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Preserving Local Culture through Architecture

The development of science and technology as well as the social dynamics of society opens upnew opportunities and views in various sides of life. This is no exception for architecture, which now uses technical engineering and new approaches.

By studying the cultural values ​​that form the basis of traditional architecture, a designer is able to realize local wisdom in his architectural works. This critical attitude is clearly visible in the Architecture Study Program (Prodi) of Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar).

Unpar’s Architectural Society realizes the importance of preserving local wisdom in architectural works in accordance with the function and needs of the community. From an academic perspective, students gain experience of science that balances functional and aesthetic sides, which are also encased in a variety of local cultures, bringing various traditional themes, both in concept, philosophical value, and the appearnce of the work itself.

The works received an appreciation in the Studio Akhir Arsitektur/ Final Architectural Studio (SAA) Awards, which have been recognized for their quality by architects  nationally and abroad. SAA Awards is a regular routine event held by the Prodi Architecture Unpar.

Out of academic comtext, students of architecture bring local and traditional phenomena to the public through the  Festival Arsitektur Parahyangan/Parahyangan Festival of Architecture (FAP) held by the Architecture Study Program Student Association (HMPSArs) Unpar. The annual routine activity has been held since 2007. The FAP 2017 has the theme of “Kampung Town” which means that there is an interrelated relationship between urban and village cont festival.

This year, the series of FAP events including the national seminar, Paradesc 2017, and workshops lasted for two days on May 19-20, 2017 at Selasar PPAG Unpar.



The ability of Unpar students and graduates of architecture to combine cultural values ​​and various cutting-edge techniques has resulted in various achievements both nationally and internationally. At the national level, for example, four Unpar architecture students won the Great Roundabout of the Palangka Raya City Competition in June.

This achievement was made thanks to the success of the Unpar architecture team integrating their work with traditional values. The theme is “Huma Betang Culture”, the native culture of Central Kalimantan, which can be associated with large houses, and shared dwellings.

The cultural values are in line with Kalimantan Tengah people’s philosophy of life that uphold the value of diversity, Pancasila (Five pillars of the Nation), and ancient culture. In the end, the design of the Unpar architecture team is deemed to be harmonious with the cultural wisdom and the philosophy of life of people from Central Kalimantan province, as the Bumi Tambun Bungai.

Not only in terms of new creations, Unpar students also proved themselves capable of improving the quality of existing space. In early August, they came first in a “Karya Untuk Bangsa” workshop organized by the Buku Berkaki Community, in collaboration with Allegrita, a provider of digital-based interior services, especially interior design in public spaces. The workshop aims to redesign the reading room owned by the Buku Berkaki Community, to make it comform with the views and needs of the community.


World Level

It’s not only in the national arena that Unpar architecture students are able to prove themselves, introducing the Pasundan Earth to the world arena. In Archiprix International 2017 held in Ahmedabad, India some time ago, Unpar architecture students’ work was selected as one of the winners of the category Favorite Participants, World’s Best Graduation Projects, the only Indonesian work that won the award.

The Archiprix, based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, can be regarded as an institution that rewards the best (final project) works of architecture students from all over the world.

The success of Unpar architecture students’ work can not be separated from the traditional theme used. Their work, the Atlas of Sunda , is inspired by water as the basic necessity of every human being, which is now diminishing its supply. The project is expected to avoid future water crises, by selecting Bandung as the project reference. Sundanese cultural wisdom is strong with respect for the preservation of the natural environment, one of them through water management, making their work recognized by the world.

Good architecture combines function and aesthetics. Although rapid technological advances have brought new paradigms into the architecture, sometimes local wisdom brings answers to today’s architectural challenges. The integration between local wisdom, function, and modern techniques makes architectural work really useful for the world community.


Source: KOMPAS – Griya Ilmu (Tuesday, 22 August 2017)