From Colonial Ophium Factory to Postcolonial Campus: The Question of Heritage Authorship in the revitalisation plan of Universitas Indonesia in Jakarta

History and Theories of Architecture
(2013)

Team Leader : Kemas Ridwan Kurniawan

Team Member :

Mohammad Nanda Widyarta, Rini Suryantini

A Postcard of Ophium Factory in Batavia, Source: KITLV , 1925

A Postcard of Ophium Factory in Batavia, Source: KITLV , 1925

The first President of Indonesia, Ir. Soekarno in 1950 ordered Ir. F Dicke from Technische Hoogeschool in Bandung to convert the former colonial Ophium Factory in Salemba Jakarta to become a new Universiteit Indonesia postcolonial campus. Dicke still used the original form of the fabrique and add new arcades to connect and unify the buildings complex. He converted the Factory’s interiors as new classes, offices, meeting hall and laboratories.

Half centuries later, the Salemba former ophium fabrique-Campus grew unpredictably like a labyrinth and almost half of the former Ophium Factory had been destroyed and changed by the 1970s International Style buildings by Indonesian Architects.

Presently, there is a need to revitalise the site and design a new Masterplan to adjust with present condition and anticipate the future development of the University. The issue raised then is the problematic referential adjustment of authorship representation from colonial tradition (Ophium Factory), Old ‘national’ Order (Ir. F. Dicke’s converted campus), New ‘postcolonial’ Order (International Style Intervention) and Post reformation era (chaotic ‘pragmatism’). The conflict then occurred between the member of re was a resistance from the university’s member to conserve the rest of Ophium Factory as the Heritage site