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Joglo, A Remarkable Javanese Traditional Home Architecture•KANG DADANG Blog
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Joglo, A Remarkable Javanese Traditional Home Architecture

Indonesia is an archipelagic country located in Southeast Asia. The Indonesian archipelago flanked by the Asian continent to the north and south of the Australian continent. It has a tropical climate with amazing typical tropical scenery. Indonesian society composed of various ethnic groups that have diverse backgrounds of different cultures. One of the largest ethnic is Javanese who settled majority in island of Java. An island which is not the largest one, but it is the most populous island where the capital city Jakarta is located on the island as well.

For thousand of years Javanese inhabit Java island. They established the unique community and civilization that settle some traditional heritage including in the field of architecture. Joglo is a Javanese traditional house, which is still well-preserved for generations. And even it have been developed with various modifications and variants to remain in existence until today.

House of joglo in Javanese called ‘Omah Joglo’ is a house with a simple basic form. Simple it self is an expression of the simplicity of Javanese community. This simplicity can be seen from the square or rectangular shape on basic building. This form is in accordance with the philosophy of Javanese society that symbolizing a firmness in carrying out the principle of responsibility on ones life. Typology of oval and round shapes sketch is not on the type of Javanese house dwellings. This rectangular shape is maintained until today, although of course has undergone many developments, changes, modifications and additions in rooms and other building elements.

In general, joglo house appearance is four square building with the rectangular cone-shaped roof. At the center of the rectangular cone-shaped roof, there is smaller rectangular conical shaped up. A very unique and interesting part in a typical Javanese traditional house is the main structure that sustains the entire building called ‘Soko Guru’. Soko guru serves as a central construction of the building because its position is located in the center.Soko guru is the name of 4 pieces pillars. The pillars are made from the best wood such as teak wood with the various sizes according to the loading on it. Soko guru of weight-bearing function on top of the framework of wooden beams called tumpang sari and the overall framework of wood for the roof tile.

Tumpang sari is a composite wood beam construction widening upwards and usually an odd number and carved. Engraving on tumpang sari is indicating the owner’s social status. Number of composition and type of ornament was made is depended on the homeowners. It is usually symbolizing which have specific meaning and associated with human life on this earth. Installation of this overall framework of wooden beams using a system of interconnected system with a drag. So it has the function to bind a rigid construction. Frame construction system has a compact locking system to maintain stability in the overall construction of its roof, because it can be seen from its structure clearly that the theory of construction expenses by following the nature of Earth’s gravity is flattened with heavy loads on the roof construction will result in the overall construction of the house became stable and rigid.

Wooden pillars to support the foundation of joglo have a simple system called umpak. Its function is to hold or sustain a heavy burden on them. The unique feature of this foundation is its figure and position of the foundation is above the ground and it is not planted in the soil. This foundation can be seen with the naked eye, because it put on the ground that have been compacted or hardened. System and the type of foundation is still used today, but it is supported by the foundation stone in the soil and sloof (horizontal column) as binding structures, and anchors who entered into axis of wooden umpak or stone base from the bottom of umpak or pillars.

This simplicity of Javanese traditional house construction system is also found in other regions in Indonesia. This simplicity turns out to have a very powerful function, that the foundation was formed rigidity softened structure, so the system can harmonize the building shaking as occurs at the soil surface, so the building will not be broken at the pillars in case of big earthquake. This can occur if the wood used to have good quality.

The composition of the room in Joglo generally divided into three parts, the meeting room called pendhapa, the middle room or room that used to hold leather puppet show (wayang) called pringgitan, and a back room called dalem or a family room. In this room there are three rooms (senthong). Those are left senthong, middle senthong, and right senthong.

Until now, the traditional joglo house can be found in many places on the island of Java, Indonesia. From the very traditional style like the ones made by the ancestors, to the modern joglo house that has been modified by modernizing its construction, but of course without leaving the exotic shape and appearance. You can also find it in some neighboring small islands such as Madura and Bali. Yes right…Bali! A paradise island that we all definitely know its existence and always dreamed about to be able to visit…. At least once in a lifetime!