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Mbaru Niang of Flores Island: The Highest Point of Local Collaborations

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

The community-led rebuilding project, initiated by the voluntary effort of Indonesia’s Rumah Asuh Foundation, is exceptional for the way that it successfully engaged with a broad range of  conservation issues at the local level. Located high in the mountains of west Flores, the remote village of Wae Rebo is architecturally remarkable for its towering conical traditional houses known as mbaru niang.

Through commendable cooperation between the villagers and the architects, the original formation of seven structures was reinstated by using vernacular construction methods. The project exhibits excellence in the complementary safeguarding of both tangible and intangible heritage values in a unique and endangered environmental context.

Through the valorization of traditional knowledge embodied in continuing architectural form and construction practices, the project has re-established sustainability of the local built environment and has promoted the pride and spirit of the community.

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