Jakarta’s young architects look towards a green future

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Indonesia is seeing an increasing interest towards green architecture, one of which reflected by an array of project displays by architectural students in Jakarta at IndoBuildTech convention last week. A close look at their work on display told the story of a generation with its eye on a sustainable future. Across the board the projects made use of smart water management, energy-efficient windows, orientation for sunlight optimization, and vast amounts of green spaces. Some of the more ambitious projects went above and beyond, aspiring to astound attendants with ingenious approaches to environmental challenges.

One such project was Hide and Seek by aspiring architect Angie Dewi Halim from the University of Pelita Harapan. The building, a hypothetical kindergarten that would be located along Lombok Street, Jakarta, is covered in a series of triangular slotted panels. The panels, in addition to creating a beautiful form factor, serve as protection from solar heat and allow a large part of the floor space to be open air. The resulting building remains cool even on hot days, reducing its environmental impact.

Even more green-conscious is Josep Ari OktavianusAsama Dan Apartemen Konsep Green Desain Bangunan (Guest house and apartments green building design), from the Christian University of Indonesia. The building features large green areas and vegetation-covered façades. More impressively, the designer makes clever use of orientation and balcony shading to minimize heat transferred into the residential areas in order to reduce the need for air conditioning.

Not all works on display were buildings. The booth by Trisakti University had on display several in-depth posters with environmentally-conscious concepts and ideas. One of the posters details how “Transit Oriented Development” creates greener, more efficient cities. The concept, used in city planning around the world, seeks to maximize the access of inhabitants to public transport, while augmenting the appeal of walking and cycling. The exposition emphasizes the need for mixed development and densification on top of a strong public transport system. Another Poster delves into the idea of building an “Eco Nature Village.” A preserve that emphasizes lowering polluting emissions, water conservation, habitat preservation, and stability of the area all as important aspects in any green construction.

Some designs have more abstract goals. One such project is Reflecting the View by another student from the University of Pelita Harapan. The aim of this student was to create a connection between restaurant-goers and the surrounding environment. To do so, she employed a clever use of mirrors to bring nature indoors without using open windows.  Reflecting the View captures a prevailing goal across Jakarta’s architecture students: to bring nature and people closer.

These are only four of hundreds of examples exhibited by the more than 15 universities that made an appearance at this year’s event.

It is aspiring minds such as these that build a greener tomorrow, and there is no doubt that Indonesia is brimming with such visionary young minds. It remains to be seen what change this generation will make, but one thing is true: the country’s youth has a vision, one that must be fostered and allowed to grow for Indonesia to become a main player in the world’s eco-cityscape. (AGB – AR)

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