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History and Beauty 2

Do not forget, the marriage between the old part of the town with the new one is architectural experimentation. Cities like Barcelona is full of amazing new buildings. However, the famous La Rambla and ancient buildings are well maintained. Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's Art Nouveau building built in 19th century and unfinished, is now continued with the new technology, the beauty of being a perfect marriage between the old buildings with new ones. To design a new building in the old town, a professional architect will conduct research on the old town spatial patterns, the color and detail of the building which is located in the vicinity of his building project. This research is the basis for designing new buildings. So for them to design a new building is a scientific activity, not just think about the project fee.

Not long ago our President Joko Widodo said that the existence of the shopping malls in the future will be evicted by the e-commerce or on-line shop. In the context of this paper, what must be taken into account by the shopping malls is not the on-line shop, but the old town revitalization. Revitalizing the old town as a convenient place to walk around, is now becoming a trend in every city, though not seriously done by the city government. In the old town one will get the comfortable space and nice old buildings with a time dimension that can not be obtained in a mall. It is natural if people love nostalgia in the old town. If the inhabitant of a city prefer to shop in the Old Town, meet friends in the plaza of Jakarta History Museum, and dating at the edge of the clean and romantic atmosphere Kali Besar river, that is time when the shopping mall developers should rethink on their  investment on magnificent shopping malls in Thamrin – Sudirman street or near the Toll Road. At the time when the old town is no longer a slum, but the most prestigious place in Jakarta, the developers will leave their business patterns building giant shopping malls.

In the dimension of space and time, history and beauty is not only limited in terms of the building, but many things such as fashion, culinary, music, and more broadly is the culture. Townspeople are happy to find food and drink of the oldie accompanied by old songs from the old fashioned radio. Do not be surprised if the mode of old clothes to be trendy now. The old, the past, and the history, always preferred to be existed in the present.

We long for a time machine that can take us to the past. Tempo Doeloe, which is already history, looks more beautiful in contemporary glass and we want to live again in the era that has passed. People will feel comfortable living in the atmosphere of Old Days because of evoke the collective memory, of which in the dimension of space and time can not be removed. Collective memory embodied in the well maintained space is true beauty. Therefore do not be surprised if the old towns in many European cities are protected as heritage town by UNESCO.

History, though very painful, is still part of the beauty, which is promoted in tourism. That is why we know Dark Tourism, a visit to the sad places in history such as pathetic concentration camps in the Second World War where millions of people burned alive. Hiroshima Peace Memorial is tourism on the atomic bomb event on the second world war that devastated the city. 9/11 Museum in New York was built to commemorate the events of the World Trade Center destruction because terrorism attack.

History and beauty, is part of everyday human life. Both fused and mixed. The beautiful city is a city that has historic town, old buildings, and sustainable life of the old days. Beautiful Jakarta is not the malls and high rise buildings but sustainable and lively old town.

Indeed, the history of the old town is the beauty of Jakarta!

The Port of Batavia
The Port of Batavia