Microlibrary Hanging Gardens

Social / 4th Quarter 2019

Microlibrary Hanging Gardens

by Florian Heinzelmann

The story of the Microlibrary Hanging Gardens at Babakansari, Kiaracondong, Bandung is a somewhat extended one: what we imagined to be simple turned out to be challenging. SHAU was assigned by Ridwan Kamil—then mayor of Bandung; now governor of West Java—to design another microlibrary after completing the Bima and Taman Lansia ones with the help of corporate social responsibility (CSR) funding from Manila Water. (The CSR funding model, in comparison to the governmental budget, ensured that the architect could assign a preferred contractor and had control over the building realisation.)

Aerial view

SHAU was presented with several possibilities for potential sites and went on to research each of these locations and narrowed it down to two, both at the Babakansari neighbourhood. The first site was located near the CSR funding partner’s headquarters, not strategically located, within a somewhat less frequented middle-class neighbourhood. Placing the building there would have defied the purpose of microlibraries bringing literacy to those who need it most.

The second location, which SHAU pushed for and where the microlibrary finally got built, is situated at a small square used for parking scooters and basketball, adjacent to a local traffic artery, military compound, neighbourhood district office, small hospital and elementary school. This ensures maximum exposure to the locals with an easy access, but most importantly, following lessons learnt from the Bima Microlibrary, that it plugs into an existing place that already has activities, rather than having to jump-start programmes from zero.

The building was inaugurated at the end of April 2019 and the community is eagerly anticipating the rainy season to continue the planting of additional vegetation.


Project Name Microlibrary Hanging Gardens
Location Bandung, Indonesia
Completion Date 29 April 2019
Site Area 323 square metres
Gross Floor Area 175.5 square metres
Number of Rooms 1 room
Building Height 6.5 metres
Clients/Owners Manila Water; City of Bandung
Architecture Firm SHAU Indonesia
Principal Architects Florian Heinzelmann; Daliana Suryawinata
Design Team Rizki Supratman; Muhammad Ichsan; Timothy Vittorio; Sneha Arvind
Main Contractor Dicky Lesmana
Civil & Structural Engineer Joko Agus Catur Wibowo
Images/Photos SHAU Indonesia; Dudi Sugandi

To read the complete article, get your hardcopy at our online shop/newsstands/major bookstores; subscribe to FuturArc or download the FuturArc App to read the issues for free!