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Tsunami Museum, Aceh, Indonesia

Friday 06 Mar 2009

Reflection in the water

Tsunami Museum by Urbane Indonesia in Aceh, Indonesia
Tsunami Museum by Urbane Indonesia in Aceh, Indonesia Tsunami Museum by Urbane Indonesia in Aceh, Indonesia Tsunami Museum by Urbane Indonesia in Aceh, Indonesia Tsunami Museum by Urbane Indonesia in Aceh, Indonesia Tsunami Museum by Urbane Indonesia in Aceh, Indonesia Tsunami Museum by Urbane Indonesia in Aceh, Indonesia
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 5

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22/10/09 Andrew William, Sydney
we need to be positive, at least the museum can provide more job for local people as tourism sector may be growing
20/03/09 Philip Kienholz, Hay River
Glad to learn the value of the building to the local residents who suffered the tsunami, and that the architectural team, apparently, is aware of the gross unfairness of this project's completion prior to the more humanely significant rehousing of survivors. Yes, architects, in their role assisting development of buildings are not usually able to exert much influence as to which buildings are to be built, nor in which priority. I question if this is sufficient, however, to allay all responsibility for the unfairness. Government clients may be open to suggestions regarding morality, and regarding public appearance of moral responsibility of the government, beyond encouraging the economic development fostered by tourism. Simultaneous development of housing and the museum as a suggested prerequisite for participation would have been a valuable response from the architectural community--an initiative of this sort would have needed someone to propose and organize it, presumptive individuals who, unfortunately, had not received educational instruction as to its value, and were not forthcoming.
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11/03/09 ridwan kamil, bandung, indonesia
There are facts that We think the world should know about this project:

1. The idea of having this museum/memorial/tsunami learning center was initiated by some local community in Aceh, after learning that several towns wanted to have their own museum/memorial. The idea of centralized memorial then exposed to government for their approval.
2. The winning scheme was selected on national design competition with over 200 entries.
3.During competition brief, the government stated clearly that the funds for this projects is under cultural/public building funds. They said no money used for this learning center/museum was taken from survivor rehousing project budget. The budget for rehousing was more than enough.

I don't think any sane person would participate in this competition if the funds was taken from more important priority, such as survivor rehousing project.

What happen to the 700 families that still need rehousing is very sad. But that situation is more to mismanagement within the rehousing department. It is not directly related to this memorial as some people initially thought. You should see in person, local people especially school children love this building as it is free public space and give a sense of pride and optimism to their city.
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10/03/09 Philip, Te Awamutu
Difficult to believe that all that money could be spent before the suffering are rehoused. What would it have cost to rehouse 700 families?
10/03/09 Philiip Kienholz, Hay River
Shocking that architecture follows the money so slavishly and without consideration of just distribution of resources, such as to house the tsunami survivors. Instead a tourist attraction is constructed! Talk about disaster capitalism!

<p>Architectural education needs to expand to provide a broader understanding of morality, rather than just to leave their practitioners toadying to bankers and accumulations of wealth.
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Aceh Tsunami Museum offers tribute to victims and survivors 

The controversial Tsunami Museum in Aceh, Indonesia, will come to represent a fitting place for reflection but at its opening last week a row over the 700 families still to be re-housed overshadowed the event. Accusations of misplaced priorities over the locals left homeless after the Tsunami of 2004 were triggered by the investment of millions of dollars in a monument rather than housing, but now the Tsunami Museum in Aceh is complete it presents an opportunity for closure and a chance to move on.

Designed by local Indonesian architect Ridwan Kamil, the 2,500 m2 four-storey structure serves as a lasting tribute to the 230,000 killed by one of the most devastating natural disasters in recent history, some two thirds of whom resided in the Aceh province. With many local people still in need of proper accommodation, the architect has taken care to ensure that the building acknowledges both the victims, whose names are to be inscribed on the wall of one of the museum’s internal chambers, and the surviving members of the local community.

As such, in addition to its role as a memorial for those who died, the museum also offers a place of refuge from future such events, including an “escape hill” for visitors to run to in the event of another tsunami. The museum walls are adorned with images of people performing the Saman or “Thousand Hands” dance, a symbolic gesture dedicated to the strength, discipline and religious beliefs of the Acehnese people.

The design concept draws inspiration in part from the traditional Aceh “house on stilts” structure, a common feature of local housing designed to combat flooding, and the ground floor of the building is an open space that allows public interaction whilst serving as a thoroughfare for flood water to pass through, minimising the risk of structural damage. Aside from the practical benefits, this feature is an architectural expression of local wisdom and a further acknowledgement of the Acehnese community.

Exhibitions at the museum include an electronic simulation of the Indian Ocean earthquake that triggered the 30-foot high waves, in addition to photographs of victims and exhibits featuring stories from survivors of the disaster.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Urbane Indonesia

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