Occasionally, the practice of architecture presents the opportunity to transform entire landscapes. The vision of a place seeds the power to influence whole communities, germinating into cultural ecosystems that affect the lives of hundreds of inhabitants. The Millennium Village in Karawaci, Indonesia – 25 minutes away from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta – illustrates one such opportunity. As the first phase of an extensive master plan for 137 hectares of land, a plot size equivalent to almost 260 football fields, Millennium Village showcases Lippo Village Central’s aspirations for progressive development. It occupies a gross floor area totalling over 1 million sqm.
The master plan for Lippo Village Central occupies three broad zones. Zone 1 is the cultural and business district, earmarked for premium-grade office towers supported by cultural shopping amenities. Zone 2 consists of mixed-use retail and apartments overlooking a verdant golf course. Zone 3 is demarcated as an exciting lifestyle destination, replete with retail, residential and public facilities such as office space, hotels, serviced apartments, convention centres, an art museum, clubhouse, school and university complex with facilities and accommodation for students and teachers, adjacent to the future Siloam Medical City. This third zone was named Millennium Village, in a nod to its inspiration as a city of the future within the region.
True to form as a forward-looking destination, environmental planning was key in every stage of the design process. Transportation, infrastructure, pedestrian connections, flood control measures, sustainability and landscaping were integrated within the planning considerations – creating a city with comprehensive networks that could adapt to a multitude of environmental conditions.
In a city challenged by congestion, dense traffic conditions and limited pedestrian crossings, the overarching strategy was to lift up the land, creating a breathing plane conducive to pedestrians. The architects designed an elevated landscape deck, the Millennium Sky Park, which fulfilled multiple functions.
Firstly, it provided common ground for the intersection of various groups: apartment residents, mall visitors, office executives and students. Rising from the deck is the new Pelita Harapan University, housing world-class sport facilities like an Olympic-sized pool, a football field and a 400m running track. Two levels of the university merge with the deck topography, easing the flow of space within the campus programmes. The landscape podium acts as a compact spine for the university, connecting to study spaces and classroom clusters.
Secondly, tucked under the green deck is an extensive retail experience totalling 150,000sqm. Efficient planning of space below translates into fewer retail levels, with a shorter travel distance between them, allowing shoppers to have convenient access to the galore of retail options. In addition, the main frontage opens up to a 300m stretch of pedestrian mall housing F&B and event spaces. Thirdly, dense landscaping provides ample views for residents in the apartment blocks, which are strategically situated to allow cross-ventilation and oriented to eschew any overlooking issues.
The deck played host to a spread of architectural and spatial intentions. With supports for canopies and towers formed of slim pilotis, a sense of openness is generated throughout the deck. All the requisite university sport facilities were efficiently weaved into the deck without compromising on users’ privacy while reducing noise disturbance. A long jogging track connects each sporting amenity seamlessly. Crowning the landscape deck at its beginning and tail ends are the organic forms of the floating grand chapel and family club.
Despite the expansive scale of the development, care was taken to humanise the proportions and spaces to create a user-friendly environment. Dedicated drop-offs were designated for the mall, residences, university and convention centres. A generous oval-shaped atrium lets sunlight flood the university’s main drop-off area during the day. Throughout the architecture, spaces are choreographed to invite freedom of exploration without dwarfing or overwhelming the occupants.
Architectural theorists have long advocated the importance of diversity and overlapping programmes in the production of vibrant cities. It is hoped that the layering of these holistically designed and diverse programmes in Millennium Village will engender transformation in the quality of public spaces in Tangerang, Indonesia, and beyond.