Conical houses of ‘worok’ wood and bamboo in tied- together rattan construction with thatched roofs are the archetypal buildings of this remote island village but they need to be constantly renovated and, at greater intervals, rebuilt. A group of young Indonesian architects in the habit of touring a part of Indonesia each year arrived to find that, in this village, two of the structures were in need of renovation. Symbols of unity in the family and the community, the houses represent a living culture; the villagers are guardians of this culture but the necessary building skills, having traditionally been handed down from generation to generation, had faded from memory. The architects initiated and facilitated a community-led revival of traditional techniques enabling all the original houses to be rebuilt. This role was opened up to include university students who both participated in and documented this architectural preservation and cultural conservation project and continue to do so annually.
Preservation of the Mbaru Niang On-site Review Report, edited by Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 2013.
The On-site Review Report, formerly called the Technical Review, is a document prepared for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture by commissioned independent reviewers who report to the Master Jury about a specific shortlisted project. The reviewers are architectural professionals specialised in various disciplines, including housing, urban planning, landscape design, and restoration. Their task is to examine, on-site, the shortlisted projects to verify project data seek. The reviewers must consider a detailed set of criteria in their written reports, and must also respond to the specific concerns and questions prepared by the Master Jury for each project. This process is intensive and exhaustive making the Aga Khan Award process entirely unique.