Lessons from Joglo’s Tectonic Adaptability for Sustainable Future


  • Yenny Gunawan Department of Architecture, Parahyangan Catholic University




Joglo, Tectonic, Adaptability, Knock-down


In order to accommodate the dynamic human activities, built environments should always be in a constant change. Demolishing, building a new or renovating building are not suitable anymore due to high cost and effort, thus discussions on creating adaptable architecture has increased significantly. This paper suggests that architects can learn from vernacular buildings which already have the capacity to adapt from hundreds years ago. A Javanese vernacular architecture type, known as Joglo, is chosen as case study due to its unique adaptability. Joglo, as a house and pendopo, has existed since the year 1700s, and it is still reuse until now as gallery, office, café/restaurant, (modern) house, hotel and shops in various locations, even outside Java Island. The analysis is divided into two phases; identifying Joglo’s adaptability by dissecting the building components according to Brand’s layers to evaluate which part of buildings changes and how much, identifying the relations between buildings’ layers and the joints’ construction with the aid of a 1:65 scale model to seek a better understanding of six adaptability strategy. In the end, the paper reveal that Joglo’s adaptability is deeply influenced by the durability of materials and the knock-down tectonic character. Hopefully, this traditional wisdom of vernacular building can be developed for the creation of sustainable architecture of the future.


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