National Museum

Date: 01 Desember 2009

Client: The Ministry Of Education And Culture And Atelier-6

Scope: Measurement, Redrawing, Architectural Historic Reasearch, Historic Research, Seminar, Exhibition

On 24 April 1778 in Jakarta, a scientific institution named Bataviaasche Genootschap van Kunsten en Wettenschappen was established. The institution was half formal and led by a board of directors in which the high government officials sat in. The purpose of establishing the institution initially was to cultivate research in arts and science particularly in the biology, nature, archeology, literature and history and to promote them though publication. Once of the founder was JCM Rademacher who donated a house at Kali Besar and research equipments, musical instruments and books. Along with the history, when Raffles reigned, the name of the organization was changed into the Literary Society and occupied the new building on Jl. Majapahit 3. Meanwhile, the collections increased and the new building was not spacious enough to accommodate the growth. In 1862 government decided to establish new museums, which are the National Museum lies on Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat 12 at present.

The museum is also known as the Elephant Building or Elephant Museum because in front of the building there is a bronze elephant statue, which was a gift from the King Chulalangkorn of Siam when he visited Indonesia in 1871. The Neo-classic National Museum has Greek architectural details. Building massing seemed to be influenced by classic Palladian. Strong European traditional roots settle in the building, however, the interior layout expresses the effort to overcome tropical weather by taking advantage of the use of corridor surrounding an inner courtyard. Because of the courtyard, the building can be made slim enough for optimum sunshine to light up and fresh air to breathe. Building massing and interior layout are also consistent to the axial arrangement of symmetrical order.