Some might say it’s majestic while others are aghast at the tackiness on display, but it seems the pros have no love at all for the proposed design of Indonesia’s state palace in the country’s planned new capital city in East Kalimantan.
The design doesn’t hold back in taking its inspiration from the Garuda — a divine bird in Hindu mythology that makes up Indonesia’s national emblem — that the palace looks more like a lair for an evil super villain than the base of operations for the country’s president.
The government, which held an open contest for the design of the state palace, eventually picked the entry by Balinese sculptor Nyoman Nuarta, who is famous for the Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) statue on the island. Nyoman’s winning design was first shown off to the world by National Development Minister Suharso Monoarfa on his Instagram on March 18.
Amid overwhelming criticism toward the design, Suharso has taken down his Instagram post. The government has since neither confirmed nor denied that the design was final, but Nyoman himself yesterday posted a video rendering of his vision for the state palace on his Instagram.
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Perhaps the most scathing put down of the design came from Indonesia’s architects.
“The state palace should ostensibly reflect advancements in culture, economy, and Indonesia’s ongoing commitment to participation in the global scene,” a press release by five architect associations issued today reads.
The architects also said the design is ostentatious and wasteful, which goes against the green concept proposed for the entire new capital city. The associations are recommending that the Garuda design be relegated to a smaller monument or statue, and urged the government to pick a new design with environmental considerations in mind.
Love or hate the design, amid all the negativity it doesn’t look like our collective dream of having a fire-breathing state palace will be realized.
— Brahmastra Bayang S. (@brahmastrabs) March 30, 2021
Despite setbacks caused by the pandemic, the government aims to have the state palace completed by 2024 as it seeks to start moving to the new capital city by then.