Gadis Kretek, or internationally known as Cigarette Girl is a famous shows adapted from an Indonesian novel about rivalries between cigarettes brands. It is a story about a girl named Dasiyah with ambition bigger than society’s constriction; as a traditional Javanese woman belong in high society, she has a lot of rules she must follow. Even though she is the firstborn daughter of a factory owner, she could not enter the ‘sauce room’ where the recipe of her father’s cigarettes made because of her gender. Beside the mysterious room behind the blue door, the architecture of the series is fascinating. The style of old colonial building, mainly known as Indisch Rijksstijl or Dutch Indies Empire (now Indonesia) style. Let’s analyze the influence of colonial architecture style in this series.

An architectural review of Gadis Kretek-Sheet1
Cigarette girl, Netflix_

Dasiyah grew up in hypothetical M city, where she works as a foreman in her father’s cigarette factory. She foresees the production of a cigarette, from the supplied tobacco to the ladies who hand rolled the products. The factory is actually a sugar factory since the time of Dutch colonization, located in Central Java’s city of Yogyakarta. Due to the popularity of the series, there are some movements of eco-tourism where tourists will go to location of the shooting areas around Central Java including Yogyakarta, Magelang and Malang. The cities itself is famous for heritage buildings and are famous for residential palaces because of the historical kingdom since ancient time around the Java island.

An architectural review of Gadis Kretek-Sheet2
Karesidenan Kedu_

In each episode, there is a vocal point where all of the scenes happened : The Idroes Moeria house. In real life, it is a Kedu Resident’s house in Magelang, and it used to be a governor’s office. The Kedu Resident’s house is constructed in the Indische Empire Style. The building takes the form of a pyramid, designed with substantial ventilation to complement the tropical climate. Extending both at the front and back, the house features verandas. The main entrance is distinguished by a dual-door system, comprising a jalousie door and a wide, high-swinging door. Surrounding the building, there are expansive front and back yards adorned with tropical trees. To facilitate ventilation, large windows have been incorporated, each equipped with canopies to shield against rain splashes. The official residence is oriented towards the west, providing a panoramic view appreciated by the Dutch, who enjoy observing Mount Sumbing, Giyanti Hills, the Progo River, and the adjacent rice fields.

An architectural review of Gadis Kretek-Sheet3
the interior of Museum Kretek_

The Cigarette Museum in Kudus is the sole cigarette museum in Indonesia. Kudus, situated among the regencies on the north coast of Jawa Tengah, boasts several nicknames, such as the City of Islamic Students, the City of Jenang, and the City of Kretek. Notably, Kudus is home to the only kretek museum in Indonesia, situated in Getas Pejaten Village, Jati District. Distinctively, this museum houses diverse collections that narrate the story of the evolution of clove cigarettes in Java. Established on a 2.5-hectare area in 1986 through the initiative of Soepardjo Rustam, the Governor of Jawa Tengah, who recognized the significant potential of a kretek company that could stimulate the city’s economy during his visit to Kudus. The Kretek Museum accommodates 1,195 collections documenting the history of kretek. This includes milestones such as Nitisemito’s advancements in establishing the Bal Tiga Cigarette Factory, company documents from that era, traditional tools for cigarette production alongside modern technology, dioramas depicting various types of clove tobacco, and the cigarette-making process in factories, among other exhibits.

An architectural review of Gadis Kretek-Sheet4
one of the diorama of cigarrete making_

Adjacent to the museum, notable miniature cultural heritage structures grace the surroundings. The Nitisemito Twin House, revered as a silent witness to the zenith of the Nitisemito Clove King’s reign, stands prominently. Equally noteworthy is the Wali Loram Kulon Mosque, distinguished by its iconic padureksan gate, and the Kudus Traditional House “Joglo Pencu,” a testament to the amalgamation of Javanese (Hindu), Persian (Islamic), Chinese, and European (Dutch) architectural elements. Complementing the intellectual engagement with these structures are comprehensive facilities. The museum caters to diverse interests, particularly those of children, through a range of recreational options, including trampolines, fish therapy, ball baths, spilled buckets, and mini water booms. The economic accessibility of the museum, underscored by a modest entrance fee, ensures inclusive access.

In summary, “Gadis Kretek” seamlessly integrates architectural elements into its storyline, transforming the series into a cultural exploration. The juxtaposition of historical landmarks, the symbolic nature of the Idroes Moeria house, and the immersive experience offered by the Cigarette Museum collectively enrich the narrative, making it a multidimensional journey that transcends mere entertainment. The series not only captivates the audience with its gripping plot but also invites them to delve into the rich tapestry of Indonesia’s cultural and architectural heritage.

Citation : 

  1. Babad, n.d. ‘Melihat Lokasi Syuting Gadis Kretek dan Sejarah Singkat Museum Kretek Kudus: Segini Harga Tiketnya’,, Available at: 
  2. Jawa Tengah Province. (2023). ‘Visiting the Kudus Kretek Museum: The Only One in Indonesia’, Visit Jawa Tengah, Available at:
  3. Kementerian Pendidikan, Kebudayaan, Riset, dan Teknologi. (2020). ‘Rumah Dinas Residen Kedu’, Direktorat Jenderal Kebudayaan, Available at:
  4. Kementerian Pendidikan, Kebudayaan, Riset, dan Teknologi. (Year of publication). ‘Pabrik Gula Tasikmadu’, Direktorat Jenderal Kebudayaan, Available at:
  5. Kompas Travel. (2023). ‘6 Lokasi Syuting Gadis Kretek: Ada Museum dan Pabrik Gula’, Kompas, Available at:

Citation : 

  1. Architecture 2030. (n.d.). “Why the Built Environment?” Retrieved from
  2. Here’s the Harvard style citation for the provided link:
  3. Brodka, C. (2023, August 23). “Re-Wilding in Architecture: Concepts, Applications, and Examples.” ArchDaily. Retrieved from
  4. Ghisleni, C. (2023, January 12). “Architecture as Collaboration Between Human and Non-Human Species.” ArchDaily. Retrieved from
  5. Chakraborty, R. (2022). “Eastgate Centre: Green Architecture Innovation Type Enterprise Venture.” City2City Network. Retrieved from

Miellyttävä Kuu is an aspiring architect with a formal education background of interior design. She lives in a magical place with hundreds of island, beautiful blue vast ocean and tropical rainforest, that is why she loves green architecture and biophilic design, she was born in it.