A neighbourhood icon with multiple programs - The Microlibrary Warak Kayu is the fifth built project within the Microlibrary series – an initiative to increase reading interest by creating socially-performative multi-functional community spaces with environmentally-conscious design and materials, which aim to serve low-income neighborhoods. Designed by SHAU and prefabricated by PT Kayu Lapis Indonesia, this project is a community, private sector and government collaboration– a gift from Arkatama Isvara Foundation to the City of Semarang. The microlibrary charges no entry fee and is run by Harvey Center – a locally-embedded charity group in Semarang – in coordination with the local government. Architecturally it represents SHAU’s passive climate design, material and typology experimentation for the tropical context. After numerous design iterations, the most favorable design concept was the one with the whole building being elevated, like a traditional ‘rumah panggung’ (house on stilts) because it does not only function as library but adds value by becoming a neighborhood and community center, at the same time being used to promote Indonesian engineered wood products and manufacturing capabilities.
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