Aceh Tsunami Museum at Indonesia Architect Week Seoul 2017

Aug 09, 2017


Tsunami-Museum-facade--by-Masdar-Djamaluddin The-Tsunami-Passage

We are proud to announce that our project, Tsunami Museum, will be exhibited in the upcoming Indonesia Architecture Week @Seoul, September 2-10, 2017. Indonesia Architecture Week is an annual exhibition promoting Indonesian Architecture. This year the theme is “Architecture and the City: Indonesian Architecture, Responses, Approaches, and Process.”

The Aceh Tsunami Museum, located in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, is a museum designed as a symbolic reminder of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami disaster, as well as an educational center and an emergency disaster shelter in case the area is ever hit by a tsunami again. The idea of having this museum/memorial/tsunami learning center was initiated by some local community in Aceh, after learning that several towns wanted to have their own museum/memorial. The idea of centralized memorial was then exposed to government for their approval.

The Museum was open to public in 2009 after two years of design and construction processes. Built on the land area of 2000 m2 it has a total area around 2500 m2. The 4 stories museum consists of memorial hall in the ground floor, reflecting pool and public open space on the first floor, exhibition area, lounge and office on the second floor and temporary exhibition, conference room, library, restaurant and auditorium on the third floor. On top of those floors, the green rooftop is also used as a viewing deck and evacuation area during the flood. As one of the Banda Aceh city’s public buildings, the museum is integrated with the surrounding areas especially with the town square and the colonial graveyard. The design concept draws its inspiration in part from the traditional Aceh “house on stilts” structure (Rumoh Aceh), a common feature of local housing designed to combat flooding. The ground floor of the building is an open space that allows public interaction whilst serving as a thoroughfare for flood water to pass through and minimizing the risk of structural damage. As a gesture to the local culture this the museum walls are adorned with images of people performing the Saman dance, a symbolic gesture dedicated to the strength, discipline and religious beliefs of the Acehnese people.

To enjoy the museum, the visitors are invited to enter the building through a dark, narrow corridor between two high walls of water – meant to recreate and resemble the sound of the tsunami event before the visitors entering the victim chamber where their names are inscribed on the very tall circular wall and the memorial halls of totally dark space that contains twenty LCD computers depicting the tsunami event and all the efforts to relief the situation. After contemplating the event in the Memorial Hall the visitor are directed to ascent a ramp to the first floor by floating above a reflecting pool in the ground floor.

The building acknowledges both the victims, whose names are inscribed on the wall of one of the museum’s internal chambers, and the surviving members of the local four-story structure; its long curving walls community. In addition to its role as a memorial for those who died, the museum also offers a place of refuge from future such events, including an “escape hill” for visitors to run to in the event of another tsunami.

The Tsunami Museum Aceh project was designed to become a new landmark after Baiturrahman Mosque, a new public space, architecture of memoirs and also become escape hill (for disaster prevention). The technological innovation applied on facade design with GRC molding. It is a new innovation of museum in Indonesia by providing restaurant, meeting room an roof top for rent. This project was using standard technical expertise and project management.


Photo of Aceh Tsunami Museum by Masdar Djamaluddin


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