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Pasar Mama-Mama, Papua Mother’s Marketplace

Scope of Work


Project Type

Public/Commercial Spaces




Finalist World Architecture Festival 2015 (Commercial Mix Use - Future Project Category)

Papua, the furthest province in Indonesia, has many gorgeous islands with vast natural reserve. And those potentials have not all yet being explored. World might know only Raja Ampat, as the famous destination diving site; or Timika as the well-known town for Freeport mining site. But Papua is far beyond that.

Contrast with all that, the indigenous are still struggling to gain benefits from those development. For years, the indigenous Papuan mothers (Mama-mama) have been campaigning for a permanent market in the center of Jayapura, the capital of Papua. Their craves for covered market place suggest that a market is as much about seeking dignity respect and cultural sustainability, it is all about preserving livelihoods. Mama-mama are “negotiating far more than economic survival, in the marketplace; they are negotiating the terms of their lives and cultural identity”.

The authority has been prepared with sets of solutions, programs, and the norm of this issue, etc. But understanding the spirit behind this project, some activists think that the issue will not easily works. This is how the initiative involves us.

The group began with an observation on how Mama-mama trade activities really work, and how important their role affect the livelihood of their big family. A Papuan Mama holds a big responsibility, not only to the core family (her husband and children), but also her husband’s family (the father, mother, and sometimes their single brother and sister in law). Mama-mama earning affect the whole family stability.

On their daily trading activity, they bring all their children, often toddler, to be tended. The marketplace perceive as a social platform rather than a commercial area. It is their living room. It is their children’s playing area. Sometimes it is their dining room. It is informal. Hence we attached to this marketplace an education and healthcare facility, proper sanitation, and certainly a place for their religion activity. Marketplace functions as a social cultural rendezvous.

These are the core programs of this project. The form itself is inspired by the vernacular long houses where all important lifecycle used to take place. We understand that Papuan is actually a very proud people. They take a good pride of their indigenous identity. It seems to be a good strategy to create a familiar space, familiar pattern, for Mama-mama, so they can easily adapt,

Project Concept

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