The only constant in this complexity of the Kampung is the river and its repercussions on the daily life of the inhabitants. Under this aspect, the concept was built around the notion that the river is key for the success of the design project. The basic idea was to implement a continuous green space along the river, much like the Emerald Necklace in Boston by Frederick Law Olmsted, in order to improve the quality of the river and its river banks as a whole and to provide an improvement for all of the people affected by the river, as opposed to punctual interventions. The river itself is very winding, making the water to flow faster on the outside of each river bend and causing the terrain to erode. On the opposite side, the river bank is strongly affected by sedimentation caused by debris that is taken downstream by the flood. The main goal of the measure is to give the river more space and ease its flow. This is achieved by stepping the buildings on the sedimentation side back from the river edge and terracing the remaining terrain with gabion walls. On the outer edge the buildings are built directly on the river bank protected by a steep reinforcement wall which prevents the erosion of the topography. Furthermore, there are very complex ownership constellations with many small plots. Considering the requirement of doubling the density in the Kampung, it is crucial to develop more economic plot layouts and use the scarce land as efficiently as possible. The strategy applied in the project is based on the idea of gradually consolidating small plots into more economic pieces of land of sizes between 70 and 120 square meters. These new plots are filled with the new, structurally more integral units which then can be higher than the existing structures. This way the land owners are compensated for the land consolidation process by a higher building density and more living area to sell or rent. Plus, through this measure some odd plots are to be freed of the old built structure and the void is then transformed into public green spaces, badminton courts, playgrounds or fish ponds.
Currently, the buildings with the poorest structures are located right at the river edge. We propose to replace these houses by new, structurally stable buildings which act as barriers in flood situations for the houses behind. On the sedimentation side, the houses are stepping back in order to widen the riverbed, while on the other side the units are placed right at the riveredge, preventing further erosion. With the integration of a green ribbon, which is leading through the whole Kampung we want to provide a continuing connection along the Ciliwung River. With its steps on different levels it can be used during different flood seasons. The center of the Kampung is dominated by a market garden with productive crops adjacent to a market where the cultured fruits, vegetables and other goods can be sold.
During our work in the field we gathered information on two different aspects. The first being the structural integrity of the buildings along our section (section 1A), the second one being the current land ownership situation. Based on this knowledge we decided to consolidate the land and step back the settlement on the river front and to compensate the land owners through further densification of existing buildings and by providing them on the new river front with a layer of pekarangan (private gardens). Through these measures and the introduction of a new vertical building typology along the river bank we applied our overall concept of “Facing The River”, which pursues the intention of turning the peoples focus from the interior of the kampung back towards the river.