Designer says President Joko Widodo has approved more nuanced take on Garuda-inspired Presidential Palace

The approved final design of the Presidential Palace in the new capital city in East Kalimantan. Photo: Instagram/@nyoman_nuarta
The approved final design of the Presidential Palace in the new capital city in East Kalimantan. Photo: Instagram/@nyoman_nuarta

It looks like we’re not getting a super villain lair of a Presidential Palace after all, as President Joko Widodo has reportedly opted for a more nuanced design.

Related — Proposed Garuda-inspired design for Indonesia’s new state palace doesn’t fly with architects

Balinese sculptor Nyoman Nuarta, who is famous for the Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) statue on the island, was hired to design a structure that would become the showpiece of the Presidential Palace complex in the planned new capital city in East Kalimantan. His almost too literal incorporation of the Garuda — a divine bird in Hindu mythology that makes up Indonesia’s national emblem — was universally panned.

Yesterday, Nyoman shared new illustrations depicting the updated mega Garuda structure, which he said has been signed off by President Jokowi when the design was presented to the administration on Jan. 3.

“The design has been welcomed with joy, and has been approved by the president,” Nyoman wrote in the caption.

While the structure still resembles the Garuda spreading its wings, it notably lacks an obvious head element, which was one of the main reasons why the original design never took off:

A proposed design for Indonesia’s new state palace. Photo: Video screengrab

It’s not clear if the Garuda structure would serve any practical purpose. At any rate, the government and Nyoman hope that the Presidential Palace could be a tourist draw.

Despite setbacks caused by the pandemic, the government aims to have the Presidential Palace completed by 2024 as it seeks to start moving to the new capital city by then.

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