Patrick Sloan HOK Bakrie Tower

I commenced design work on this 215m, 48 level, 90,000m2 tower in 2006, while working with design firm HOK. Finally completed in 2010, Bakrie tower is located at the centre of the Rasuna Epicentrum development in the Kuningan district of Jakarta. Designed as new corporate headquarters for the Bakrie Group of companies, the project brief called for a refreshing take on an office building – one that would provide the client group not only with a new home for its operations but also an engaging and inspired physical presence in Jakarta. From the outset there was a commitment from the client to generate a tower form and urban profile that would provide a unique contribution to the skyline of Jakarta.

This was achieved by combining irregular floor plate profiles, a series of setout rotations through the 215m height of the building and a complex external envelope capable of traversing the resultant undulating form.  The majority of the structure is vertical, using standard construction techniques and systems – the form is achieved via an incremental increase in the length of cantilevered slab edges, from floor to floor.  With most regular office towers you only ever see two faces from any given location – with Bakrie tower you will often see four or even five faces. This is one of the key differentiators for the project and that which defines its unique character. When the daylight strikes these multiple faces, set at varying inclines, the result is a shimmering and fluid appearance – contributing to the projects status as a new landmark in Jakarta.

While buildings are generally perceived as landmarks across several categories and modes, perhaps most significant of these are the visual and emotive contributions a building makes to a cityscape and skyline, its immediate urban environment and the culture of a city. These contributions involve a series of questions regarding the way in which a city’s inhabitants experience the building from both the surrounding precincts and further afield.

Does it present a unique visual profile or does it simply blend into its surroundings, becoming just another addition to the skyline?

Does it engage with and respond to changing light and environmental conditions throughout the course of a day and across the seasons of the year – alternating in color, tone and visual texture?

Is there something compelling about the building that ensures it will remain in one’s memory and subsequently become a visual anchor associated with a particular part of the city or, does it even have the potential to represent a city?