Daliana Suryawinata and Florian Heinzelmann, SHAU: Being tropical

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Daliana Suryawinata and Florian Heinzelmann, SHAU: Being tropical
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Daliana Suryawinata and Florian Heinzelmann, SHAU: Being tropical

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Daliana Suryawinata and Florian Heinzelmann, SHAU: Being tropical
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Tropical architecture: is it a perspective on place or a question of performance? How can architects from nations along the equator, like Indonesia, draw on local know-how rather than imported technology?

Daliana Suryawinata and Florian Heinzelmann are directors of the boutique practice SHAU, based out of Bandung, Indonesia, with offices in Europe. They are known for small, exploratory projects such as micro-libraries and markets.

At SHAU, place-making and performance start with the climate. Sunlight, shade, wind and rain assessments guide upstream design thinking on form and envelope. These results also inform new takes on materiality, showcasing the use of local materials in ingenious ways.

Episode outline

00:07:22 Passive design
00:09:01 “You don’t have to basically invent form, in a way… [as] expression. The expression is almost like a by-product of having this passive climatic design strategies… And that makes it very interesting. And, of course, you don’t need any energy to operate it.”
00:15:07 “Vernacular architecture as a design reference starts first with understanding the principles behind and then the application of the principles […] It doesn’t necessarily need to look Indonesian. It has to ‘perform’ Indonesian.”
00:19:55 Indonesia and the new capital city
00:21:45 “The biggest challenge [is] how to reduce operational energy. Because a growing middle class sees the air conditioning as the solution for comfort — and especially if you build in a very high dense situation with low rise where [there’s] not much airflow. This growing middle class, who wants to have […] their own landed house as an ideal, still follows this sort of American ‘dream’: house: car, veranda, porch, air conditioning.”
00:29:51 “This is the first time Indonesia wants to create a city […] And there is a presidential decree that mandates that 80% of [all] energy [must be] from renewable sources… as well as everything has to be energy-efficient, smart system, etc.”
00:35:30 “Sustainability is [the] Indonesian government’s priority no. 3. So no. 1 would be ‘quick wins’ — getting things done within the duration that is possible. No. 2 is to keep the peace — because Indonesia is a highly sensitive context of society; so policy [must not be] offensive to anyone. And then [third] comes the quality [which] sustainability is a part of…”
00:38:37 Micro-libraries
00:50:30 “Facade experimentation [in the macro-libraries] […] can be easily scaled up or our idea of the tropical screen shading […] using certain patterns […] as cultural reference[s] as well as shading element[s].”
00:50:55 Becoming SHAU
00:54:16 “Take as many opportunities as [they] come to you. Create new opportunities if you’re not given any… But still be critical and be selective about what path you’re taking, what projects you’re taking.”
00:58:17 “I think […] individuals are inherently good. I never met anyone who really wants to cause harm, right? The problem is our systems which we are operating within: somehow, sometimes, [they] prevent us [to do] good — or allow us to do bad.”

Summary

SHAU has earned a solid reputation for their micro-libraries, a series of small buildings designed as community nodes and situated in urban settings or parks. These simple structures are a test bed for solutions tailored to their tropical settings.

One of their earliest, the Microlibrary Bima at Taman Bima in Bandung, Indonesia, is an elevated reading room, a box on stilts that delineates a community space underneath. The envelope of this box is a clever use of discarded ice cream containers, a repurposed material, lined up to let natural breezes and daylight in while keeping the rain out.

The Microlibrary Bima at Taman Bima in Bandung, Indonesia, uses discarded ice cream containers as the facade of its reading room, which is elevated on stilts to create a community space.
© SANROK Studio

Another well-known micro-library, the Warak Kayu in Semarang, experiments with timber to great effect. Even though it takes after a vernacular Indonesian house, it boasts an intricate construction technique that borrows from a German facade design.

