Scaling Greater Heights

Photography By Bagus Tri Laksono

Standing tall on South Palmerah street, Jakarta, Menara Kompas strikes beholders from all directions. The futuristic 24-storey building is the latest breakthrough of Kompas Group, the largest publisher in Indonesia. Designed by Budiman Hendropurnomo from Denton Corker Marshall Jakarta out of a competition held by Kompas in 2012, the building represents the big picture of the publishing company’s past and present journey, as well as its aspiration for the future.

The publishing giant of Kompas Group keeps hitting greater heights after more than five decades of producing independent and unbiased news. While maintaining the presence of its paper edition, the group has scaled up its business, with its digital and online versions as well as its Kompas TV. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the group has now become the beacon to Indonesian society.

Along with the group’s sustainable growth, physical developments are needed, such as new studios and auditoriums. These facilities are now housed in the latest office tower, Menara Kompas, whose completion was done in 2016. Later in April 2018, the former vice president Jusuf Kalla inaugurated the tower that has thus far been occupied primarily by the subsidiaries.

The multimedia facilities are located in the low-rise podium, whilst the office and mini studios occupy the 163-metre high tower. This sustainable, energy efficient and forward-looking building indeed represents the core values of Kompas. The pen-like pinnacle is a symbol of the business that started with a newspaper. The perforated outer skin of the building that resembles a layer of pixels represents the company’s new era that is internet based. The aluminium outer skin functions as a shield against sunlight from all directions. This reduces the usage of air conditioner, which normally takes 80-90 per cent of the energy used in a building. This also means reducing operational costs, and decreasing the direct sun radiation which in turn keeps the workers comfortable. Thick laminated glass is used as an inner skin to reduce noise level from the nearby train station.

Adding to the eco-friendly implementation is the landscape design. The welcoming entrance will feast your eyes with the sloping grass with trees and scrubs, which can also be viewed widely from the lobby. Meanwhile, the fifth floor boasts a garden roofed with perforated metal parasols, providing seating areas for lunch time or meetings on any time of day for the employees.

The building is located on a tight corner site amongst older buildings which are predominantly part of the group. Due to the limited space, the building is designed with an eight-sided plan, to enable a larger footprint inside. It tapers to the top until the 24th floor, just under the pinnacle. Adjacent to the tower is the Bentara Budaya Jakarta Cultural Centre, which will share drop-off area at the entrance once the future development is completed.

For now, the main lobby is divided into two areas, both located on the second floor, facing each other. Each has an eight-metre long wooden reception table as the only furniture, with big metallic pillars, giving it a clean, modern and professional look. The long history of Kompas is written on the wall of one of the lobbies, layered with sandblasted glass to make it readable. In the middle of it, right behind the reception desk, is a picture of the founding duo, Jakob Oetama and P.K. Ojong.

Menara Kompas is not only a functional building, it is also a symbol of the spirit to create, innovate and keep up with the era. As the world’s awareness of environmental damage is heightened, the reduction in energy usage of the tower is remarkable. As stated by Budiman, “The group is now regarded as the leader in developing energy efficient buildings.” In 2018, the tower was bestowed with the Indonesian Institute of Architecture Awards for Architecture, in the Commercial category.

Like this story, share to your friends
Vira Tanka
Having her bachelor degree from Visual Communication Design of Bandung Institute of Technology, she explored her other interest in writing by being a writer for TV programs and travel magazines. Always keeping her love for the art, she actively sketches just about everything, from urban landscape to nature, in between writing projects.
Bagus Tri Laksono

Related Stories