ocean village

The Limited Land Area
The total area of Indonesia consists of 70% water area, with only 30% land area. This ratio is approximately the same of that within the earth scale. Thus it can be said that the ratio of water to land area of Indonesia represent the ratio of those of earth. Most of people now live on the land, which occupies only the 30% part of the earth area. In Indonesia, most of them live in big cities, such as Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Semarang, Surabaya, Medan, Makassar, and so forth. As for the further details, 60% among Indonesian citizen live in Java Island of which the total area is only 1% of the total area of Indonesia.
On the island, a lot of inhabitants occupy the mainland. Along with the rising demand of land, while the area had never been increased, forests are becoming threatened to diminish by land conversion. Not only the conversion for housing and settlement, but also for other facilities and functions such as plantation, farmlands, road infrastructure, and so forth. These have led to large scale deforestation because of the limited land, and we must start giving attention to this matter.
Maritime ­­­­History of Indonesia
Below is one of Indonesian folk songs:
“Nenek moyangku orang pelaut
Gemar mengarung luas samudera
Menerjang ombak tiada takut
Menempuh badai sudah biasa”
That is translated as:
“My ancestors were sailors
Like to wade vast ocean
No fear of crashing waves
Familiar of sailing through storm”
The song lyric tells that Indonesia, long-ago, were known as nation of sailors. With a fleet of large ships, kingdoms of Indonesia were able to unite tribes scattered throughout the archipelago. As with the society, Indonesian in antiquity were so close and intimate with the ocean that many of their housing and settlements were built on waters, reflected on so many remaining of the floating villages found on the coastal islands of Indonesia. But those villages are now being abandoned as the majority of Indonesian community were started to centered on the mainland and began to forget the ocean.
Ocean Village’ site is located on Banten Bay, at the Northwestern of Java, near the Karangantu old harbor and Banten old town. The site has so many potentials such as a mangrove forest at the sea shore and fish embankment next to it. A part of the site is also an existing eco-village owned by Muqoddas Albantani. The place is really beautiful and tranquil, different to the surrounding of the near old harbor that is highly dense with occupants. The project site consists of water/sea area, mangrove forest, and land area of which most of it are existing fish/crab/shrimp embankment. It is the potential of the site which will be improved and conserved on this project.
The purpose of this project is to create a prototype of eco-village, with the housing designed to be floating above the sea level instead of being built above the land. Through this project we will be reminded not to forget that we still have a large water area in this country, and not only focus with the land area, which is getting dense and full day by day. The area is expected to become as independent village that is able to meet its own needs, ranging from the energy, natural resources, food, and so forth.
There are three major concerns of environmental sustainability for this area:
1. Sustainable housing system
2. Sustainable ecological environment system
3. Eco-tourism system that supports community economic sustainability
Sustainable housing system is a system which provides floating housing for the fishermen so that they can get closer to the sea and no longer jostling in a highly dense slum area as they are today. The system of floating houses is made with environmentally friendly sanitation and energy systems, also with an intimate atmosphere of the life of the fishermen, the atmosphere of floating housing.
Sustainable ecological system is tried to be applied both on regional scale to housing units scale, started from utilizing the windmills to generate electrical energy and replanting mangrove forests, to using biogas for shared kitchens.
Meanwhile, to support the sustainability of the community economic system in order to continue its chain of life other than through fisheries, this settlement is also taking advantages of the potential beauty of Banten Bay with its quiet atmosphere, as well as the historical sites potential of Banten Old City, to be offered as a historical and eco-tourism project.
Finally, while the first line from original lyric of the folk song above said:
“Nenek moyangku orang pelaut...”, or translated as “My ancestors were sailors...”,
this project, then, will change it to be:
“Bangsaku orang pelaut...”, or translated as “My nation is sailor...”
The housing block of this settlement uses the analogy of the ‘floating leaves’. The leaves represents ‘green and sustainability’ symbol of this village. Moreover, leaves also represent an independency. With that form of block, this village also has a purpose to be an independent settlement, which is capable to suffice its needs of energy, natural resource, food, and so forth.
The housing unit will have a multifunction room (dining/kitchen/working room) and two bed rooms in the mezzanine level. There is also an open sky bathroom and terrace. Toilets are put together as a shared toilet so that the black water waste can through an integrated processed into biogas and compost, while gray waste water can be used again for flushing of closets and watering the plants. The buildings are made in leaves shaped platform stage, so that room under the bottom floor can be used as a place to cultivate fishes or put things.
Resource of Material
The housing units use bamboo as material for the structure, wall and floor. Coconut tree leaves will be used as material for the roof. These two materials are of the local natural resources those abundantly found at the site.
The building walls are entirely made of bamboo so that the air can circulate smoothly. As for the walls are all pivot doors those can be opened, so that the room will become very widely sensed when the pivot doors are opened, while it can also be very effective both as a working room during the day and as a family room at night.