The Microlibrary Warak Kayu in Semarang, Indonesia, is a contemporary timber building with a facade made of diagonal timber struts.
© KIE

SHAU has tackled tropical conditions in larger contexts as well. For instance, for the second phase of the Banjarejo Market in the city of Bojonegoro, they created a canopy roof out of modular umbrella-shaped structures, made up of light-directing lamellas.

The roof of the Banjarejo Market (Phase 2) in Bojonegoro, Indonesia, distributes daylight across this deep-plan building.
© SHAU

Their most progressive project to date is Huma Betang Umai — or ‘Mother Long House’ — a vice-presidential palace in the new capital city of Nusantara, Kalimantan. Their concept outdoes the Indonesian government’s ambitions and put a modern twist on the premises’ architecture by reinterpreting the indigenous Dayak long house.

An ecological palace in Nusantara, a new city in Kalimantan, Indonesia, the Huma Betang Umai is an arrangement of cascading blocks around a central longhouse.
© SHAU

The main building will generate all energy and water needed by the palace. It will also intensify greenery within the boundaries and enhance the wider area’s ecosystems.

The Huma Betang Umai in Nusantara (Kalimantan, Indonesia) has onsite greenery that augments the wider ecosystems in the area.
© KIE

The work of SHAU is noteworthy because it bridges soft and hard precepts about performance in the Indonesian context, principles which could just as easily be applied to other parts of the tropical belt. This is of significance to architecture at large, the conversation on sustainability, and design thinking within the developing world.

Gallery

Episode Notes

Keep reading if you want to deep dive into this interview’s content and get more out of it. You can also find out more about this episode’s guest/s and sponsor/s, and the team that put it all together.

This episode is brought to you by:

The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction

The Holcim Foundation helps drive systemic change towards a more sustainable built environment. It was founded in 2003 to define and promote the key principles of sustainability for the construction sector and is committed to accelerating the sector’s transformation so that people and the planet can thrive.

The Foundation has investigated various aspects of sustainable construction via a series of roundtables and conferences with international experts. It has also recognised excellent contributions to this field with the Holcim Awards which are considered the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design.

Committed to a holistic approach that recognises the equal importance and interdependence of four key goals, the Foundation combines the collective knowledge, ideas, and solutions of our global community of experts with our recognised platform of international competitions to democratise thought leadership for the entire sector.

Today, the Holcim Foundation is proud to accompany Ecogradia’s new podcast and its host, Nirmal Kishnani, with whom we share a common goal: contribute to a just, equitable, and sustainable future via sustainable construction and design.

W  |  holcimfoundation.org

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  YouTube  |  Instagram

This episode is brought to you by:

The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction

The Holcim Foundation helps drive systemic change towards a more sustainable built environment. It was founded in 2003 to define and promote the key principles of sustainability for the construction sector and is committed to accelerating the sector’s transformation so that people and the planet can thrive.

The Foundation has investigated various aspects of sustainable construction via a series of roundtables and conferences with international experts. It has also recognised excellent contributions to this field with the Holcim Awards which are considered the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design.

Committed to a holistic approach that recognises the equal importance and interdependence of four key goals, the Foundation combines the collective knowledge, ideas, and solutions of our global community of experts with our recognised platform of international competitions to democratise thought leadership for the entire sector.

Today, the Holcim Foundation is proud to accompany Ecogradia’s new podcast and its host, Nirmal Kishnani, with whom we share a common goal: contribute to a just, equitable, and sustainable future via sustainable construction and design.

W  |  holcimfoundation.org

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  YouTube  |  Instagram

As mentioned in this episode

If you heard it in this episode, we likely have a link for it right here. Click on any topics, people, buildings, places, products and/or technologies listed below to learn more about each of them.

