Alun-alun Kejaksan, a 1.2-hectare gathering square is located in the city of Cirebon in West Java next to the important At-Taqwa Mosque. Cirebon, being a former Sultanate has a rich history also due to its location as a coastal town with important harbor and therefore various cultures being influential. Alun-alun in itself is a unique urban Indonesian typology of open-air plaza adjacent to a palace, a governmental center, a mosque, or a market.
▼项目概览，general view © Kemala Montesa
Despite its prominent location, the site had not been used to its full potential. Although the project is commissioned by the Governor of West Java, additional stakeholders also formed the design brief. Firstly, the At-Taqwa mosque claims informal ownership of the adjacent formerly barren land especially during important Islamic holidays where they need to extend the area of prayer to the outside due to high attendance. Secondly, the municipality and citizens are in dire need for a public space to recreate and gather in the city center, while maintaining the business of existing street vendors and therefore accommodating them into a hawker center. Thirdly, a historical monument in form of an obelisk which is cut off by a road turn needed to be reintegrated.
▼广场鸟瞰，ceremonial square above © Kemala Montesa
▼从广场望向微型图书馆，microlibrary from hawker center © Kemala Montesa
▼轴测图，axon © SHAU Indonesia
This happens via a sunken memorial plaza, with steps for seating opening a view towards the monument. The information texts on the wall are written and executed by the elders and historians as a token of their participation.
Having designed previously public space projects in Indonesia organized by municipalities and executed via a public tendering process, SHAU knows about the importance of resilient materialization and design choices. With that in mind and all the earlier mentioned stakeholder’s requirements a negotiation process of function and spatial allocations was initiated resulting in a central main square next to the At-Taqwa Mosque which can be used for spiritual and also national ceremonies and event gatherings. All the other functions such as bus stop, shelter, memorial plaza, hawker center, playground and microlibrary are loosely grouped around at the perimeter. It was also the aim to maximize green surfaces to improve microclimate, rainwater management in form of a stepping planter landscape structuring all functions, circulation and in-between spaces.
▼纪念广场，memorial plaza © Kemala Montesa
▼下沉座位，the sunken plaza © Kemala Montesa
On one side of Alun-alun an iconic Gapura was installed marking the entrance from the city and on the opposite side a five-pillar gate was installed marking the entrance from the At-Taqwa Mosque. Both opposing gates represent a dialogue between worldly and spiritual needs, emphasizing an open dialogue with the square in-between as a gathering place.
▼从Gapura塔门望向“五柱式”大门，view towards the five-pillar gate from the Gapura © Kemala Montesa
▼从Gapura塔门望向At-Taqwa清真寺，view towards the At-Taqwa Mosque from the Gapura © Kemala Montesa
▼“五柱式”大门，the five-pillar gate © Kemala Montesa
▼“五柱式”大门，the five-pillar gate © Kemala Montesa
▼“五柱式”大门近景，the five-pillar gate detail © Kemala Montesa
Educational and play functions are accommodated in forms of a microlibrary and playground. The microlibrary as a part of SHAU’s series of multi-programmatic reading spaces is made as a stepped platform which can be used as seating, while the rooftop is a viewing platform overlooking the alun-alun and enable people to obtain a different perspective and overview. The microlibrary fulfills SHAU’s and the city’s literacy agenda to bring up reading interest in a friendly setting. Both library and playground also diffuse the purpose of the alun-alun for exclusively religious or national events which only happen a few times per year and opens up the functionality for a wider audience and everyday usage.
▼微型图书馆，The microlibrary © Kemala Montesa
▼顶部设有能够俯瞰广场的观景平台，the rooftop is a viewing platform overlooking the alun-alun © Kemala Montesa
▼图书馆台阶细部，microlibrary close up stairs © Kemala Montesa
▼微型图书馆局部，microlibrary detail © Kemala Montesa
▼从商贩中心望向游乐场，view to the playground from the hawker centre © Kemala Montesa
▼游乐场，playground © Kemala Montesa
▼设计示意，Concept © SHAU Indonesia
The materiality and geometry refer to local stepped gapura or candi bentar – or a split gateway– and pedestals made of raw bricks which can be seen at Keraton Kasepuhan – Sultan’s palace in Cirebon. These traditional elements are reinterpreted into planter topography, shelter and microlibrary in a transformative way where every element stems from the same material, language, and constructive logic. By choosing brick as the main material for Alun-alun Kejaksan, it does not only refer to historical places in Cirebon but adheres to practical aspects like availability and stimulating the local economy employing local labor and a simple and more forgiving construction process. The material and formal references are also important to gain acceptance and sense of belonging from the citizens, as they are familiar with the design language even though it is done in a contemporary manner.
▼微型图书馆台阶，microlibrary stairs © Kemala Montesa
▼广场花池景观，ceremonial square and planters © Kemala Montesa
▼纪念广场夜景，memorial plaza evening © Kemala Montesa
▼城市大门夜景，city gate frontal evening © Kemala Montesa
▼规划示意，Urban and green © SHAU Indonesia
▼平面图，Plan © SHAU Indonesia
▼剖面图，Section © SHAU Indonesia
Architects: SHAU Indonesia
Area: ± 12.000 m²
Client: Province of Jawa Barat/West Java
Construction Cost: 2.750.000 US$
Team SHAU: Florian Heinzelmann, Daliana Suryawinata with Rizki M. Supratman, Ignatius Aditya Kusuma, Ryan Azhar, Aprilea S. Ariadi, Ben Barukh Kurniawan, Miftah Adisunu N. Alui, Imam Supratiko, Rio Nuryadi Santosa
Contractor: Phase 1: PT Inti Cipta Sejati, Phase 2: PT. Dinamis Sarana Utama
Photographer: Kemala Montesa