Misbar is a brave cultural project with the objective of reconnecting people with Indonesian cinema.

Located in a strategic position in the heart of Jakarta, right in front of the Monas, the Indonesian national monument, the Misbar project was commissioned to architects Csutoras & Liando, with the cooperation of the non-profit organization Kineforum, the only local institution which promotes art houses and independent cinema.

Misbar is a temporary open-air cinema, 38 x 14 m [125 x 46 ft] long. Its perimeter has been encased in a tent-like, translucent light grey fabric up to 6 m [19.5 ft] in height. This solution has given definition to its borders and sent out the clear, visible message of a strong, recognizable urban presence.

Besides the cinema, the ‘tents’ have been used to create ample foyer space and a large area which hosts the ticket office and bar.

The cinema area is built on several levels, appearing like the section of an amphitheater that looks toward the professional projection screen. The tech features are state-of-the art and the surround sound system is highly effective.

The designers have conceived the foyer as a social space: simply by creating a lighting system with 49 lamps hanging from the top, they have transformed a waiting area in a socialization space.

The lamps were constructed by slicing thin aluminum sheets which were then folded in conical shapes and entirely varnished in white, to multiply the lighting effect and make it more uniform.

Running all along the external perimeter next to the tents, there is a simple plywood bench which has been treated to withstand the humidity, which is used in daytime too, for watching futsal (5-a-side indoor soccer) matches.

The structural frame is made up of steel tubes joined together by trunnions and rotating clamps. The material used for the ‘tents’ is Agronet, a perforated fabric typically used in agriculture.

Wooden walls, acting on one side as ticket office and bar and on the other as technical projection space, are the only colorful note in the whole structure, and have been painted with large colored triangles. Enough to give a sense of liveliness and at the same time to serve as signposting for customers, who are able to recognize the foyer and social areas with ease.

The whole building was erected in 10 days, using cheap materials which have all been reused or recycled after the event.

Misbar is a small gem, for its design intelligence and care for the environment: the architects, Csutoras & Liando, have shown that a strong concept and the ability to funnel value out of available resources are sufficient to obtain brilliant, concrete results. And this time resources were truly scanty: euro 24,000 [USD 32,472] only.

Matteo De Bartolomeis

Matteo De Bartolomeis

Born in Milan, a career in professional publishing with a significant interlude in behavioral and methodology training. He went digital and experienced first-hand the birth and rise of the internet, working in IT publishing in the 1990s. Has been working for 12 years with and for Suite magazine and on b2b publishing projects for the contract and hotel industry, with special focus on the international evolution of design, on trends and transformations in the relevant markets and the role of social media in the industry.