Chinese people in Surakarta live in politically influenced neighborhood. The problem is which political factors have influenced Chinese house architecture since the period of Mataram Kingdom in 1745, Dutch colonisation (1755-1942), until the reform in 1998; and how the Chinese community deals with those.
That was delivered by lecturer of Faculty of Engineering, Architecture Department, Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta, Ir. Dhani Mutiari, M.T., in open examination of doctoral promotion of Engineering Science at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Tuesday (12/1). She was accompanied by promoter, Prof. Ir. Nindyo Soewarno, M.Phil., Dr. Ir. Arya Ronald, and Ikaputra, M.Eng., Ph.D., defending her dissertation entitled â€œPolitical Influence on Chinese House around Pasar Gedhe, Surakartaâ€.
According to Dhani, the relationship between politics and architecture was the focus of theory she adopted in analysis process. Those theories were related to sustainability of architecture formation in anticipating its modification factor. The substantive theory adopted include concepts of way of life, personality, Chinese culture and alsoÂ traditional architecture formation which then developed in urban areas. â€œThe methodÂ was case study research with combination strategies between textual study and artifact study through observation and interview,â€ explained Dhani at Auditorium of Faculty of Engineering, UGM.
Textual study was used to find out texts in references about Chinese architecture and political development in Indonesia and Surakarta. This process was followed by searching of meaning ofÂ Chinese house/home store in Surakarta based on text, interview, and direct observation. â€œBoth strategies were used to enrich the proposition,â€ added the lady born in Surakarta, 7 February 1967.
Dhani’s research showed that politics not only influences architecture, but it isÂ also used as a reaction toward political policy or events. The political factors that have influenceÂ on Chinese house architecture in Surakarta consist of ethnic segregation and access opening to Chinese areas. Those have been done by acculturation, assimilation, and economic development, economic limitation in rural areas, ban on expression of Chinese identity, and Chinese house destruction.
â€œChinese people’s reaction to political policy and events can be seen in spatial and facade planning that lead to Chinese identity strengthening, adaptation to other culture, modification, new identity creation, closure, and old house conservation,â€ said the Head of Architecture Department of Faculty of Engineering, UMS.
Chinese facade traditional characteristics are seen in arched roof, symmetric flat roof, and two story shophouses. This finding is expected to give the description that political policy can be applied in urban planning or architecture formation. However, it can not be denied that this policy is not linear and still causes reaction among other architectural formations.
This architectural formation can be same with or different from the target objective. â€œOf course this finding will broaden the knowledge and can be used as the basis of political decision making related to urban planning and architecture, particularly for planning and conservation in Chinese areas,â€ said the Director of Center for Islamic Architecture Study, Architecture Department, UMS.