During the 1950s, a distinctive architecture, known by Indonesians as 'jengki style' (after the word 'yankee' - the American armed forces) appeared. Johan Silas speculates that this distinctive architecture is an expression of the political spirit of freedom among the Indonesians.Ref.5 The spirit of freedom translated into an architecture that differs from what the Dutch had done. The modern cubic and strict geometric forms are transformed into more complicated volumes, such as pentagons or other irregular solids. Roofs are pitched, the surface and composition are festive. These characteristics are not commonly found elsewhere in Europe and America. More surprisingly, these distinctive forms are mostly designed by construction companies, or architecture students of Bandung Institute of Technology ( where the Department of Architecture was established in 1951). (Fig 11)
|Fig. 11: A house in Jengki|
('Yankee') style, Sarangan - East Java
As the copying of European and American modern architecture became the spirit of the age among newly independent nations of the third world, Indonesia saw that its architectural education was the primary vehicle to achieve it. Initially established under Dutch professors, in the mid 1950s they had to leave due to political difficulties between Indonesia and the Netherlands. For a short period some German professors managed the department, but by the end of the 1950s Americans, as well as Indonesian graduates from American universities, took over. Consequently, the graduates of ITB are most influenced by American architecture. Among those graduates who practice in Surabaya are the late Djelantik, Harjono Sigit, Johan Silas and Harry Winarno Kwari. (Fig 12) Their works represent the general stream of architectural style in the first half of the 1970s. Their designs mostly were inspired by Latin American architects and are characterized by the dominance of brise-soleil, strict geometry, and repetition of facade elements. Djelantik's administration building of the Surabaya Institute of Technology is directly comparable to the Unité d'Habitation of Le Corbusier. The first half of the1970s was clearly the heyday of the International Style. Conversations with the above mentioned architects shows that they refuse to be blamed for westernizing Indonesian architecture. "I am working in the modern spirit of architecture," is a typical reply. Here, we see that the term westernization is refused, or, is interchangeable with modernization.
|Fig. 12: A Rice Mill Office, Sukorejo - East Java, designed by Harjono Sigit|