Regionalism of Aceh’s Traditional Architecture at Bujang Salim Mosque at Krueng Geeukeuh, Aceh

Armelia Dafrina (Faculty of Engineering, Department of Architecture, University of Malikussaleh, Cot Teungku-Nie Reuleut, Dewantara, Aceh Utara, Aceh, Indonesia)
Nova Purnama Lisa (Faculty of Engineering, Department of Architecture, University of Malikussaleh, Cot Teungku-Nie Reuleut, Dewantara, Aceh Utara, Aceh, Indonesia)
Deassy Siska (Faculty of Engineering, Department of Architecture, University of Malikussaleh, Cot Teungku-Nie Reuleut, Dewantara, Aceh Utara, Aceh, Indonesia)
Nurhaiza (Faculty of Engineering, Department of Architecture, University of Malikussaleh, Cot Teungku-Nie Reuleut, Dewantara, Aceh Utara, Aceh, Indonesia)

Proceedings of MICoMS 2017

eISBN: 978-1-78756-793-1

ISSN: 2516-2853

Publication date: 4 May 2018


Purpose – As one of the development of modern architecture that has a great attention on the characteristics of regionalism, especially grow in developing countries. The Characteristics of regionalism is closely related to local culture, climate and technology in time Suha, Ozka(1985).This regionalism approach only takes and identifies patterns of architectural concepts relevant to the climate, local materials and geographical factors of the many layers of architectural history that clash together and coincide.

Design/Methodology/Approach – According to Wondoamiseno (1991), the method of possible architectural features of regionalism can be seen in several trends, which he calls the unity of the past architecture and the present architecture. Unity in question is unity in architectural composition. The method of analysis is using descriptive qualitative based on primary data by observation and secondary data from the literature study.

Findings – The technique of the main characteristic of regionalism is the unification of traditional architecture with modern architecture. Specific regionalism, as one of the developments of modern architecture that has attention to the characteristics of regionalism, that is related to local culture, climate and Technology,its definition of explicit or implicit results between society and architectural statement, then between the initial conditions of regional expression not only local prosperity but also a strong sense of local identity Regionalism is thought to have developed around 1960 (Jenks, 1977). One of the developments of modern architecture that has a great attention on the characteristics of regionalism especially grows in developing countries. The characteristics of regionalism are closely related to local culture, climate, and technology in time (Ozkan, 1985).

Research Limitations/Implications – The Regionalism Architecture can be seen in Mosque Bujang Salim Krueng Geukuh Aceh.

Practical Implications – The unity is not only visual but also can be in abstract quality, which can be judged from the human response to the building of how the human react either directly or indirectly to the object of the building. To get unity in architectural composition, there are three main requirements that are dominance, repetition, and composition. One of the implementations of Regionalism of Architecture can be seen in BujangSalim Mosque of North Aceh.

Originality/Value – This is the first research that identifies Regionalism of Architecture at Mosque Bujang Salim as a traditional of Aceh Architecture technique in North Aceh.



Dafrina, A., Purnama Lisa, N., Siska, D. and Nurhaiza, (2018), "Regionalism of Aceh’s Traditional Architecture at Bujang Salim Mosque at Krueng Geeukeuh, Aceh", Proceedings of MICoMS 2017 (Emerald Reach Proceedings Series, Vol. 1), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 93-98.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Armelia Dafrina, Nova Purnama Lisa, Deassy Siska, Nurhaiza.


Published in the Emerald Reach Proceedings Series. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at The full terms of this licence may be seen at

1. Introduction

Regionalism according to Indonesian Dictionary is regional. Regionalism in architecture is a movement in modern architecture that advocates the appearance of buildings that are the result of compounds from internationalism with a modern cultural and technological patterns with roots, values, and nuances of tradition that are still held by the local community. According to Ozkan (1985), in the change of regionalism states that regionalism seeks to reconsider the apparent architecture of modernism that is continuously in place between past forms of buildings. According to Jenks, Charles (1977) Regionalism is thought to have developed around 1960. As one of the developments of modern architecture that has a great attention on the characteristics of regionalism, especially grown in developing countries.Postmodernism Architecture has tried to present the old in its universal form. The characteristics of the architecture of regionalism are as follows: (1) using local building materials with modern technology; (2) responding to addressing local climatic conditions; (3) refers to tradition, historical heritage, and the meaning of space and place; (4) seek meaning and cultural substance, not style/style as the final product.

Regionalism according to Wondoamiseno (1991) is able to state that past architecture (AML) is integrated in modern architecture (AMK), AML and AMK should visually be united. Unity in question is unity in architectural composition. The possibilities of regionalism architectural form can be seen in several trends, which he calls the incorporation of the past architecture (AML) and the modern architecture (AMK) with the following trends:

  • (a) Paste the elements of architecture of the past on the architecture of today.

  • (b) The physical elements of the past architecture are integrated in today’s architecture.

  • (c) The physical elements of the architecture of the past are not obvious in today’s architecture.

  • (d) The shape of the architecture of the past dominates the architecture of today.

