Indonesian govt picks winner of design for new capital city in East Kalimantan

Indonesian President Joko Widodo inspects an area planned to be the location of Indonesia's new capital in East Kalimantan province on Dec 17, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Indonesia's Public Works and Housing Ministry has announced the Nagara Rimba Nusa design as the winner of the design contest for the country's new capital city in East Kalimantan

The design, created by architecture and urban design studio Urban+, beat 755 other contestants to win a prize of 2 billion rupiah (S$194,000).

"Their design will be developed into a capital planning design document according to the framework that has been expressed by President Jokowi (Joko Widodo)," the ministry's Cipta Karya director-general Danis Sumadilaga, who is also the head of the contest committee, said on Monday (Dec 23), as quoted by news site.

President Joko is moving Indonesia's new administrative capital from crowded and polluted Jakarta on Java Island 1,169km north to East Kalimantan, near the geographical centre of the vast archipelago.

Bukit Soeharto, a relatively obscure 61,850-ha forest park in East Kalimantan province, is said to be the favoured site for the new capital.

Public Works and Housing Ministry also announced four runners-up - The Infinite City, A Thousand Furrows, The Emerald of the Equator and The Village of the People of the Archipelago.

The winning design, which roughly translates to "forest and island hilltop", was inspired by the Indonesian archipelago and includes such features as the Indonesia Raya (Great Indonesia) presidential palace and the Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) plaza.

Sibarani Sofyan, the founder of Urban+, said he had enlisted the help of many partners, including those from outside Indonesia, to create the design.

"Of course I could not make it myself. I have friends from Hong Kong, Singapore and other places and we worked on this together," Mr Sibarani said as quoted by "The inspiration came from many different places but we also used the elements of (state ideology) Pancasila that are related to the design of the capital."

Despite winning the contest, the Nagari Rimba Nusa design would not be used as the sole basis for the new capital city, with Mr Danis saying that the government would collaborate with the top three contestants as well as international designers.

"We will sharpen the (design) process up to March or April," he said.

Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said the top three designs for the new capital had fulfilled three criteria for the city: it had to be a symbol of Indonesia's advanced civilisation, it had to be environmentally friendly and it had to be designed with future generations in mind.

"In January 2020, we will bring the top three winners to survey the new capital location so that they can get a sense of place starting from the centre of the central government area," Basuki said as quoted by Antara news agency.

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