Reinterpretation of Architectural Identity in a Tidal Waterfront City (Case Study:Transformation of the Riverbank Area in Banjarmasin’s Old City Center)

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Senior Lecturer, Architecture Department of Parahyangan Catholic University-Bandung, Indonesia.

2 Doctor Architecture – Graduate School, Parahyangan Catholic University

3 Faculty of Engineering, Christian University of Indonesia


Banjarmasin is known as a tidal waterfront city and it is called City of a Thousand Rivers. The city level was approximately -16 cm below the sea level and almost a swamp-land. The urbanization and the city development programs have changed the city’s physical and spatial plan from a wetland to a mainland structure. The issues of the city's transformation have changed the city structure from the waterfront city into the mainland city. Confusion about its architectural identity occurs in the tidal land context from the water-based architectural typology transformation to land-based architectural typology. Reinterpretation of architectural identity needs to be made so that the image of the tidal city will not disappear. The purpose of this study is to revive the architectural identity of Banjarmasin city. This research will be useful for academic and practices for the local management control of the city’s government The research procedures could be interpreted as typo-morphological in a tidal waterfront city, through several approaches employing the interpretive-descriptive-retrospective methods in the history of Banjarmasin’s urban development and Banjar’s community adaptation in this tidal environment.The research findings are: The architectural identity of tidal city can be found in the adaptation of Banjar’s community behavior; The architectural tidal identity has been fading, becoming ambiguous and unfamiliar to the present generation of Banjar community; Reinterpretation of the tidal architectural identity may serve as a guideline for the city’s lay-out developing from the architectural design of the present and the future.


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