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Translation of the book about Architecture Styles in the Netherlands-Indies & Indonesia

Obbe Norbruis has launched his latest book on 9 April 2022 titled Indische Bouwkunst, Architecten en Hun Ouvre in Nederlands-Indië en Indonesië in de Eerste Helft van de 20ste Eeuw (Architecture Styles of the Dutch-Indies, the Architects and Their Works in the Netherlands-Indies and Indonesia in the First Half of 20th Century) published by LM Publishers.  

The content tries to classify various architecture styles from the Colonial and Independent periods, and also presents a list of architectural works of 150 Dutch architects in the Nederlands-Indies and Indonesia. 

This book is standard work for any researchers about the tangible shared heritage of Indonesia and the Netherlands, and I am humbled to have an opportunity to translate this book into Indonesian so the Indonesian researchers could access the content for free in a pdf version. 

Upload the Indonesia version in pdf : 






Kleiburg: Modern Architecture of Amsterdam


Amsterdam is famous for its canals and old buildings but the city has also a relatively rich collection of modern architecture. One of them is Kleiburg, in Amsterdam Southeast, a building with more than 500 apartments.

Kleiburg is part of Bijlmermuseum, an open-air and living museum consisting of a built environment (6 apartment buildings, 1100 meter metro viaduct, and green space) that has been built between 1967 and 1972 in the area called Bijlmermeer, Amsterdam Southeast. Since 2019 all elements and areas of the Bijlmermuseum gain status as the protected cityscape of Amsterdam. 

The apartment building of Kleiburg was built in 1969 and ready in 1971.  The whole building was closed from January 2009 until 2012 for a new plan. Finally, it was designated as a self-renovated project in the period of 2013-2016, when buyers purchased a basic empty living space ready for renovations.

All six apartment buildings in the Bijlmermuseum are renovated but Kleiburg was renovated in a different way. The idea of the renovation was gained through competition and the winner, Consortium de Flat, was entitled to buy the 511 apartments of Kleiburg for 1 euro and also entitled to realize their ideas for renovation.

One of the ideas was that the apartment building had to be presented in its original look, a colossal grey, and clean-cut concrete. As the project developer, they had rights and responsibilities to renovate the outer side of the building, while each buyer of the apartment was responsible for the internal and individual renovation of their own apartment.

These positive developments were recognized when Kleiburg received the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, Mies van der Rohe Award in 2017. For the first time, a project in the Netherlands received this prestigious award.

Move forward to 2021. Reality check showed that the revival of Kleiburg was not only a matter of architectural renovation, it brought social-economic dynamics, too.

The City District of Amsterdam Southeast would like to gain lessons learned from the renovation and revival of Kleiburg through independent research. I was humbled to be trusted with this assignment and I conducted the research between November 2021 and March 2022.

There were two questions that were addressed by the research:

1.      Is the renovation of Kleiburg as a self-renovated apartment building successful? This concerns the period of initiation and planning, the period of realization, and the period of living and management;

2.      What influence has the renovation of the Kleiburg and the influx of new residents in the neighborhood had?

It has been an immense learning process for me as an independent researcher. I have gained new knowledge, experience, and network. I was also forced to think, read, and write in Dutch, the fifth language in my daily life. I received a lot of support and help from many people. I am deeply thankful to them, and also to the City District of Amsterdam Southeast which has opened up the door for one of its citizens.


If you are interested in details of the research please contact me directly.


Advisory Committee on the National Policy Framework for Colonial Collections

HERITAGE hands-on was appointed by the Minister of Education, Culture, and Science of the Netherlands as one of the members of the Advisory Committee on the National Policy Framework for Colonial Collections from October 2019 until October 2020.


The Committee advised the Minister about the key principles of the policy on colonial collections in Dutch museums,  in particular, those originally from Indonesia, Suriname, and the Caribbean islands. 

In January 2021 Government of the Netherlands sent the Vision of Policy about Collection in the Colonial Context to the Parlement as a follow-up to the advice of the Committee. If this vision is approved by the Parlement, then it becomes an official policy for further implementation. 

