Friday, September 12, 2008

The Historic Villa Isola - A Skywatch Post

VILA ISOLA copyrights Eki Akhwan

Text and picture by Eki Qushay Akhwan


Villa Isola (now called Bumi Siliwangi) is the rectorate office of Bandung's Indonesia University of Education (UPI). Located on Jalan Dr. Setiabudhi 229 overlooking the valley with the view of the city underneath, it is arguably one of the most beautiful historical buildings in Bandung and one of the most celebrated examples of art deco architectural heritage in the Asia Pacific region.

Villa Isola was built in 1932-1933 by a reknown Dutch East India's architect Wolff Schoemaker for the Dutch media tycoon Dominique William Berretty. Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to enjoy his treasured home villa. He died in 1934 in a plane crash enroute from Batavia (now, Jakarta) to Amsterdam six months after he moved into the villa.

Upon his death, the villa was sold and turned into a hotel. When the Japanese invaded what was then the Dutch East India in 1942, the building once again changed hands and became the headquarters for the Japanese Imperial Army in Bandung. The Indonesian people's liberation army took it over from the Japanese in 1945 when Indonesia declared it's independence and made it their headquarters. In 1954, the building was restored to its original condition and made into the main offices of what was then Perguruan Tinggi Pendidikan Guru (PTPG), Indonesia's first teachers' college, and what is now the Indonesia University of Education (UPI).

About the Photo:
I took this photo from the parking lot of my newly constructed office building, which is located just across a narrow on-campus road from this building a couple of days ago. It had been cloudy that day, but I was lucky. By the time I finished my classes and was ready to go home that afternoon, the sky cleared a bit and provided an excellent lighting condition for this beautiful skywatch shot.

Welcome to and enjoy my second Skywatch Friday post! And thank you for your visit and comment.

19 comments:

Abraham Lincoln said...

This is a beautiful photo. I like the building against the sky.

My Sky Watch Friday blog is at my Canon Pixels blog. If you have time I would appreciate your having a look at the sky peeking through the oak tree leaves.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

The building is beautiful and would have looked GREAT whether blue sky was in the photo or not. The blue is a bonus. Happy Sky Watch!

Louise said...

That is one incredible building. I love how it looks against the nice backdrop of the sky. Good shot.

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

This is indeed a beautiful shot... incredible clarity and coloring is spectacular... a very good post!
Mountain Retreat

Eddie D. said...

Lots of layers of clouds there. Very cool.

Nancy said...

Great SWF pic. Interesting architecture too.

Mary Hughes Studio said...

Wow that's nice!!

ilanadavita said...

Great photo. Thanks for the background info too.

Baruch said...

Great picture! Happy SWF

vincibene said...

Imposing building! I like the contrast against the sky!

Anu said...

Very beautiful shot of the building with the sky in the backdrop.

My skywatch is here at Mumbai Skywatch

Virginia said...

I like the architecture of this building Eki. Maybe you could show us more of it in the future. IT made a lovely SKYWATCH for sure.

Carrie Hayes said...

This is an amazing building and I love the fact you always include the history of your photos.. Thanks it is good to learn as much as we can about the world around us I think.

babooshka said...

Fascinating text as usual. It is a beautiful buiding, remids very much of the white art deco buiding that we find around coastal towns of the UK. They are so eveocative of a time and place. Beautiful shot, and not jusdt for skywatch.

Dina said...

Such a special building. I like it! And it goes without saying, I LOVE the sky that comes with it.

Coca Cutie said...

This is beautiful!

yuanita said...

I entered UPI in 2004, so I've been passing this building for the last four years. I think the building is very unique and a little scary heheh..but never crossed in my mind to find out its historical story. Now I know it.

Thank you for telling me the story, Sir. ^_^

barking Quill said...

That is truly remarkable view you have.

pyo said...

Doesn't that building look like a ship? or cruiser? or something that should floats on the ocean?

That's always comes on my mind since I was a little girl, every time I went on vacation to Ciater with my family. Now, I've become one of the Isola lovers that always visit it since the first time I study at UPI. ;p

It's such a romantic place for couples...

And it's such a fun place for bands of college students...

But it's also full of horrors and a scary place for the ghost hunters...