Sunday, April 15, 2012


Istana Pagaruyung
Rumah gadang (Minangkabau: "big house") or rumah bagonjong (Minangkabau: "spired roof house") are the traditional homes (Indonesian: "rumah adat") of the Minangkabau. The architecture, construction, internal and external decoration, and the functions of the house reflect the culture and values of the Minangkabau. A rumah gadang serves as a residence, a hall for family meetings, and for ceremonial activities. With the Minangkabau society being matrilineal, the rumah gadang is owned by the women of the family who live there - ownership is passed from mother to daughter.
The houses have dramatic curved roof structure with multi-tiered, upswept gables. Shuttered windows are built into walls incised with profuse painted floral carvings. The term rumah gadang usually refers to the larger communal homes, however, smaller single residences share many of its architectural elements.

There is another Indonesian traditional home of the Toraja in Sulawesi called Tongkonan that has similarity roof design.

Tongkonan is the traditional ancestral house, or rumah adat of the Torajan people, in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Tongkonan have a distinguishing boat-shaped and oversized saddle back roof. Like most of Indonesia’s Austronesian-based traditional architecture tongkonan are built on piles. The construction of tongkonan is laborious work and it is usually built with the help of all family members. In the original Toraja society, only nobles had the right to build tongkonan. Commoners live in smaller and less decorated homes called banua.

Linda Garland, an Irish-born interior and landscape designer and environmentalist who has lived on Bali for 35 years, had long been fascinated by the Minangkabau buildings of western Sumatra and proposed to Rob Cohen, director of action-adventure movies (The Fast and the Furious, Dragonheart),  that they revive the architecture on his seven acres. The residence would consist of three traditional Minang rumah gadang (big houses), with dramatically curved thatch roofs and multitiered upswept gables, and one lumbung (a rice house) to serve as one of the guest pavilions. Garland consulted with scholars of Minangkabau architecture and conducted a monthlong survey of the Minangkabau region of Sumatra to arrive at the selection of buildings.

Linda Garland created this oceanfront retreat for film director Rob Cohen of The Fast and the Furious fame. Dominating the Pantai Jasi coast, and set amid a coconut plantation right at the water’s edge, the property is modeled on the royal residences of the Minang people of Sumatra, and built entirely from recycled timber.

1 comment:

  1. hi! i am so fascinated with your images here. i really love the minang homes- very cultured indeed. would you ever be so kind as to allow me to have your last four images here?
    i will be back to read your reply to my request in the comment box here..
    you may also email me if you wish.. great post. have a nice day- wan from cooking varieties