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“Back to the future...”

Denis Bank Building
Reviewed 23 April 2013

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.

2  Thank The_Pale_Ridah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 14 reviews

Reviewed 13 May 2012

Can you tell that the taller building at the back of the shorter one is actually an new building, practically built almost 70 years apart? Yes it is! But look how wonderful they come together, especially when viewed from across the street, at the corner of Jalan Braga (in front of Gedung Antara). This particular building is only one among many Art Deco buildings scattered around the city. By the way, this Dennis building was the first building to operate a modern lift in the glorious day of old Bandung!

1  Thank gwkzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2011

Who would ever choose a bank to visit in a trip? That’s us! This buidling is amazing with unique architecture and the building system. This place is a must see if you’re in Bandung. There are also some more marvelous old buildings in this town but not opened for excursion because they are redidents or business office.

1  Thank Marcus_Me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2008

Bandung has an outstanding collection of art-deco buildings from the 1920's and 1930's. A walking tour of the main structures may well prove to be the highlight of a trip to this city. For the fan of modern architecture the former Denis Bank Building is one of the city's must-see structures.

The building was designed by renowned Dutch arcitect, Albert Aalbers. It was originally intended as the office for the Dutch Indies Saving Bank but today it houses the local Bank Jabar (West Java Bank). The building is situated on the corner of Jalan Braga and Jalan Naripan. Its bold curves wrap themselves around the corner of these streets on six different levels. In the middle, a large tower rises vertically above the structure, creating a dramatic break in the 'ocean wave' curve of the structure. This thoroughly modern structure is built from steel with concrete floors. Indeed it is so modern in appearance that it would be easy to believe it was a recent construction with some 'art-deco' touches added. In 1936 it was a cutting edge design and it established Aalbers' as an important and innovative architect. As most travellers to Bandung will visit the historic Jalan Braga at some point, it is easy to take in this sight on a stroll through the inner city.

5  Thank Raymond W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 October 2017 via mobile
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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