Ruang Mes 56 | A Cooperative Space for Art Et Cetera

  • Videshiiya


  • 200sqm




  • Niniek Febriany
  • Russelin Edhyati
  • Stephanus Theo
  • Gilang Rizky
  • Dhia Khairunisa

Mes 56 was founded in 2002 in Yogyakarta It is involved in the development of photography and contemporary art that intersects with other disciplines critically and contextually to create an open, creative, and independent society.
At first, Ruang Mes 56 was developed through independent funding to accommodate all its activities. Ruang Mes 56 then grew into a collective space for artists who worked cooperatively with communities, within their networks. Not only a working studio, Ruang Mes 56, also house classrooms and play space. It also functioned as a home for all artists who live there.
Since 2002, Ruang Mes 56 has moved four times until it finally settled in its current location, Jalan Mangkuyudan, Yogyakarta. In 2019 Ruang Mes 56 obtained funding opportunity, and it sparks the idea to renovate the building in order to support all creative processes housed within Ruang Mes 56.

The existing consist of gallery and informal meeting space with capacity of ten people. Being a communal space for visual artists, larger space is needed to accommodate meetings for at least 20 people in such small space.
the old building also suffers from flooding innercourt, and building leakage. Ultimately, with the development of the community and process oriented artworks, the existing became insufficient to house all the artists’ needs

Videshiiya was invited to collaborate to carry out the renovation of Ruang Mes 56 design. We remodel the building, creating new-more flexible space and organize the space configuration to instill new programs and answers the building users needs to develop more projects, accommodate meeting space, and display their projects & products.
The idea is to design space that has dynamic relation between interior, exterior, and space in between. We envisioned the space to have freedom of expression through non-hierarchical space planning and programs.
The strategy then, is to blur public-private, formal-informal, gallery-kitchen, ground floor-upper floors.

The central courtyard is the first trigger for the design. To solve the floody courtyard, we create new boreholes for water absorptions. An amphitheater is proposed within the courtyard to create somekind of focus.


The courtyard now becomes a flexible space. It can trigger many events, the opposite area of the amphitheater can be set as stage, but being informal, so does the amphitheater (can become the stage). With amphitheater as seating space located nearby the informal meeting area, we have accommodate the need for larger meeting space by keeping the used to be meeting space and adding amphitheater “seats”

Ruang Mes 56


In the working hours, the amphitheater also transformed into vertical circulation, a stair to the second floor.
Empty space in front of the informal meeting space is now a small gallery-shop with large glass facade, displaying artworks of the artists, providing MES 56 new space to experiment with commercial and business aspect.


Large operable windows and roster bricks have replaced the fixed windows that used to decorate the exterior of the gallery for better air movements within the building. We also enlarge the gallery to provide more space for collective exhibitions and larger art installations.
The roof also have been replaced with twinwall uPVC roofing, reducing temperature of the interior while solving the existing roof leakage.

Mes 56 wanted to develop new studios, accommodating audio visual workshops and related activities, so we design a large workshop area on the second floor to accommodate these new programs: an audio recording studio with accoustic panels installed on the walls and a photo studio, large and flexible enough to fit any purposes.

Embracing the tropical context, Videshiiya also plot planter boxes all around the place, creating biophilic and better living environment.