Balancing the harsh conditions of Jakarta, Indonesia, is quite a challenge – the area faces high pollution, high humidity, and heavy rains more than 60% of the year. HOK recently unveiled a stunning design for the region’s new British Embassy, situated on a 1.5 hectare site in the center of the city. HOK chose to use locally sourced black granite and metal cladding for the cantilevered canopy, stating that more porous materials would have eventually discolored due to pollution. The black diamond takes into account its surrounding environment as well as the area’s seismic activity, qualifying it for an “Excellent” rating under the BREEAM system (one of the world’s most widely used environmental assessment methods for architecture).
Of the three floors that comprise the British Embassy, the lower flows will be primarily administrative with the first floor including a visa office, conference space, and cafeteria. The second floor will contain offices and meeting rooms, and the third floor will host private Embassy functions.
Notable sustainable aspects include the recycling of all rain water falling on the structure for irrigation of the surround landscape. As stated by HOK’s project director, Andrew Barraclough:
“This is a fantastic project in a truly challenging climate. We’re giving considerable thought to the use of locally sourced materials to give an excellent lifecycle. We want the building to appear as if it’s been hewn from a single piece of stone to provide a sense of solidity and security.”