Proposed Trowulan museum promises bird's eye view of Majapahit

Following last year’s controversy over the government’s plan to build a Majapahit Information Centre on top of the actual ruins of Majapahit, this proposed architectural design is quite novel: a modular, lightweight and collapsible structure that allows visitors to peer over the ruins while doing minimal damage to the ground below it.

Putting Trowulan into perspective
Jakarta Post, 07 January 2009

Think outside the box. This will not be a four-walled museum where glass-boxed artifacts are the only things visitors will see.

The promised Trowulan open museum will allow a bird’s-eye perspective through which one can marvel at the scale and ingenuity of the ancient Majapahit city.

A recent architectural design competition chose the concept offered by Jakarta-based architect Yori Antar, a set of knock-down structural modules standing on a traditional foundation that has long in use in use in the country.

“It’s a project that requires more sensitivity. We need to set aside our egos and build not an architectural piece, but instead put a semi-permanent installation to allow visitors to observe the site,” Yori says.

If this museum pulls off, it will be quite interesting to see if other archaeological sites adopt similar designs. The only other similar concept I can think of is the archaeological exhibit in Fort Canning Hill in Singapore, where a permanent shelter and information display is built around the existing archaeological site. Full story of the Trowulan museum here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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