Situated on a busy roadside in Tasikmalaya, a city in Western Java, Indonesia, a kindergarten is run in a makeshift facility shared with one of the teachers’ house. The kindergarten is home to 28 pupils and volunteer-teachers. After a year of operation, the kindergarten has become fully populated. It is soon understood that the kindergarten was in dire need of a new building, and a new spirit.
Luckily, a new location on a rice field in the inner land is obtained. It is well situated between hamlets. A team of architects from Arquitectura Sin Fronteras Indonesia (ASF-ID) were invited to help with the design from which several workshops were conducted involving school administrators as well as parents. Around the end of 2017 the funding for the project is secured. In March 2018, at the end of rainy season, after the rice harvest, construction began.
Bamboo is chosen for the main structure for several reasons beyond economic and environmental. Due to flexibility, a bamboo structure is able to sway and bend gently, thus creating a more earthquake-friendly condition. The species used are Dendrocalamus asper for main structural components and Gigantochloa apus for tertiary components such as rafters and wall liners. The bamboo is treated in prior to last longer. The floor is raised on stilts to retain the existing agricultural functions. Separate from the floor system is the main bamboo frames that are designed to allow future expansion.
Tasikmalaya sits around 355 m above sea level, at the foot of mount Galunggung—A mountain that, in the memory of the local older residents, violently erupted in 1982. It has remain active, though dormant, and the kindergarten sits at about 15 km away from the crater. Nevertheless, the volcano has blessed the soil with fertility thus benefits the majority of farmers and cattle breeders. Aside from agricultural products, the city is also known for bamboo handicraft. Tasikmalaya region is also prone to earthquake, four of which happened since 2009.