Rhizospheric Gotong Royong

A new cooperative vernacular architecture in Bandarharjo to face ecological and existential threats

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The poor neighbourhood of Bandarharjo in Semarang, Indonesia is faced with unprecedented existential threats. The land is sinking, while the sea rises and monsoon floods intensify. The current generic building culture is not ready to face these problems. Historically, however, the indigenous architecture of Indonesia had a very rich palette of typologies that were very much built in tune with nature and able to face its local extremes. This knowledge was lost with colonization and globalization. Rhizoshperic Gotong Royong is a proposal to revive and re-innovate with lessons learned from the indigenous vernacular architecture, applying contemporary innovative techniques to provide a safeguarding for the future of Bandarharjo, Semarang. The proposal encompasses a protective elevated city layer. The proposal is based around principles of natural and communal building and involves an adaptive urban strategy. It aims to elevate people’s living standards and connect them in the face of adversity.