Not so many people are aware, that East Java province is home to greatness; it has the largest population in Indonesia, it hosts the tallest mount in Java Island (Mt Semeru), it hosts the largest river in Java Island, it is the 2nd largest economy in Indonesia after Jakarta, it is also where Surabaya, Indonesia's 2nd largest city after Jakarta is located.
East Java is also a province who has the largest number of football clubs competing in the premier league, each of them possesses the largest and most fanatical supporter in Indonesia.
Well, too many things to say about East Java, and i will have to spend days to write them down. I'd only focus on one little spot in East Java, the Batu area. It is located in the northwest side of Malang city (East Java's 2nd largest city), it offers a breathtaking view and a breezy atmosphere where you can get some quality rest to regain freshness and new spirit.
The last time i went there was back in 1989, and it was still very vivid and untamed, and i am not really sure what Batu looks like now, after so many years. Batu is a relatively new city that still has the feel of a strong agriculture. Maybe it is a city with a village like atmosphere. I will tell you more about Batu, but lemme share you a small thing inside this small spot. It is called The Contertainer.
Named Contertainer, is a public facility, which consists of the polyclinics and libraries, in which ordinary people can come and use the facilities free of charge, designed by dpavilion architects Surabaya – Indonesia, Contertainer also a mixture of two words: container and entertainers.
In Batu, the cultures of cosmopolitan and the agricultural meet, as mentioned before, a town with a village-like atmosphere. A bit ambiguous: it is called a town, yet it has village atmosphere; it may be called a village, but is called a town already. The township of Batu is indeed in the process of growth, so the clash between the cosmopolitan and the agricultural tends to take place. Some citizens still work on the fields for a living, yet some others see the field as properties or industrial investment for the future.
The Contertainer is an architectural manifestation of such cultural clash. Contertainer is made of containers as a cultural reflection of the open, free, straight forward cosmopolitan which is then planted agriculturally on a site for a long term. Besides, the contertainer proves that a container does not have one single purpose; it has myriad of purposes. Containers may become buildings, encouraging people to perceive buildings creatively from various points of view. They may learn to inquire their local genius in doing architecture.
This building has a unique design but it looks modern and awesome, from the view outside, at a glance one can see an architectural form made of several brightly painted containers—red, yellow, blue and light green—in attractive position and composition, thus forming a contertainer. The appearance of the contertainer in town can be perceived through various angles, for the appearance of an architectural work would be followed by many effects which it produces.
Contertainer by dpavilion architects is open to be perceived and interpreted from different points of view. An elusive architectural work, it is getting away from one gaze to another. It simultaneously tells that architectural work is multi-interpretative, everybody may interpret it from her/his point.
Is the Contertainer, as an architectural piece, justified? Forget container, entertainer, culture, economy and the likes. Just see and experience it. Consider that we only have our eyes as the only elements of our bodies; the eyes will always have the opportunity to reveal the hidden. Architecture which alludes. Apart from the issue of right-or-wrong, good-bad or beautiful-ugly, Contertainer is still attractive and provocative. Wanna buy?
Photography: Ganny Gozaly