00:03:00 “…Then there was this 1998 crisis which hit Asia…”
Asian financial crisis” | Britannica
00:16:50 “…and has a little bit of a, maybe, a kasbah notion…”
Kasbah” | Wikipedia
00:19:15 “…material[‘s] embodied energy and material usage [are] also an important part…”
Embodied Energy” | Energy Education
00:23:30 “…derives its form thinking from vernacular Indonesian architecture: the Dayak longhouse…”
Dayak Architecture and Art: The Use of Longhouse” | Kaltimber
00:25:50 “…Is this going to be a net-zero energy building?…”
Net Zero Energy Buildings” | WBDG (Whole Building Design Guide)
00:32:23 “…Jakarta always has the problem of flooding…”
IN FOCUS: The fight against Jakarta’s devastating yearly floods” | CNA (Channel NewsAsia)
00:36:16 “…it’s called Greenship…”
How Important is Green Building Certificate in Indonesia?” | Waste4Change
00:36:18 “…and another one is an initiative of the Indonesian government…”
Indonesia: Green Building In Indonesia: Criteria, Certifications & Applicable Incentives” | Mondaq
00:37:03 “…So Greenship is a bit like Green Mark or LEED…”
Green Mark Certification Scheme” | Building and Construction Authority (BCA)
00:37:03 “…So Greenship is a bit like Green Mark or LEED…”
LEED rating system” | USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council)
00:03:09 “…I studied architecture at Tarumanagara University…”
UNTAR (Universitas Tarumanagara)
00:03:30 “…and then later at the Berlage in Rotterdam…”
About”  |  The Berlage Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture and Urban Design
00:03:30 “…The Young Indonesian Architects consisted of Andra Matin, Yori Antar and many others…”
Yori Antar Awal” | Tatler Asia/Singapore
00:04:26 “…I worked for three years for UNStudio…”
About” | UNStudio
00:04:46 “…there was the Congress of Indonesian Diaspora where we were invited…”
Open Invitation from the Indonesian Ambassador to the US: “Congress of Indonesian Diaspora” in Los Angeles, CA” | USINDO (The United States–Indonesia Society)
00:04:58 “…we were able to meet former minister Mari Pangestu…”
Mari Elka Pangestu” | World Bank
00:05:07 “…and she connected us to Joko Widodo…”
Joko Widodo” | Britannica
00:06:00 “…and Ridwan Kamil happen[ed] to be there as a mayor of Bandung…”
Ridwan Kamil” | Tatler Asia/Singapore
00:17:40 “…and one was the High Life [Textile] Factory from Félix Candela…”
Felix Candela” | Britannica
00:18:00 “…is the Pasar Johar [Johar Market] in Semarang by Thomas Karsten…”
The Life and Works of Thomas Karsten” | Archined
00:24:17 “…So together with our partners APTA and Studio Cilaki…”
About STUDIO APTA” | Bluprin
00:36:11 “…One is done privately by the Green Building Council Indonesia…”
Green Building Council Indonesia (GBC Indonesia)
00:02:42 “…I’m Jakarta born and bred…”
Jakarta” (Java, Indonesia) | Britannica
00:03:14 “…and then later at the Berlage in Rotterdam…”
Rotterdam” (Netherlands) | Britannica
00:03:44 “…you are originally from Munich, right?…”
Munich” (Bavaria, Germany) | Britannica
00:04:33 “…But you ended up in Indonesia — in Bandung, specifically…”
Indonesia” | Britannica
00:04:33 “…But you ended up in Indonesia — in Bandung, specifically…”
Bandung” (West Java, Indonesia) | Britannica
00:04:43 “…In Los Angeles in 2012…”
Los Angeles” (California, United States) | Britannica
00:08:23 “…different diverse vernacular architecture, cross-ventilation, Rumah Panggung houses on stilts…”
Rumah Panggung (Stilt House)” | Setu Babakan
