The palace — a centerpiece of the new capital — is designed by none other than Balinese sculptor I Nyoman Nuarta.


The design of the new presidential palace in the future capital city of East Kalimantan has been approved, and now, I Nyoman Nuarta, the designer, is in the spotlight.

Nyoman Nuarta is not new to the realm of sculpture. The 70-year-old Tabanan native has created numerous masterpieces. One of them is the Fatmawati Soekarno Statue in Bengkulu City. His name, however, was relatively unheard in the field of architecture.

That changed when he shared his delight through his Instagram account, @nyoman-nuarta, that President Jokowi had approved his design for the new presidential palace. The palace design exudes grandeur and majesty while surrounded by a lush garden atmosphere. A structure in the back has a plan that resembles a stretched Garuda wing.

He was invited to the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on January 3, where he presented the design of the new national palace to Jokowi and several other ministers. He had no idea that his plan, which displayed modern architectural style with no colonial design inspirations, would be approved.

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"Thank you for all of your help in allowing me to develop creative works that are not influenced by the concepts of colonial architecture," he wrote.

The design itself has also received a lot of attention. Tantowi Yahya, the Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand, praised them. According to him, despite the design's modern appearance, it maintains indigenous wisdom.

"[It looks] very grand. A modern and functional design based on traditional values. If the new capital is realized, the Indonesian people will be proud. We are proud to have an artist like Mr. Nyoman Nuarta," he said.


The legendary Nyoman Nuarta

Nyoman Nuarta has won many awards and competitions, including "Lomba Patung Proklamator Republik Indonesia" (The Proclaimers of the Republic of Indonesia Sculpture Contest) in 1979. Nuarta was still a student at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) at the time, specializing in sculpture. Since receiving the honor, his name has remained prominent as one of the country's finest sculptors. Nuarta most recently won the Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres, or Knights of Arts and Literature, an award from the French government on November 3, 2021.

He is also known for his social work. After the 2002 Bali bombing, he had a major involvement with the Bali Recovery Program and worked with several international organizations, including the U.S.-based International Sculpture Center Washington and the UK-based Royal British Sculpture.

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A post shared by Nyoman Nuarta (@nyoman_nuarta)

Among his masterpieces are the Arjuna Wijaya monument that you can find in the heart of Jakarta, the 60-meter-tall Jalesveva Jayamahe Statue in Surabaya, and the grandiose Garuda Wisnu Kencana or GWK project, which towers over travelers arriving at Ngurah Rai International Airport. Bali. His works have been shown in Indonesia and Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, Spain, and other countries.


The future capital's Presidential Palace

According to Nyoman, the 55-hectare Presidential Palace in the future capital will be surrounded by approximately 50 hectares of greenery, as Jokowi has previously sought more green space in the new capital.

"The president desires more green spaces. He hopes that the palace will have a botanical garden," Nyoman said.

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A post shared by Nyoman Nuarta (@nyoman_nuarta)

The new presidential palace will have at least eight buildings. Facilities include the presidential office, the pavilion, the presidential secretariat building, the educational building with a museum, the presidential unique staff building, the Paspampres (Presidential Security Force) building, the utility building, the state hotel, and the fire department building.

Budgeted at Rp 510.7 trillion ($35.6 billion), the capital city project Mainly private investors will fund the project. According to Beritasatu, the state will pay only 19% of the project.

Project financing and public finances will require precise preparation, according to Finance Minister Sri Mulyani.

“So we can meet the new capital's aims while retaining the state finances' stability and sustainability,” Sri Mulyani wrote on Instagram.




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