As a member of the Committee, I have assisted with editing the Indonesian version of the Committee's report. I was humbled to be able to contribute to both countries in this important matter. The Indonesian version was published in January 2021.

The reports Advisory Committee on the National Policy Framework for Colonial Collections in English can be downloaded through this link.

The reports Advisory Committee on the National Policy Framework for Colonial Collections in Bahasa Indonesia can be downloaded through this link.

Historic Urban Landscape (HUL)

Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) is a holistic conservation approach introduced by UNESCO in 2011. This approach has been disseminated all over the world.


HERITAGE hands-on was the initiator and organizer of the dissemination of the HUL Approach in Indonesia together with other stakeholders. We developed HUL Quick Scan Methods with the collaboration of experts from the Netherlands and Indonesia. Universities, local governments, and non-government agencies are invited to take part in workshops on the HUL Quick Scan. This method will be further developed and applied in various workshops in Indonesia and other countries.

In 2023, the HUL Quick Scan Method was implemented during a workshop about Labuhan Deli, the origin of Medan, 22-26 May, organized in cooperation with Sumatra Heritage Trust and the Municipality of Medan. 

In 2022, the HUL Quick Scan Method was implemented during a workshop about Depok Lama, a historical part of the City of Depok, 21-25 November, organized in cooperation with the Municipality of Depok. 

In June 2022, the World Heritage Centre of UNESCO published the publication of the handbook of the HUL Quick Scan Method for University Lecturers in Indonesia in the World Heritage Canopy. It is a living platform of innovative strategies and practices that integrate heritage conservation with sustainable development. Through case studies and practical examples, the platform aims to inspire and guide local actions that contribute to and align with major global commitments including the 1972 World Heritage Convention, the Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL), and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


The link for the publication is

In 2021, on 25 November finally we launched the Historic Urban Landscape Quick Scan Method, Handbook for Indonesian University Lecturers in two languages, English and Indonesian. The launch was online and attended by representatives from the Ministry of Education and Culture from Indonesia and the Netherlands, the UNESCO Jakarta Office, and higher education institution lecturers.


The handbooks in English and Indonesian are free to download, please contact my email.


In 2020 it was planned to organize an HUL Workshop specialized for university teachers in Indonesia.  Due to the Covid19 pandemic, the plan was postponed and replaced by publishing a handbook about HUL Quick Scan Methods. This handbook is written together by various parties in Indonesia (UI, IPB, and the University of Trisakti) and in the Netherlands (RCE and Heritage hands-on). 

In 2019 HERITAGE was hands-on involved in the HUL Quick Scan Workshop in Banjarmasin, South of Kalimantan, Indonesia. Banjarmasin, the capital of South Kalimantan Province, is famous for its floating markets and was once widely known as the Venice of the East Indies. In the present day, it is called the Thousand Rivers City. Nevertheless, rapid modernization and road-oriented urbanization are obvious challenges for Banjarmasin to keep its water-based character.


In 2018 this approach was introduced during capacity building workshops and training in the former tin-mining town of Muntok, West Bangka, South of Sumatra, Indonesia.


Besides the workshop, we organized HUL Training for professionals that was supported by the UNESCO Jakarta Office and WHITRAP (World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia Pacific Region) and local stakeholders.

HERITAGE hands-on involved in both workshops and training on the HUL Quick Scan Approach in Muntok 2018. The report has been published and is available to the public.


Final Report on HUL Quick Scan Approach Workshops in Muntok (2018) and Banjarmasin (2019) are available. Please contact me directly. 

WHITRAP Newsletter Issue 43, January 2019

Mentok HUL Training, Indonesia


More on HUL Approach



Capacity Building for Museum Professionals in Indonesia

For the period 2018-2020, there will be a series of capacity-building training for museum professionals in Indonesia to strengthen the museum revitalization program launched by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia in 2010. The targeted participants are 30 persons representing public and private museums.

Trainers are museum professionals from Indonesia and the Netherlands.

