Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pasar Johar, the Traditional Market with Modern Structures

 Pasar Johar in 1938, from Djoernatan Weg (Jalan H.Agus Salim),  looks so clean and luxurious.  Far different from the current situation (Photos by: Troopenmuseum)
Market has an important role in the Economic sector of a city. Here could be calculated how the economic sector growth. The traditional market for me is the ideal place for the economic activity, because there was a nearly perfect economic competition models implemented here. Its not like in the supermarket, that the price is monopolized by the sellers, marginalizing the role of buyers as price takers. Well talking about Traditional market, in Semarang city there is a famous traditional market, Pasar Johar (pasar, eng: market), reputedly has been the largest in South East Asia in the past.

The history of Pasar Johar begin in 1860, when there is a market formed in the eastern side of the town square of Semarang (Aloon-Aloon Semarang) and its fenced by rows of johar (senna siamea) trees, Thus why this market called Pasar Johar. Considering the economic growth of Semarang city and also peoples demand of the sufficient market building, in 1933 its designed the compact, modern and large market by Ir. Thomas Karsten, where the shaped is adopted the shaped of Pasar Jatingaleh building.  This new building unites the role of five existed market at that time there was pasar johar, pasar pedamaran, pasar beteng, pasar jurnatan and  pasar pekojan.

Dutch soldier possed in front of Pasar Johar on 1945
(Photos by: H.J.Lankhuisen)
Its situated in the eastern edge of Aloon-aloon Semarang, maybe if we imagined its with nowadays situation its just like the shooping centre surround Simpang Lima Square, the shooping centre near the centre of crowd. Unfortunately, the aloon-aloon Semarang now is already changed into Yaik Permai shooping centre building. Back to the Pasar Johar, ithe main characteristic of this building is its six metres high foundation shaped like a mushroom, and the flat roof with elevation in some place as ventilation, makes the temperature cool even its have no air conditioner. This building fulfilling all the site that planned with no yard or open air place, makes its comply with Karstens purpose to efficencing the available land.

In 1960's, the north sides of building, meet  a change, and its added a wall around the fence, purposed to adding new room. This caused its appearance doesnt match with the past architecture and ventilation substandard. We can see the addition of structures seems like being forced, without considering the esthetic value of the building itself. We still could see it on the 2nd floor above the entrance Pasar Johar. What a pity!

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