The former DENIS Bank building is a displaced anomaly, a futuristic building transported back in time via dimensional rip to colonial Indonesia where it has remained relatively unknown by the wider world community. To put it in context, in 1930 most of the town had stone colonial buildings for government agencies, wooden huts for local dwellings & dirt roads surrounded by farmland. This strange sleek out-of-place design with curved edges was like a fish-out-water in the 30's or anywhere else in the world, let alone in the middle of the jungle.
The visual design has strong biomorphic elements of an ocean wave via curved corners, smooth outlines & its non symmetrical shape. The curves & outlines have an obvious resemblance to modern office building design yet it took the world 80 years to catch up & for its age, it is still has more appeal than many modern buildings around. Described as Expressionist Architecture from the European movement of the early 20th century, the DENIS Bank building is virtually a living piece of artwork which forms part of the city’s cultural architectural heritage. No other city in Asia can claim to have such an impressive collection of Art-Deco buildings which makes Bandung a special destination for fans of architecture.
Part of an amazing Dutch Art-Deco heritage, the former DENIS Bank building is in the middle of town on Braga street surrounded by cafes, restaurant’s & local art galleries. Not until we had actually walked past it on the street in Bandung that it occurred to us how brilliant the skill of Albert Aalbers was. Today occupied by the Jaber Bank, it makes for interesting viewing if seen from close up. Another of Aalbers’s creations with similar characteristics is the Savoy Homann Hotel on Asia-Afrika Street.
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