  • (e) The expression of past architectural forms fused into the architecture of the past.

2. Methods

2.1. Paste AML Element on AMK

One building that is designed as a modern building then given its local cultural element is called the element of AML on AMK. For example, Bujang Salim Mosque, North Aceh, Bujang Salim Mosque, was built in 1923; the name of this mosque is taken from the name of an Aceh hero named Bujang Salim Bin Rhi Mahmud (1891–1959). The area of the Mosque is 95 × 80 m and can accommodate 2,500 worshipers. Modern architecture that features the distinctive features of the front-looking mosque is almost the same as the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque in Banda Aceh (Figures 1 and 2).

3. Result and discussion

Figure 1. Baiturrahman Mosque in Banda Aceh

Figure 1.

Baiturrahman Mosque in Banda Aceh

Figure 2. Bujang Salim Mosque at Krueng Geukuh North Aceh

Figure 2.

Bujang Salim Mosque at Krueng Geukuh North Aceh

2.2. The Physical Elements of the Past Architecture are Present in Today’s Architecture

Traditional Acehnese buildings many carvings are found, since the Acehnese people are essentially including tribal-art people. The carvings are mainly found in the houses of buildings and mosque buildings. The main function of the various types of motifs and ornamentation is a mere decoration, so that from the ornament, it does not mean any specific meaning, except the motif of the stars and the moon, which shows the symbol of Islam, the motif of the marching clouds (awan meucanek) the symbol of fertility, and the twisted rope motif (taloe meuputa) showing strong brotherhood bonds for the people of Aceh, Hadjad et al., (1984) Religious motifs Acehnese’s House is the carvings taken from the verses of the Koran (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Motif of Religious Ornament

Figure 3.

Motif of Religious Ornament

Floral motifs: The motif of the flora used is the sterilization of plants in the form of leaves, roots, stems, or flowers. Stylized carvings of these plants are not colored, if any, the colors used are red and black. This decoration is usually found on ladder (rinyeuen), wall, kindang (tulak angen), beam on the hood, and window of the house ( Figure 4).

Figure 4. Motif of Plant Ornament

Figure 4.

Motif of Plant Ornament

Fauna motifs or Animal motifs commonly used are animals that are often seen and favored, generally motivated poultry such as pigeons, balam birds, and perkutut birds. Natural motifs: The natural motifs used by the Acehnese people are sky and cloud, sky and moon, and stars and sea, chain (rante), and tongue. AML form dominates AMK. This can be seen in the shape of the dome of the past architecture, which is now applied to the shape of the dome of the mosque located in Aceh Province.

4. Implications

In Regionalism Architecture according to Wondoamiseno (1994), which applies the characteristic of regionalism need to get unity in its architectural composition with three (3) requirement that is

  1. (a) Dominant(dominance): Something dominant is that there is one visual element that controls the whole composition. Domination can be achieved by the use of colors, materials, and objects forming the composition itself (ornament).

  2. (b) Repetition: Repetition in the composition can be done by repeating the shape, color, texture, and proportion. In the repetition, it can be done with various rhythms or repetition in order to avoid happening (monotone).

  3. (c) Continuity in composition: Continuity or continuity is the existence of a virtual connective line (imaginer) that connects the placement of composite forming objects.

Application of Regionalism in Architecture at Mosque Bujang Salim Dominant: The Dominant of Bujang Salim mosque is more to the ornament and the use of color ( Figure 5).

Figure 5. Ornament of Bujang Salim of Mosque

Figure 5.

Ornament of Bujang Salim of Mosque

5. Conclusion

From the analysis, it can be concluded that Bujang Salim Mosque at Krueng Geukuh applies Architectural of Regionalism which influenced by Architecture of the Past is Traditional Architecture of Aceh. On the walls of the mosque, there are ornaments of architecture of Acehis TaloMerante ornaments. The three architectural forms of the past namely dominance, repetition, and continuity in the composition of continuity is the existence of a virtual linking line dominating the contemporary architecture which can be seen in the shape of the Baiturrahman Mosque of Banda Aceh by adjusting its functions and needs.

Both the past architecture elements and the current architecture become a unity that characterizes the regionalism of Bujang Salim Krueng Geukuh Mosque.


Hadjad, d.k.k. (1984). Masalah Regionalisme dalam Desain Arsitektur. Aceh.

Jenks, C. (1977). The Language of Post Modern Architecture. Rizzoli, New York.

Ozkan, S. (1985). “Regionalism Within Modernism” In R. Powel (Ed.), Dalam Regionalism in Architecture, Concept Media, Singapore).

Wondoamiseno, R. (1994). dalam Wardani, Rahma. S, 2015, Regionalisme Arsitektur Melayu pada Kantor DPRD Langkat, Departemen Arsitektur, Fakultas Teknik, Universitas Sumatera Utara.


All papers within this proceedings volume have been peer reviewed by the scientific committee of the Malikussaleh International Conference on Multidisciplinary Studies (MICoMS 2017).

Corresponding author

Armelia Dafrina can be contacted at
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