FAP 2022 Juror Project Highlight: Anton Siura’s Spectacular Tebet Eco Garden
January 14, 2022
Handling large-scale public parks is not a walk in the park—they require close coordination between many government and private parties, from assessing the existing conditions, ideating designs that could engage the community, to ensuring ecological restoration through the blue-green infrastructure.
One of the most highly-awaited park reopenings in Jakarta is for Tebet Eco Garden: aside from its eye-catching link bridge and pavilion, it is currently being botanically conserved and undergoing river re-naturalisation. Anton Siura, FuturArc Prize 2022 juror is the lead designer behind this project—as an accredited Landscape Architect and Founder of SIURA Studio, he has nearly 15 years of experience in handling urban design and landscape projects across Southeast Asia, working with diverse Singapore and Indonesia clients such as HDB, NParks, PUB, URA, Jakarta Government and global developers.
We had a tête-à-tête with Anton about the challenges, lessons and fun parts about Tebet Eco Garden’s designs. Read on to find out Anton’s answers!
Q: What’s your favourite part of the design?
A: The two most important parts of the design are the river and the bridge. Because the existing park was divided by the park canal and the busy road, so we managed to link them, to unite them using the river as the main core of the design, which invites people to come closer to the water, and arrange a lot of programmes along the river.
The second one is the link bridge. We designed it seamlessly with the existing trees. It meanders across the tree canopy, giving a different experience for people and becoming the icon of the project itself.
Q: How many ‘hats’ did you wear in this project?
A: My role was the lead designer for the entire park design, focusing more on the landscape architecture, but I also coordinate closely with the architects and the water infrastructure, because these three aspects have to be coordinated and designed seamlessly to become one Eco Garden.
Q: What is your advice for other designers who want to do similar public park projects?
A: I would hope for more designers to respect nature, to restore them, and recreate them, because we need them in this time of climate disaster.
Q: What’s the one thing most people don’t know about the process?
A: Every existing major tree was surveyed for their girth size, canopy size, tree height, species and health condition. And there were about 1,500 trees. So we had over a thousand pages of reports for us to use as a reference, which trees are to be kept, which trees to be transplanted, and when the health condition imposes a safety issue, we need to cut them. So, every decision is made through careful consideration.
Q: What’s the main challenge from drawing board to realisation?
A: The main challenge of the project is the timeline, because we only had five months to design and to do the tender documentation, with eight months left for the construction. So, even from the design stage we had to make sure that our design can be completed within the timeframe, as well as the drawing had to be super detailed so that we can help the contractor to build it faster without having to produce so many drawings.
The third challenge is physically, I cannot be in Jakarta due to the COVID situation, so I had to rely a lot on the pictures and video calls for site supervision. These three are the main challenges.
Q: What has been most satisfying for you in this project?
A: Surprisingly, we have received a lot of excitement from the public. Some say they want to visit the park soon, especially for those who stay around Tebet. They are super excited and want to see the park. All of this is thanks to the project team’s hard work and commitment to make it true. So, I’m super happy with the team, super happy for the client, and looking forward to see the project to be completed soon.
Q: What do you hope to see Tebet Eco Garden achieve?
A: I hope Tebet Eco Garden becomes a starter for many more public projects in Jakarta that focus on ecology and resiliency because that’s what we need at the moment.