Jakarta's Megaprojects
    Category: Big Build By : Todd Lauchlan Read : 3609 Date : Sunday, April 06, 2014 - 12:22:30

    For a fast-developing metropolitan center, Jakarta has struggled with an image issue. To mention its name 10 years ago was to provoke negative perceptions of a capital trailing behind other Asian cities for the standard of its urban working and living environment. But in the intervening decade, Jakarta has begun to set in motion a determined infrastructure and transport plan to place it on an equal footing with other large regional and international urban centers.

    A progressive city overhauls require more than just roads, railways and airport upgrades. In a region noted for the fierce competition between major cities for investment and employment opportunities, a cherry on the cake is desirable. Hitherto, that topping has been missing in Jakarta. Although Jakarta’s skyline is now peppered with high-rise structures, it lacks an iconic landmark to crystallize its global appeal.

    But now two signature developments are set to revitalize Jakarta’s visual appeal. Although not yet counted among the world’s top 100 tallest buildings, two mixed-used projects when constructed—the Signature Tower Jakarta and the Pertamina Energy Tower—will rank among the planet’s top 10 tallest proposed towers, according the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. In addition, an ambitious revamp of Jakarta Bay is the third multibillion dollar mega-project that underscores the city’s desire to reshape its urban landscape.

    The Signature Tower Jakarta in the Sudirman Central Business District will rise 638 meters above the Indonesian capital. Today, such elevation would make it the world’s second tallest building, but the 113-floor tower won’t grace the skyline until 2020. The eye-catching design featuring 17 polished stainless-steel leaves blossoming from the central core—which are bound by eight louver grills rising to a 45-metre tall apex spire—is a commemoration of the date of Indonesian independence on August 17, 1945.

    Though significantly shorter in stature, the 538-meter Pertamina Energy Tower promises to add cloud-busting architectural cachet to the RasunaEpicentrum district. Touted as a “99-story beacon of energy,” it will house the new headquarters of Indonesia’s state-owned energy company, plus a performing arts center, an exhibition venue and a mosque. Gently tapering towards a rounded top, the eco-friendly tower will open up at the crown, creating a wind funnel that converts prevailing winds to generate power for residents of the building. The curved façade has been calibrated to account for Jakarta’s position near the equator, and enables the tower to mitigate solar heat gain throughout the year.

    The third component of Jakarta’s triptych of marquee urban makeover initiatives is the $4.6 billion redevelopment of Jakarta Bay, which promises to be one of Indonesia’s largest, and most closely watched, real estate projects. To be built on 1,000 hectares of reclaimed land in the north of the capital, this hugely ambitious development is inspired by the artificial Palm Islands archipelago in Dubai. Developers, which include Indonesia’s largest property company, say it will feature high-end residences and Grade-A office space, a tourism resort plus leisure and entertainment facilities. Up to 17 islands will be created in the bay and construction is set to begin this year.

    (Todd Lauchlan is Country Head of Jones Lang LaSalle Indonesia).