is directly situated near the famous "Blenduk" Church and only separated by street. The building is also previously known as Gedung Kerta Niaga. This a simple old building in compare with surrounding neighborhood old buildings such as "Blenduk" Church and Gedung Jiwasraya. The building is a single block in a box shape with a feature tower, there is less and simple detailing on facade. This ITC Building supposed to be built at the latest period of Dutch Colonial Era. I have found a historical notes that this building originally known as Office building for Borsumij -
Borneo Sumatra Handel Maatschappij.

At a glance, the building composition that is consisting of box shape within a feature tower at the end corner of a crossroad is similar basic arrangement as Pertamina Building and "Toko Nagamas" at "Bodjong Street". Similar composition of shape is also found on the GKBI Building that is situated at the 'external' perimeter side of the old city conservation area.

Simple geometrical patterns are strongly reflected in horizontal and vertical patterns that are found on window, louvers and stone wall cladding. These shape arrangement is also elaborated with contrast color scheme that creates by vivid red colors on window frame members with grey plain wall as major background.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Gedung Jiwasraya, an Old Tall Building from Old City

Gedung Jiwasraya in one of old colonial building that is found in well-preserved conditions. The building is directly situated in front of the famous Semarang's Old ciy Icon: The "Blenduk" Church. These two old buildings are well set-up in the center of Semarang's Old City Consevation Area, particularly its relation with the existence of "Srigunting Park" as an open space nearby.

This is a building within a 'L-shape' layout scheme that is consisting of two wings where the eastern wing side is facing to "Blenduk" Church and northern wing side positioned in perpendicular line against "Blenduk" Church site. The eastern wing side is a three-storey building that is placed in a set-back position against the main street and the northern wing side is a two-storey building that is situated more closer to the main street.

The main entry is situated in an internal corner side in-between these two blcks of building and its position is elaborated with the existence of
a big roof dome over. The 'L-shape' building configuration creates an internal open spaces and makes everybody who walks in front of the building can properly see the beauty and richness of building facade detailing.

Obviously, this building is another great works
of Thomas Karsten, the Dutch Architect who is noted in the history as an Architect who also designed the famous Old Dutch Colonial Building in Semarang City. The building could be identified as the tallest building that prominently found in the middle of old city area. As mentioned in history notes, this might be related with its original function as an Old City Hall during Dutch Colonial Era.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Winkel Maatschapphij "H. Spiegel", a Remaining Old Retail Store at Semarang Old City Area

Just like other building at Semarang Old City Conservation Area, the building is situated directly on the street yard without any courtyard. The entrance is slanted at the corner side of the building, it seem placed in face to face situation against The Marba Building's entrance across the street. The entrance corner itself should be an elaborate entry corner with a balcony over the entrance door.

Despite the building conditions are looking aged, there are some old details are remaining visible on its facade. There is a combination of decorative pattern in round shapes and horizontal lines on the facade walls. At the upper floor level, windows that are situated in the middle of the building are surrounded with circular decorative brick works. Another round smaller patterns are found on the balcony balustrade over the main entry. It seem these circular patterns are provided to make contrast against the strong geometrical shape belong to the overall building shape.

As noted in the history based on Semarang Government's Official Website, this building is built on 1895 and originally owned by a Colonial Dutch Company: Winkel Maatschapphij "H. Spiegel". The building is originally is a retail store that related with office supplies such as typewriter machine, furniture and many others.
Nowadays, the building is poorly remaining as a warehouse. There is an old small wind direction arrow on the roof top above the balcony that maybe is still on duty after hundred years pointing certain directions wherever wind blows around the old ground of Semarang City.