"Vertical city" is not a new descriptor for supertall skyscrapers that combine housing with retail, offices, leisure and goodness knows what else. But it's something of a surprise to see it applied to Peruri 88, which, as we have come to expect from Dutch architectural practice MVRDV, features as many horizontal, skewed, slantwise and sloping lines as it does vertical. That said, with a tower that will top out at 400 m (1,312 ft), it will comfortably join the ranks of the supertall.
It's tough to object to the city part of the vertical city epithet, though. In addition to the essential retail, workspace and housing that would occur in any self-respecting mixed use development, Peruri 88 will also house a hotel (luxury, obviously), restaurant, mosque, wedding venue and amphitheater.
It's the approach to housing that marks out a skyscraper's impact on the city in which it asserts its presence (and skyscrapers cannot help but assert themselves). There's cause for optimism that life in this contained vertical re-imagining of Jakarta may not be reserved for the super-rich. MVRDV reports a "variety" of housing types including lofts, townhouses and terraced housing. Hopefully developer Wijaya Karya - Benhil Property will reflect that variety in the final sale prices of the units.
While we're making wishes, one also hopes that the numerous rooftop gardens occupying every available horizontal surface survive the design and construction phases of the project. Their survival will enhance the quality of life of Peruri 88 residents and workers, as many of the gardens are semi-private areas accessible only by people living and working in the building. Gardens is putting it mildly, as these outdoor areas will apparently include playgrounds, spas, gyms, outdoor restaurants and swimming pools: features not known for driving down property prices, mind.
"Peruri 88 is vertical Jakarta, it represents a new, denser, social, green mini-city – a monument to the development of Jakarta as a modern icon literally raised from its own city fabric," says MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas in a statement released by the company. Looking at the images put out by the company, that's not a brief that MVRDV can be accused of pursuing half-heartedly.
The design development appears to know be in the hands of engineering firm Arup which has the unenviable task of making this audacious design work… and for the money.
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