My reading revealed that the term “art deco” was first used by Bevis Hillier in 1968 when describing certain visual styles that spread, mostly in Europe, in the 1920-30s. Those styles were previously known as “art modern”. An exhibition in Paris in 1925 named the “Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes” then became an important event that marked the emerging of an art deco style in modern architectural history.
The rich legacy of Bandung’s art deco style is evidence of how Dutch and Indonesian culture influenced each other. Let’s take another journey to visit more of Bandung’s well-preserved art deco buildings, which are still functioning.
Built in 1933, the Villa Isola was previously known as Villa Berrety.
The building, located in Lembag-weg (now Jl. Dr Setiabudhi), was designed by CPW Schoemaker.
At first, it belonged to an Italian millionaire named DW Berretti and served as an exclusive holiday house for VIPs during that time.
Isola got its name after the building was bought by the Savoy Homann Hotel. In December 1936, it was opened to the public as a hotel.
In 1954, the Villa Isola name was changed to Bumi Siliwangi and now this beautiful building houses the University of Education.
Kantor Pos Bandung (Bandung’s post office)
The post office is located on the oldest street in Bandung, previously known as the Grote Postweg, but now named Jl. Asia Afrika.
The street had been part of a massive construction project named Jl. Raya Pos Batavia to Banyuwangi, carried out during the colonial era under the order of former governor HW Daendels.
Bandung’s post office was at first only a small office. In 1928-1931, the colonial government destroyed the old building and built the much bigger two-storey post office that we see today. It was designed by J. Van Gendt.
In 1910, right in front of this post office, there was an artesian well that provided Bandung citizens with clean water that they could buy for daily use.
Grand Hotel Preanger
The story of the Grand Hotel Preanger began with a little herberg (inn) in 1825 at Grote Postweg.
There were a store and a hotel called Thiem close to the inn and in 1897 the hotel and store were bought by WHC van Deeterkom. Van Deeterkom then tore down the buildings and built a new one called the Grand Hotel Preanger.
The façade of the Grand Hotel Preanger was designed by CPW Schoemaker with the help of Soekarno, who later became Indonesia’s first president, as the drafter.
Records show that famous celebrities like Charlie Chaplin and actress Paulette Goddard stayed in the hotel.
Drie Kleur (Three-colored building)
Located at the corner of Dagoweg (now Jl. Ir.H. Juanda or Dago) and Heentjansweg (now Jl. Sultan Agung), this building was built based on AF Aalbers’ design in 1938.
The streamlined construction and the roof deck are reminiscent of Aalbers’ other design in Dagoweg: the three residential buildings known as Drie Locomotif.
The Drie Kleur design is an important benchmark demonstrating the development of the art deco style in later years, which had grown simpler and less decorative.
Source: Album Bandung Tempo Doeloe by Sudarsono Katam and Lulus Abadi.
Read also: The last of Bandung's art deco - Part 1