So, you remember to have seen this kind of building somewhere else?
The appearance of the building that is super among others.
The "Simpang Gumul" monument is placed in Gumul, Kediri, a small area in East Java, where planned and build some roads around giant circle, marked with a huge monument, almost the size of 1/3 of an ordinary mall. First when seeing this building, the monumental appearance is incredible. Not only because of size, but also its interesting shape. Placed in a small city, this monument building attracts many visitors, even when it is not functioned yet as a formal place. This is because roads are not yet finished (when we went there around June 2007)
The Gumul area, a regency in Kediri, seen from the top of the monument. We can see the roads and parks not yet finished. But the monument object had attracted many visitors from around Gumul and other cities.
The huge space makes visitors feel small.
When entering the building area, we can feel how small we are between the pillars. Looking up, examining the environment, between such scale (in small city) we are forced to comprehend our presence. This is a 6 level building, with auditorium room for gathering at the top of the building, completed with a dome.
The interior part of the monument.
Examining this building, we can conclude some points:
- First, it become a very strong mark for a regency where the society is not much developed, but it is starting to develop along with the coming of media like TV broadcast.
- Second, the strong mark is like a 'mall' for the surrounding area, this shows how government cares about making city landmark.
- Third, it is questioned, compared with Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France (yes, we know)
A monument in Kediri city, seen from the roof of Simpang Gumul monument, is a mosque tower in the middle of the city, that is 100 meters tall, is the higest mark in Kediri. The monumentality of the building seems to be an anomaly between other buildings.
There is similarity between this building and Arc de Triomphe in Paris, which we question. Can it be an effort to repeat a success of a monument somewhere else into the site? We can not find big differences, just small different details, like details, which are new. It is also different because it is 4 sided.
Monument Arc de Triomphe in Paris. There is similarity of scale, building facade tipology with Simpang Lima Gumul monument.
The Indonesian style and locality appear strongly on the detail and appearance which doesn't show vitality, but humble with local government's rethorics, even we can still feel the monumental appearance of the building.
Relief of the Arc the Triomphe in Paris shows vitality of European mindset, to celebrate the glory of Napoleon, while in the Simpang Lima monument, the relief doesn't show so much vitality, but simple way of life of the people and government's rethorics.
It is quite obvious that ecclecticism is very strong nearly 'relocating' a masterpiece from one place to others. Is it because modernism has coming into the local government? Or is it a way to repeat a success of a strong landmark that is known worldwide?
How can it be understood by the simple society around the area? This is the big question, because the society in this place is not sophisticated to question critically what happen around them.
by Probo Hindarto
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