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Batavian Shop-house and Terrace-house (1).

on Sat, 12/13/2014 - 08:02
Shop-house Diagram

Shop-house or Ruko in Indonesian is a type of existing buildings throughout Indonesia, even in the remotest town. A shop-house usually has two or more levels that the ground floor is for shop and the floors above is for living. In the past because of construction limitations, a shop-house is only erected two floors. Now people built a shop-house up to three or four floors. There is also one story shop-house, of which the front part is for shop and the rear part is for living. Usually a shop-house has a ground plan up to 30 meters extending to the rear, while the frontage is narrow, only 4-5 meters. A shop-houses barely gets a yard, even if it has, it is a narrow front yard adjacent to the street, and of course, they do not have trees.

There is no shop-house that stands alone but in a row. At that rows the roofs are extending likes a long house. There is also a shop-houses row that its roof has separated wall of each shop-house but still one row. In china town (pecinan) where the shop-houses were built several centuries ago, each shop roof in a row has a different height, as they were built in a different time. There was a belief that if one built a house; the roof should be higher than the roof of the house next door that was built previously.

Shop-houses in large cities usually only have a door on the front. So if there is a fire, the occupants are difficult to save themselves. In the long shop-house the ground plan is usually extending to the street behind the shop-house. Well, for this shop-house had a back door that is very private and beyond the back door directly into the living room.

From the front of the shop one must pass a dark alley to get a quiet living room. In the living room there is a well for their daily water needs. Above the well is open so that rain water can get into the well. Around the well residents can plant flowers in pots. The family room is cold and cool. Contrast to the street in front of the shop-house which is very hot and arid.

But there are houses of which front are not for shop but the living room. The house is called the terrace-house. On the front side of a terrace house there is always a veranda of 1 - 1.5 meters width for sitting to enjoy coffee in afternoon. A terrace house form is similar to the shop-house, but its front door is small. This terrace house is always present in the densely populated city of Southeast Asia. Its door and window always have a beautiful ornament for this section is the only one that can be seen from the street. The roof of the house is the same as the shop-house, lining with divided roof or in a single large roof.

Both house types are encountered in densely populated Batavia, the old town of Jakarta. Both have their own characteristics that are different from the same type of building elsewhere. What's special to the shop-house and terrace-house in Batavia? Keep this article.