Rumah Merah Tiongkok Kecil Heritage
By: Dr. Eng. Kusumaningdyah, N.H., S.T., M.T. and team
Team: Arleta, Zakky, Chanda, Irwan (Achitectur Study Programm, Universitas Sebelas Maret Surakarta.
Tiongkok Kecil Heritage
Karangturi Gang 4, Kelurahan Karangturi, Lasem
Kabupaten Rembang, Jawa Tengah
Owner: Rudy Hartono
Tiongkok Kecil Heritage is located in a small city called Lasem, which is a district under Rembang regency, in the Central Java province. It was a prominent city in Java Island in the Indonesia pre-indepence era. Lasem, also widely known as Le Petit Chinois, and its China town have developed over 300 years of trading and cultural exchanges that happened between East and West in the small milieu. This gave a distinct color to life in Lasem from the beginning of 17th century to the present time. The influences of Chinese and European culture have endowed the town with a specific multicultural heritage that is both tangible and intangible.
This multicultural tangible and intangible heritage is expressed in the great variety of buildings, ethnic quarters, languages, worship and religious festivals, dances, costumes, art and music, food, and daily life. Lasem nowadays is a small living museum with its Chinese-Dutch Indies buildings, Chinese classic architecture houses, temples, and with its social interactions between Chinese descendants known as ‘peranakan’ and the people of Lasem. The town itself bears testimony to a living multicultural heritage and tradition of Asia and Europe. Many religions and cultures met and coexisted peacefully. In Lasem one can see how the notion of multicultural is coming together from many cultural elements.
Tiongkok Kecil Heritage is a part of this historic Lasem–an old building located in the old China town in Lasem. It has Chinese-Dutch Indies architectural style, which is a mixed concept Chinese architectural style and the Dutch Indies colonial architectural style. The correct number was unknown, but allegedly it was built around 1800s. This allegation was based on the claim stated in the dissertation research done by Pratiwo, that the China town complex in Desa Karangturi, Lasem was built as settlement around the middle of 19th century. From the former owner, the building was passed down until the 5th generation of one Lasem Chinese family before it was sold to the former owner. Rudy Hartono is the second non-family owner of the building.
The combination of Chinese and Dutch Indies colonial style of the building represented the adaptation of building of Chinese-Dutch Indies architectural style of Indonesia pre independence era in Java. The 265m² building has details such as room dividers, leaf door, and window of Chinese style, while the structure of the building, such as pillars, incorporated the Europe or Dutch Indies colonial style. This kind of combination is known as Chinese-Dutch Indies style because it features Chinese, Europe (Dutch Indies) and Javanese elements.
The original owner completely designed his house bearing Chinese Yin and Yang concept, which can be seen from the way the room is divided. The symmetrical look of the façade and the rooms inside indicated the balance of Yin and Yang. Other Chinese characteristics incorporated in the building are the way the middle main room was designed as family altar room and how the building has wooden attic. One thing to be noted, all the wood structure of the building is from the original building and still in a good condition, therefore no major reworking has been done to it.
After the conservation project of the building is done, the Tiongkok Kecil Heritage has been functioning as cultural and activity center in Lasem. Several activities, events, and festivals are held in the building. The building also opens for domestic or abroad visitors and has been subjected to researches by academicians, especially the architecture major.
So far, the heritage protection status for Tiongkok Kecil Heritage is as private property, therefore the protection of the building lies on Rudy’s hand as the owner.
II. Site plan, floor plans and sections
III. Pre- and post-restoration conditions