The content of the training is related to:

  • Collection Management

  • Exhibition Development

  • Audience Development

  • Museum Management

In 2023, the museum training in Indonesia are organized twice. The first was in Yogyakarta, 9-13 October, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia. The participants were museum professionals from all over Indonesia, represented by 24 museums. The second was in Jakarta, 16-20 October, in cooperation with the Provincial Government of the Special Region of Jakarta. The participants were museum professional and cultural institutions from Jakarta, total 30 persons. The main theme of both training was Strategic Museum Management. Similar to the previous years, trainers of both training were also represented Indonesia and the Netherlands.

In 2022,  Heritage hands on joined an inception mission to Indonesia to discuss a possibility to follow-up the cooperation between the two countries. The delegation visited several museums also who have joined the training in the previous period.  

In 2021, the fifth and sixth training were hybrid,  half online and half offline. The participants gathered in Bandung, Indonesia, on 29 November-3 December 2021. The trainers from Indonesia could join in person, but the trainers from the Netherlands could only join virtually.  The themes are Collection Information Management and Collection Care and Risk Management. Despite all limitations, the participants were in good spirit and managed to follow the intensive training fully.


These two training is also the end of multiyear cooperation 2018-2021. In total, we have managed 6 training with the participation of 85 museums from Indonesia, 12 trainers from the Netherlands, and 27 trainers from Indonesia.   

In 2020 it is planned to organize two training as the last parts of the multi-year program. Due to the Covid19 pandemic, the plan was postponed until situations in both countries are conducive to implementing the plan.

In 2019 the training was organized in Malang, East Java (1-5 April) and in Semarang, Central Java (15-18 July).  As one of the follow-up actions, a delegation from the state museums of Indonesia visited the Netherlands, from 9-13 December, to meet local museum professionals.

In 2018 there have been two pieces of training in Yogyakarta, Central Java (16-19 July) and Jakarta (4-8 December). 


HERITAGE hands-on is the co-Project Leader together with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands.


Reinwardt Academie introduces training program for Indonesian Heritage Professionals


Indonesia: Museum management training


Industrial Heritage in Indonesia & Asia

Like any other country in the world, Indonesia is renewing its industry and continues to adjust to new needs and demands. Industrial heritage is relatively new and the country needs to raise awareness, to gain knowledge and awareness through cooperation and collaboration with international stakeholders.

HERITAGE hands-on contributed working papers for authorities, conferences, and exhibitions and assisted industrial heritage projects in Indonesia and Asia. One of the platforms is Asia Network for Industrial Heritage (ANIH) and HERITAGE hands-on acts as the co-Chair since 2019. 

In 2022, Heritage hands-on has prepared a country profile of Indonesia for the database of TICCIH (The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage) with updates about industrial heritage development in the country. 

In January 2021,  the Report of the Third Forum of ANIH, especially the theme Youth  Dialogue-the Movement of Youth Participation in Industrial Heritage Preservation has been launched. I have contributed one part to this bulletin. 

In 2020 the Third Forum of ANIH will be hosted by the Municipality of Sawahlunto, West Sumatra, Indonesia, from 13-18 July. There will be a field school as well for students and young professionals. Update: finally this program was held online in November 2020 in a series of webinars hosted by the ANIH Secretariat in Taiwan. The Mayor of Sawahlunt has delivered a welcome speech. 

In February 2020 HERITAGE hands-on is invited to join the International Symposium on Water and Culture –Learning from Water Heritage to Innovate Regional Development in Tokyo, Japan, and deliver a presentation about Traditional Water Management in Indonesia. 

In 2019 HERITAGE hands-on was appointed as the co-Chair of the Advisory Committee of ANIH and delivered a presentation titled Railway Heritage of Indonesia: Celebrating Mobility in the Archipelago during the Second Forum of ANIH in Chiayi, Taiwan.

Other activities in 2019 related to industrial heritage were the National Seminar on Plantation Heritage organized by the Indonesian Plantation Museum and Sumatra Heritage Trust, Medan, Indonesia. HERITAGE hands-on delivered a presentation titled The Traces of the Dutch-Indies Plantations in the Netherlands. 