00:09:21 “…Let’s start with the AMN Student Housing in Surabaya, Indonesia…”
AMN Student Housing / SHAU Indonesia” | ArchDaily
00:09:21 “…Let’s start with the AMN Student Housing in Surabaya, Indonesia…”
Surabaya” (East Java, Indonesia) | Britannica
00:13:27 “…there [is] no shortage of, say, hotels in Bali, for instance…”
Bali” (Indonesia) | Britannica
00:14:25 “…when we talk, for instance, about the Microlibrary Warak Kayu…”
Microlibrary Warik Kayu / SHAU Indonesia” | ArchDaily
00:15:39 “…I want to reference this to one of your other projects, the Banjarejo Market…”
Banjarejo Traditional Market” | Architizer
00:17:40 “…and one was the High Life [Textile] Factory from Félix Candela in Mexico…”
Performative perforations: structural and daylighting performance assessment of Candela’s High Life Textile Factory” | ResearchGate
00:17:40 “…and one was the High Life [Textile] Factory from Félix Candela in Mexico…”
Mexico” | Britannica
00:18:00 “…is the Pasar Johar [Johar Market] in Semarang by Thomas Karsten…”
Johar Market Is Now A Bustling Economic Center, Reflecting the Glory of Semarang’s Past” | Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA)
00:18:00 “…is the Pasar Johar [Johar Market] in Semarang by Thomas Karsten…”
Semarang” (Central Java, Indonesia) | Britannica
00:21:36 “…in developed countries like… like Singapore…”
Singapore” | Britannica
00:22:46 “…from Jakarta to a new city in Kalimantan…”
Kalimantan” (Indonesia) | Britannica
00:22:55 “…And the new capital is called Nusantara…”
Nusantara – New Capital City of Indonesia” | Future Southeast Asia
00:23:15 “…So it’s called Huma Betang Umai…”
Huma Betang Umai” | SHAU
00:33:39 “…And we can also learn from other capital cities like Brasília, right?…”
Brasília” (Brazil) | Britannica
00:34:30 “…the majority of people lives on Java…”
Java” (Indonesia) | Britannica
00:43:45 “…So we have in Bojonegoro, in a park, the [Microlibrary] Selasar…”
History of Bojonegoro District” | Bojonegoro Government
00:43:45 “…So we have in Bojonegoro, in a park, the [Microlibrary] Selasar…”
Microlibrary Selasar” | Microlibrary Community
00:43:50 “…we have [the Microlibrary] Taman Lansia in Bandung…”
Microlibrary – Taman Lansia” | SHAU
00:43:55 “and [Alun-]Alun Kejaksan [square] also in the park…”
Alun-alun Kejaksan Square / SHAU Indonesia” | ArchDaily
00:44:11 “…we have the [Microlibrary] Hanging Gardens…”
Microlibrary Hanging Gardens” | Microlibrary Community
00:44:32 “…Then we have the [Microlibrary] Taman Bima…”
Bima Microlibrary / SHAU Indonesia” | ArchDaily
00:49:42 “…this idea came back in our other project, DipoMuria…”
DipoMuria Commercial Center / SHAU Indonesia” | ArchDaily
00:08:34 “…you have wind catcher[s], the screens masharbiya…”
Light Matters: Mashrabiyas – Translating Tradition into Dynamic Facades” | ArchDaily
00:08:41 “…like the trombe wall, solar chimneys…”
Trombe wall” | Energy Education
00:08:41 “…like the trombe wall, solar chimneys…”
Solar chimney” | Energy Education
00:14:42 “…even though we used a Zollinger facade system as a brise soleil…”
BRISE SOLEIL/Key facts” | Maple (Maple Sunscreening)
00:16:07 “…and they hold up an umbrella with these lamellas…”
lamella roof” | Britannica
00:14:42 “…even though we used a Zollinger facade system as a brise soleil…”
Friedrich Zollinger” | Wikipedia

Host
Nirmal Kishnani

Producer
Maxime Flores

Editorial assistant
Abhishek Srivastava

Sound technician and editor
Kelvin Brown  |  Phlogiston

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