A city within a city

Monday 31 Oct 2011

DP Architects' vision of life within a single development

Central Park is one of Jakarta’s newest and most vibrant shopping destinations; with over 176,000 sq m of retail space set over five floors and over 5,500 parking spaces, you would be forgiven for thinking that this was an entirely commercially-driven project.Yet, as you begin to investigate the succession of spaces which sinew through the eight-hectare site, you will come to realise that Central Park was imagined as a fully integrated social space with a civic purpose as great as its commercial one. As such, Central Park can be considered an important example in the evolution of the shopping mall typology.

To meet the needs of each new generation of consumers, the contemporary shopping mall has expanded beyond the parameters of a retail space and has come to encompass every aspect of the classical city, including areas of employment and residence; a fact evident in the planning of Central Park.

Located along the highway, Central Park comprises five components: a 5-storey retail podium, a 40-storey office tower, a hotel, three 48-storey residential towers and a landscaped park. The different components of Central Park are arranged in a characteristic arched layout. While the crystalline form of the office tower stands at one end of the ‘arch’ serving as an iconic landmark drawing crowds from the highway, the hotel and residential towers are located at another more reclusive end. Spanning between the two is the retail podium.

By planning the complex as an arch with important activity zones at either end, the architects have created a ‘dumb-bell’ effect. This has resulted in heightened foot traffic throughout the length of the mall as people navigate between these two zones. In order to ease navigation and create retail drama, the main thoroughfare is punctuated by spacious atria.

Adopting a highly porous building design, Central Park allows a fluid flow of visitors between interior and exterior spaces. This design allows Central Park to be envisioned as an idealised garden city, a civic space for social gathering and a secondary recreational experience which intersperse a day of shopping.

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