In 2018, HERITAGE hands-on involved in the establishment of the Asia Network for Industrial Heritage (ANIH) in Taiwan and delivered a presentation titled Rise and Falls of Sugar Industry in Indonesia at the Conference the Footprints of Asian Sugar Industrial Heritage in Taichung, Taiwan. 

ANIH Newsletters


Industrial Heritage in Sumatra


Industrial Heritage in Indonesia


Capacity Building Training for Heritage Societies in Sumatra
In 1998 Pan-Sumatra Network for Heritage Conservation (Pansumnet) was founded consisting of heritage societies, individuals, and academic institutions in Sumatra that get involved in the heritage movements of Sumatra Island. It accommodates the need for regional networking to support each other and cooperate since Indonesia is an archipelago country that stretches thousands of islands.

From 2021 and continue to 2022, Pansumnet organizes a monthly webinar (online seminar) with speakers from various heritage groups and heritage organizations from Sumatra, but also with speakers from other places who have works or research related to Sumatra. 

Pansumnet meets and organizes trainings regularly in various places on the Island. In 2018 the Gathering was in Muntok, West Bangka. South of Sumatra. 

HERITAGE hands-on is the co-Founder and Coordinator.


Download the report:



Capacity Building for Heritage Movement in the Eastern Part of Indonesia

The islands in the eastern part of Indonesia like Banda, Ternate, and Tidore have inherited global trade history as important players in the Spice Route of the world. The challenge is how to put history in the actual and current context to give meaning to locals and national pride. Forts in those islands are in abundance waiting for a new life.

In 2017 the program was Coordination Meeting between Indonesia and the Netherlands on Integrated Conservation

of Maritime Heritage in Indonesia held in Jakarta.


In 2018 the program was Integrated Trading Network Program Part II, Workshop in World Heritage

held in various cities in the Netherlands. Participants were representatives from three ministries of Indonesia

(Education & Culture, Spatial Planning, and Public Works) and the Municipality of Semarang.


HERITAGE hands-on involved in expert meetings and training about the revitalization of forts and laid the foundation for an institutional framework for ministerial coordination of the Trading Route.


Authentic Neighborhood’s Maps and Apps of Colombo, Sri Lanka

i-Discover Asia puts old neighborhoods in South East Asian cities on the map through an innovative concept: illustrated neighborhood maps combined with a story-telling app. We work with locals to document the spirit of a place before it disappears from Asia’s cityscape. Not just the buildings, but the people, stories, and collective memory.


The results were four maps of historical neighborhoods of Colombo: Pettah, Fort, Slave Island, and Cinnamon Gardens. The launch was on Saturday, 17 November 2018 by the Mayor of Colombo.


HERITAGE hands-on was the applicant to Dutch Culture for funding of initiative in Sri Lanka and involved in projects in Indonesia.


For downloading the Colombo apps

Historical Data for Inner City Development
Researchers and professionals keep looking for historical data about the built environment in Indonesia. The historical data is kept in many archives institutions and libraries all over the world, especially in the Netherlands. How to find the right data?


We published Digging4Data: A Toolkit How to Do Research on the Built Environment in Indonesia (1620-1950).

HERITAGE hands-on acted as co-Project Manager together with archives institutions in Indonesia and the Netherlands.

Download the Digging4Data Toolkit:


Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in Heritage Conservation
The restoration of historical buildings in Indonesia is taking a full swing, especially in the historic core of urban areas. The local stakeholders start to see the values and possibilities of saving the past for current and future benefits. But the government is not in the position to save all historical buildings, the private sector needs to jump in. How? When? Some countries including the Netherlands, the United State of America, and India have some valuable knowledge and experiences to share about public-private partnerships. It is about win-win collaborations and a balance between public interest and private initiative.

HERITAGE hands-on acts as Project Leader for a series of programs to support the public-private partnerships in Indonesia in cooperation with parties from the Netherlands, the United States, and India.

The Reports of PPP Programs of 2014 (Semarang, Yogyakarta, Jakarta) and 2016 (Jakarta) are available on request. 

