Mannerism in Architecture: Sometimes It’s Just Better

Before I get to the topic, I would like to confess a sin – I commit to update this blog for at least weekly, but then I couldn’t make it. I just don’t have the commitment  yet. While actually I need some partners who would like to help me update this blog. Well then let’s start the topic 🙂

The moment I learn in school of architecture is the moment I start feeling like the one who-knows-all. I started to critique every kind of building which I thought excessive. I like clean cut, ornament is excessive. I like square, making arch and round is excessive. Form follow function, beauty is only when the building works perfect as a machine. I tend to acknowledge myself as a modernist although I didn’t understand yet what modernism is.

As time goes by, I started to realize something. I trapped in a boredom. Architecture is not special anymore. I behaved like a man who has designed a masterpiece – in reality I just design crap which can’t be built. I thought what’s so special about architecture? Just like fashion, it’s just about trend. There would be a time where everybody wear robe, but then coat take the market. It’s changing, depends on the name who popularize it.

Now I come to an enlightenment: I’m still a student! I’m too idealist about the architectural style. I haven’t even met the world where architecture is practiced as profession. Where markets determine what you are going to build – not your professor.

Taking the form of traditional roof architecture, this building stands out as one of the cities landmark

Taking the form of traditional roof architecture, this building stands out as one of the cities landmark

This is one of the building in my hometown, Pekanbaru. The palace of the governor – the roof stands out as the most important element in Riau architecture. This is not an old building. I’m not certain, but maybe it’s built about 4 decades ago. We might think, why should they waste money on making such kind of roof. It could be simpler, ya?

But now, I could compare my hometown to another cities with the facade of modernism. My hometown has a character depicted through its physical forms. People would easily recognize this city as soon as they land on it. Even in the modern building, the architects at least simply put the ornament of selembayung, where it’s clearly can be seen at the top of the roof.

The faculty of medicine of Riau University

The faculty of medicine of Riau University

Critics might say this is mannerism. It’s not special. Even you don’t need architects to design building. What kind of architects build like that. And some other comments.

But I think, sometimes mannerism is just better. Rather than seeing squares and rectangles in every cities. You need this simple mannerism which could change the whole way we perceive architecture visually. [gie]


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