Daylight in Buildings

Light As a Storyteller


Kinanti Nurmaditya


Harry Kurniawan


Universitas Gadjah Mada



Light As a Storyteller

Project Description

Prambanan, a UNESCO world heritage site, is the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia which is considered as Indonesian’s historical site that attracts tourists from all over the world. Prambanan Temple is famous for its backstory, The Legend of Roro Jonggrang, a Javanese folktale telling the making of the temple. This tale is often presented with Indonesian’s traditional puppet performance called wayang. Daylight and wayang are two main elements that drive the idea of the designing of the Prambanan Museum. It contains the history of Prambanan Temple, history of wayang, and a display room exhibiting Roro Jonggrang’s tale with the utilization of daylight and wayang. This display room emphasizing space and light experience. Here is The Legend of Roro Jonggrang: Once upon a time, there were two main empires which were the Baka Kingdom led by Prabu Baka and Pengging Kingdom led by Prabu Damar Maya. Prabu Damar Maya has a son named Raden Bandung Bandawasa. On the other hand, Prabu Baka who came from gigantic race has a beautiful-and-thin daughter called Roro Jonggrang. Roro Jonggrang itself means “slim lady”. Known for its arrogance, Pengging Kingdom desired to expand its region. Hence, it called out a war to the Baka Kingdom. Prabu Baka was killed by Prince Bandung Bandawasa. When he invaded Baka’s Palace, he fell in love with Roro Jonggrang’s beauty immediately. He then proposed Roro Jonggrang. Knowing that Bandung Bandawasa killed her father, she gave him two conditions. He must make a well and thousands of temples in one night. Prince Bandawasa managed the deal by asking help from genies. Bandung Bandawasa has finished his first task. On to the second one, he almost finished making 999 temples thanks to the genies' help. Roro Jonggrang panicked because she didn’t want to see Bandawasa’s success. She asked her servants to portray morning activities by burning hays in the east and mashing paddies. Eastern lights represent sun rise so that genies will go back to its realm. As a result, there were only 999 temples made. This occurrence implied Bandawasa’s failure. After he realized Roro Jonggrang’s trickery, Bandawasa was furious. He cursed Rara Jonggrang into a stone. To complete the last temple, she transformed into a beautiful statue. According to this story, the rising main temple is a formation of the cursed princess and will always be remembered as Roro Jonggrang the “slim lady”.