His name maybe is not very popular even for Surabaya people. But his works can be seen many in Surabaya. Citroen works are admitted by architects as high quality works and very dominant in Surabaya, that they can be used as barometer of colonial architecture development in Surabaya between 1915 to 1940. Berlage mentioned that Surabaya was architecturally belonged to Citroen.
Citroen, The second generation of architect, was born in 1881 in Amsterdam and settled in Surabaya from 1915 to 1935. He finished his education in Rijknormaalschool, Amsterdam. In 1902-1915, for 13 years, he worked for BJ Quendag , an architect bureau in Amsterdam. Citroen was involved directly in designing colonial architecture in Indonesia.
One of his important works was “Nederlandsch Indische Spoorweg Mij” or known as Lawang Sewu Building in Semarang, where Citroen involved with Prof Klinkhamer and BJ Quendag. Lawang Sewu was popular as colonial architecture building designed as its local climate and one of pioneer in tropical architecture, that later used as principal for Citoen’s next works.
After working for 13 years in BJ Quendag’s office, Citroen moved and settled in Surabaya for the plan to build city hall of Surabaya. In 1915-1916 for the first time Citroen designed Surabaya city hall. And for financial and some other matters, the plan ould not be executed. In 1920, there was a shift of plan and location that Citroen renew his design. In 1925, the hall was built and part of the building could be seen as today.
City hall was designed in the early 20th century when Europe and US were stormed by new design theory, architecture style and school. Those concepts were Art Nouveau, from Belgium and Art and Craft of the Machine of Frank Lloyd Wright, Organic Architecture of Frank Walter Grophius with its Bauhaus, De Style with its neo plasticism, Amsterdam School with its expressionism and so on. The architectures which are full of ornamental details from 19th century were left behind.
Citroen mixed modern architecture style with local climate creating distinct colonial architecture than general western architecture. Surabaya Municipality Building architecture shows firm modern style. Yet as Amsterdam architect, he applied Amsterdam school architecture with expressive channel detail. The long designing period made him planning interior detail even the furniture. This is the masterpiece of Citroen.
In renovation of Cosieteit Concordia building as BPM office in 1917, Citroen applied more firm modern architecture style, that Lemei and Akihari classified Citroen as Nieuwe Bouwen colonial architect.
Other masterpiece of Citroen is Darmo Ziekenhuis (Darmo Hospital), designed in 1919. He put concern in humid tropical climate when designing this, as on Lawang Sewu Semarang. Borneo Smatra Maatschappij (Borsumij) is another work of him, located in Jalan Veteran Surabaya, this is his last work , he died on same year. The characteristics if Nieuwe Bouwen architecture is dominant color of white, flat roof, horizontal gavel and cubical shape.
He also designed bridges in Surabaya and town planning in Surabaya.
WORKS OF G.C. CITROEN
1915-1917: Surabaya city hall building
1917-1918: Renovation of Societeit Concordia on Jalan Veteran Surabaya
1917-1919: Fa Begeer, van Kempen en Vos shops complex at Jalan Tunjungan
1918: A house on Jl. Sumatra, Surabaya
1918: Villa in Lawang, Malang
1919: Jembatan Kebondalem, replaced with concrete bridge at Jalan Yos Sudarso
1919: Darmo Ziekenhuis , Jalan Darmo
1920: Second design of Surabaya city hall
1923: Wooden restaurant di Jaarmarkt, Surabaya
1923: Gubeng Bridge
1925: Renovation of “Suikersyndicaat” at Jalan Rajawali
Perbaikan Gedung “Suikersyndicaat” (kantor sindikat gula), Jl. Rajawali
1927: Surabaya city mayor house
1927: Interior of Malang City Hall
1930: Christ Church at Jl. Diponegoro, Surabaya
1932: Wonokromo Bridge
1932: A house on Jalan Kayoon
1935: Borneo Sumatra Maatschappij (Borsumij) office on Jl. Veteran Surabaya