Ancient Solutions for Future’s Hope, Reinventing Ancient Technology in a Contemporary Living

Aaksen Responsible Aarchitecture as Architects

This is a tale of a treasured process that evolves into a structure. Living in Indonesia where the land is abounding for culture and noble values, there can be found many fascinating artifacts from our ancestors if we traverse deep within.

Started from a plan to renovate the Grandma's house, during the demolition the wooden roof truss structure was discovered in a very good condition. It turned out that the timber was an extraordinary one, in which it had been preserved in the countryside of Ciamis before delivered to the city of Bandung, a long time ago.


The tree species are Moluccan Albizzia, widely notable as a fast-growing and economical tree. The potential is rarely maximized because of its low grades that merely stands around IV-V. However, there has been a long-established technology by local farmers in Ciamis, West Java, in which they bury the local timber beneath the paddy fields after the harvest season. This compaction has increased the wood grade significantly so it can last up to 30-45 years.

The timber mummification is more than about filling up the wood pockets to become sturdy, the poetic is embedded in a tale of two earth substances that are mutually reinforcing into a unity.

The design process highlights the wooden rooftruss in the existing building, by a way of conserving and expanding the truss structurally as well as spatially. A thorough expansion comprises a guided manner, from the old construction towards a new structure. An accent of Albizzia Wood is also placed around the non-structural element such as the ceiling and reading chamber to introduce the local treasure inside of the interior space.

The Albizzia House project is available on Assemblr app for Augmented Reality (AR) installation on App Store and Google Play. Also to be screened across Indonesia soon, a teaser of film documenter “Terkubur Menjadi Terstruktur: A Tale of Timber Mummification Process From Ciamis”.

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