Bijlmer Urban Renewal Program
The municipality of Amsterdam has an urban renewal program for the Bijlmer area in Amsterdam Southeast. It requires building new premises and demolishing obsolete premises. One of the obsolete premises is the garage of Develstein. But demolition can wait and the Municipality of Amsterdam decided to exploit it as a food court for new entrepreneurs. World of Food was realized in 2014.

HERITAGE hands-on with its sister company Archipelago Kitchen was one of the selected entrepreneurs and involved until 2017.


More info:

Urban Heritage Strategies Trainings
It was tailor-made training for eight former colony countries of the Netherlands (South Africa, Ghana, Suriname, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Russia) through cooperation between the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and the Institute for Housing and Urban Studies, Rotterdam.


The main goal is to equip heritage professionals with knowledge and experience in saving historical cores related to Dutch historical footprints.


These trainings were organized in 2011 and 2014.

HERITAGE hands-on acted as Project Coordinator.


More info:

Heritage Education for Elementary Schools in Indonesia
Introducing cultural heritage as a new approach to introducing history and identity is a very attractive subject in many countries but not yet in Indonesia. This project exposed the new approach with a pilot project of several elementary schools from various backgrounds (urban and sub-urban areas). 


The results are the publication of modules based on local cultural heritage and trainings for teachers.

HERITAGE hands-on was the Project Coordinator.


More info:

Capacity Building for Indonesian Heritage Cities Network
Indonesian Heritage Cities Network is a platform for urban and regency leaders to play a significant role in saving cultural heritage in their administrative responsibility. It is a strategic network that can influence its member in taking the right decisions on what to do with cultural heritage. Decision-makers need the right and proper know-how to fulfill their tasks.


Training and assistance were provided to the members of the network.

HERITAGE hands-on involved as heritage expert and in some projects as coordinator.


More info:


Heritage Emergency Response (HER) in Indonesia
Indonesia experienced several severe natural disasters and historical buildings are affected badly. Natural disasters distract local economic activities as well in historical areas. Heritage Emergency Response tackled both tangible and intangible heritage elements in recovering programs post disasters.

HERITAGE hands-on involved as Project Coordinator.


More info:


Refurbishing of Historical Virtuous Bridge, Medan, Indonesia
The Virtuous Bridge in Medan, North Sumatra, is very special. It has an inscription in three languages: Jawi, Dutch, and Mandarin. It reflects the multicultural society of the city who live side by side harmoniously for centuries.


This bridge was refurbished and fully funded by the local community. It revives the pride of Medan as a historical plantation and trade city from the colonial era until now. The project is appreciated by the international cultural heritage community through the UNESCO Asia Pacific Award for Merit with citation as follow: 


“The successful restoration of Virtuous Bridge stands as a moving testimony to the unprecedented cooperation between the residents, businesses, and government agencies of the multicultural city of Medan. Careful historical research has been translated into a thoughtful restoration and interpretation scheme that is firmly rooted in the community.”

HERITAGE hands-on was Project Leader.


More info:


Revision of Monument Laws in Indonesia
As part of my master’s education, I researched protected monuments law in Indonesian with a case study

of Medan, North Sumatra. This research helped me to understand the foundation of cultural heritage practice

and policy of the country which triggered me until now to act actively in taking part in continuous improvements.

14. iDiscoverAsia - Colombo
13. Capacity Building for Museum Professionals in Indonesia
12. Industrial Heritage in Indonesia & Asia
11. Capacity Building for Heritage Societies in the Eastern Part of Indonesia
10. Historical Data for Inner City Development
9. Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Heritage Conservation
8. World of Food
7. Urban Heritage Strategies Trainings
6. Heritage Education for Elementary Schools in Indonesia
5. Capacity Building for Indonesian Heritage Cities Network
4. Heritage Emergency Response (HER) in Indonesia
3. Capacity Building Training for Heritage Societies in Sumatra
2. Refurbishing of Historical Virtous Bridge, Medan, Indonesia
1. Revision of Monument Laws in Indonesia
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