Indonesia Expat
Business Profile Featured Meet the Expats

Architect Erik Petrus Connects Contemporary Architecture with Local Culture

Architect Erik Petrus Connects Contemporary Architecture with Local Culture
Architect Erik Petrus Connects Contemporary Architecture with Local Culture

Get to know the rising star in the international architecture arena!

Indonesia Expat had a chance to get to know young Czech architect Erik Petrus who has been making quite a notable splash both in the Czech Republic and Indonesia thanks to his unique approach to the art of architecture. In profound detail, Erik Petrus shared how his work is inspired by both Baroque architecture and exotic cultures, how a chance meeting with an investor led him to launch a successful career in Asia, and why he believes Indonesia is blessed with rich opportunities and inspiration for an architect such as himself.

Hi, Erik. It appears that all the buildings that you have designed so far exude a strong signature style. How would you define your architectural style?

For me, the most typical work is with spatial atmosphere, geometry, and emotions. I work with elevated and airy spaces, the play of light and shadow, with contrasts and moments of surprise. Each of my projects is based on a response to the specifics of the place — because the shape, the mass of the building, and the interior layout itself come from a reaction to the given context of the place. Therefore, it’s not possible to simply take a finished design and relocate it elsewhere.

De Residence Pangandaran
De Residence Pangandaran
It seems that, as an architect, many of your creations involve geometry in a certain way. What do individual shapes represent for you?

The circle symbolises infinity and continuity for me. Meanwhile, the square evokes stability and harmony; such spaces are suitable for static and calm functions such as the bedroom and the living room. Conversely, a rectangle is suitable for spaces that require movement. Geometry allows me to organise and structure space according to my intention.

Furthermore, I draw inspiration from baroque architecture; just look at churches or palaces, where this geometry literally comes alive, and not only during the Baroque period. For me, it is important to connect history with the present.

You have already designed several projects in Indonesia. Could you tell us how you came to the projects in Indonesia in the first place?

It was a combination of several coincidences. I often travel the world with an interest in experiencing local culture, especially architecture and urbanism. As part of my passion for travelling to exotic countries, I had the opportunity to explore parts of Asia. And it was Indonesia that became decisive for me.

Eight years ago, I travelled through Java, one of the most populated islands in the world, where I was fascinated by the local culture and the people’s behaviour, and my curiosity about architecture led me to understand the basic principles of how local, tropical architecture works. By coincidence, after my return to the Czech Republic, an investor approached me to design a larger residential complex with family homes in a smaller coastal town on the southern coast of Java called Pangandaran, where his wife is from. The client liked my interest in Asian architecture, the fact that I researched the typology of different buildings and that I personally visited Indonesia and travelled around the area where I was supposed to design the project.

De Residence Pangandaran
De Residence Pangandaran
Do you transfer some of the principles that you used there to your designs in the Czech Republic?

Inspiration from Indonesian culture and architecture is manifested in all my designs, especially through the use of elevated spaces and the choice of materials. When designing spaces in the Czech Republic, I often took inspiration from Indonesian traditions which emphasise connecting the interior with the exterior and creating harmony between nature and architecture. That’s why I try to create open and airy spaces that let in light and allow a smooth transition between indoor and outdoor environments.

Conversely, do you feel that you have brought a Czech architectural signature to Indonesia?

I create my own architectural signature. Thus, I bring original designs to Indonesia that connect contemporary architecture with local culture and tropical climate. However, my work is not subject to the boundaries of one culture. I find inspiration in various corners of the world, absorbing the richness of cultural expressions, and combining them with modern design elements. The result is a work that is unique, timeless, and enlivened by a diverse palette of inspiration from around the world.

Musholla Designed by Erik Petrus
Musholla Designed by Erik Petrus
I noticed that you have also designed an Islamic prayer room (musholla). Did you work with the atmosphere of the place in a different way — given that it is a religiously sacred building?

It is important for me to primarily work within the context of the given place — because the shape, the mass of the building, and the internal arrangement itself are based on the reaction to the given context. Therefore, each of my designs is original and a reflection of my original architectural approach. As for the atmosphere inside a religious building, it is, of course, a little different than in a family villa — because, in each such space, it is necessary to achieve a different effect and emotion.

Where do you spend most of your time now? In the Czech Republic or Indonesia?

I often travel between Prague and Jakarta because I have many projects in both countries, so I’m always where I’m most needed at the moment. In addition, Indonesia is currently experiencing a period of significant construction boom, and I am thrilled to be right in the heart of these developments.

Are you ever considering moving to Indonesia?

Indonesia offers an immense amount of opportunities. To be honest, work there is much easier than in Europe, especially in the Czech Republic, where we often encounter obstacles in the form of a complex permitting process. In Indonesia, I have the opportunity to create more innovative and distinctive buildings that become icons. That is why I plan to permanently move my studio to this dynamic and inspiring country.

Last but not least, how can our readers reach you?

You’re welcome to reach out to me via email at [email protected]. Moreover, you can reach out to me via Instagram @erik.petrus.architect, Facebook with account name Erik Petrus Architect, and LinkedIn with account name Erik Petrus. For my work and design so far, you can visit my official website https://erikpetrus.com/.

Related posts

West Java Governor’s Son Lost in Aare River, Switzerland

Indonesia Expat

The Power of One

Kenneth Yeung

Tourist Found Dead in Popular Bali Beach Club

Indonesia Expat

JW Marriott Jakarta General Manager: Satish Kumar

Indonesia Expat

Health Ministry Warns of Fake Medical Masks Circulating

Indonesia Expat

Business Profile: S. Aulia Masjhoerdin, General Manager of Aston Priority Simatupang Hotel

Indonesia Expat