Sustainable architecture – Located in a low-income neighbourhood in the city of Semarang, Indonesia, microlibrary Warak Kayu “does not only function as a library but becomes a community center while promoting Indonesian engineered wood products and manufacturing skills.” Explain to Archipanic at Dutch and German studio SHAU.
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The building reinterprets rumah panggung – traditional Indonesian houses on stilts. The ground floor has been conceived as a public space for a wide range of activities. Here, a large semi outdoor area can be used for workshops and work as a theatre, while a wooden swing grabs kids’ attention. A ring of planter boxes frame the ground area creating a more intimate atmosphere. Upstairs in the library itself, kids can lie down, play, relax and read on a suspended net while parents can keep an eye from below.
Microlibrary Warak Kayu represents SHAU’s passive climate design approach – a responsible solution taking advantage of local climate to maintain a comfortable temperature range to reduce energy consumption. Indeed, no air conditioning is used despite the tropical monsoon climate of the city of Semarang.
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The building is cooled down by means of cross ventilation and solar heat is prevented from entering using shading elements. The roof overhang provides shading around noon. The brise soleil on the facade creates a shifted diamond pattern which resembles a local mythical creature Warak Ngendog and its dragon-like skin.
Such solution prevents sunlight from entering directly into the building. As a result, the diffuse-reflected sunlight is sufficient to read books without artificial lighting. On top of that, cross-ventilation helps to drag the moisture out of the building and prevents books from getting moldy or damaged.
All wood materials in the building are entirely FSC-certified. This is possible thanks to the donor and client, Arkatama Isvara Foundation, which has strong relationship with PT Kayu Lapis Indonesia, an integrated wood manufacturing company.
The design process includes a bottom-up process, where all available products in the factory were first evaluated, and the design was developed from that.
All photos by KIE – Courtesy of Shau.
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