The architectural design of the new Australian Embassy compound in Jakarta offers a multiplicity of expressions, drawing together into a unified and cohesive whole, to represent the cultural diversity of Australia.
The complex comprises Chancery, Executive Residence, 32 staff residences, and recreation facilities. Each component has a distinct character consistent with its function.
The Chancery is physically and conceptually the dominant building on the site and is based on the idea of a series of 12 cubic volumes or ‘billets’ rising out of the landscape. This immediately establishes an ‘unconventional’ presence which marks the Chancery as a special place. It evokes connotations of powerful Australian landform images such as Uluru and Kata Tjuta, without making direct reference in any way.
Each billet is clad in a different metal mined in Australia – zinc, copper, steel, aluminium – reflecting Australia’s natural resources and mineral wealth.
Each metal surface is debossed, creating a subtle variation of panel type, to give further enrichment to the surface.
The Executive Residence sits in its own landscaped precinct and strikes a distinctively different note to that of the Chancery. Here, the aim is to evoke a much more personal and intimate character. The entry forecourt is defined by a flowering canopy of creepers conveying a sense of relaxed formality. The gesture is grand, the effect welcoming. A two storey building, the Executive Residence is composed of a series of interlocking blocks which articulate the facades with patterns of light and shade.
The staff residences are stepped in and out to provide identity and articulation to the frontages; each home is clearly identifiable.
The wide landscaped space between the rows is closed at either end by the Recreation Centre and the foliage screening beside the Executive Residence. This creates a fully enclosed, secure and private space for the exclusive use of the residents.