Islam arrived to the islands in the 1500s and this altered the architecture fairly
substantially. This obviously demanded the building of mosques and other religious
buildings that were not built before and which had specific requirements in their
structure and content. This led to an odd combination of old and new as mosques
had numerous features of ancient Indonesian architecture,
but conformed to Islamic laws and requirements. The mosques in Sendangduwur, Yogyakarta
and Kudus are perfect examples of these two styles uniting.
However, not all areas converted to Islam and those that didn't continued on
a path of constructing Hindu, Buddhist, or local religious buildings. These can
be found everywhere, but some of the more impressive are on Bali, including Besakih
and Panataram Sasih. The Majapahit builders on Bali constructed numerous Hindu temples
from brick at this time as well.
Since the 1500s though, most of the architecture has been either Islamic in influence
or European-influenced. The Europeans, most commonly the
Dutch, brought in stone work and concrete to build numerous
structures in the islands. Early Dutch architecture is best seen in the capital
of Jakarta, which received numerous Dutch buildings in the 1600s and 1700s. Quickly
though the Dutch learned their styles and techniques, most particularly in terms
of city planning bread mosquitos and diseases. In the 1800s the Dutch adopted many
of their styles and city planning to improve hygiene as waterways were altered and
styles were changed.
In the 1900s as independence movements arose and the people sought a stronger identity,
there was a return to traditional architecture, most particularly in Java, although
not all the people picked up on this movement. Although this push has been strong,
most of the return has come in the form of smaller art forms, like paintings. Another
effect of modern history and technology is the loss of many traditional tjandis
and rumah adats. These traditional structures are being replaced by modern technology
and European influence as concrete and glass tends to be
easier to build and longer lasting.