Prototype Design for Multipurpose Building
The building shape with an open layout system allows it as a prototype of various existing functions such as school classes, restaurants, hotel rooms and shops. Thus the residential clusters can be easily turned into a cluster of school, hotel, restaurants or stores without need to change the cluster’s system and shape.
One housing cluster consists of five residential housing, a homestay, a shared kitchen and a shared toilet. On the edge of the deck/connecting alley there are small rows for the community farming. Those rows of plants can be utilized by residents to grow vegetables for their daily needs. Residential clusters are incorporated into a residential block, which consists of seven residential clusters, a boat parking circle, also a cluster of public facilities including school, multipurpose room, health clinic and so forth. In addition to three blocks comprising of residential, there is also a block contains public buildings, such as floating market, resort hotel, restaurant and stores/retails. All of them are floating above the sea level.
This project uses wind turbines and solar panels to produce electrical energy. The generated sources of electricity can be used as a source for lighting the area and other needs. Beside the large-scale wind turbines placed in a certain field, there are also small-scale windmills made of aluminum drum those can be used in each of the dwelling unit. In addition to wind power sources, electricity sources can also be generated from biogas produced from waste black water of the shared toilet.
Rainwater is something that must be managed and utilized to reduce the use of ground water. Rainwater management by receiving and using it for several purposes can reduce the use of groundwater which is now decreasing in amount. This project included rainwater management in two scales. The first one is the large scale rainwater harvesting, by utilizing water storage towers along the ridges on fish-embankment. These big-hexagonal-umbrella shaped towers are also function as a shade and create positive spaces under those can be used to perform various activities of the residents. Water collected from this harvesting process can be used by residents to water the plants, fish-embankment and also as a freshwater reserve for dwelling needs. Meanwhile, the small-scale harvesting is done by flowing the rainwater fallen from roof into wooden vats in each house, which can be used for bathing, washing and watering the plants.
Black water is a waste, which, if treated correctly will be able to produce a variety of renewable environment friendly energy and reduce the exploitation of petroleum energy sources those are now getting depleted. Management of black water can produce gas for cooking which can reduce the use of natural gas energy sources. In addition, the biogas also can produce electrical energy sources those can meet the needs of lighting at home. In this project, a management system of processing black water into biogas is planned in an integrated manner by collecting all residents’ toilets to become a shared toilet, so that the pipelines installation to produce biogas can be more simple and easy. Residual waste processing of biogas can be used as compost to fertilize plants in residents’ garden.
Wastewater from sink, washbasin and bathroom can be reused after going through a gravel filter that uses anaerobic process. Water from the filtration result can be reused for flushing the closet and watering the plants.
Organic waste of this region will entirely be composted. The use of plastic waste is, as much as might be, reduced, while if there is still some plastic garbages, then it must be, as much as possible, recycled into the craft of plastic waste.
To meet part of the food needs, residents are provided with small gardens along the connecting alleys of the housing clusters. Growing plants are including vegetables for residents’ daily use, such as tomato, water spinach, chilli, basil, mint, eggplant, cucumber, cai xin, lettuce and so forth. Meanwhile, for other food ingredients, there are also ponds of fish, crab and shrimp on the land area. Those food ingredients, in addition to meet the daily needs of the residents, can also become a selling commodity if the production excesses. Aside the food crops there are also planted crops for sources of local building materials such as bamboo and coconut trees. With these bamboo and coconut plantations, it is expected that the supplies of local building materials can be provided by this village on its own.
The existing mangrove forests found on the site are conserved and maintained to keep the ecological balance in the area. Meanwhile, the parts of the bare mangrove forest will be planted back.
The potentials of natural resources and beauty, historical heritage of the past and an environmental friendly housing project can be attractive tourism packages, especially for urban residents exhausted with the noisy and overly crowded urban areas. This area provides tourism facilities those utilize the potentials of nature, history and sustainable system of the region. Aside from a homestay on each residential cluster provided for tourists who want to experience the sensation of living with the community in the floating village, there is also provided a cluster of hotel resort. Other tourist facilities, beside the inn, are restaurant, floating market, water tourism, biking lane in mangrove forest, and so forth. In the inn that blends with the community’s floating settlement, tourists can experience a different experience of staying in an eco-village with all its systems.
Historical tourism is becoming one of the potential use of the site, by making a single lane of tourism tracks on the historical old city of Banten, connecting the dots of past historical heritages ranging from the Great Mosque of Banten, Surosowan Palace, Kaibon Palace, Fort Spelwijk, Vihara Avalokitesvara, the Old Port of Karangantu, to the marine tourism on the Tunda Island, at the Northern of Banten Gulf. The historical and eco-tourism project is expected to support the sustainability of community economic system as well as of the settlements area.
As long as having the tranquility character of water, such as those at Banten Bay, a simple building shape and a tree-branch-like form of clusters and blocks will be easily replicated elsewhere. The successful floating housing is expected to inspire other regions to help developing their area by utilizing its potentials, also with awareness of our increasingly limited land, and that we still have really large ocean areas those are not yet optimally used.
Let's become a nation of sailors.
maret 2011,
yu sing, reza prima, mohamad habibi