Cakra Selaras Wahana (CSW): Articulating a Lost Roundabout
March 21, 2023
Jakarta may be known for its modern cityscape, but it is in fact one of Southeast Asia’s oldest capital cities at 495 years old—perhaps ‘buried’ under rapid development. Its historic past is only legible to those who know how to ‘read’ the urban fabric. However, those who visit the area of Kebayoran Baru are likely to notice the distinctive old residences in the style of 1940s–50s Jengki1 architecture, due to it being Jakarta’s first-ever planned satellite city.
At the heart of Kebayoran Baru is a famous intersection that is known to this day by the initials CSW (after the old Centrale Stichting Wederopbouw headquarters, the Dutch-Indonesian municipal body that was formed in 1948 to oversee the township’s construction). For many decades, Jakartans knew of CSW as a convenient place to board buses, thanks to its wide reach of routes, long before it even had any bus stops.
A design oversight
In 2017, with the expansion of the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) network, TransJakarta Corridor 13 was opened as the city’s first flyover BRT-exclusive lane. CSW was one of the major stops along this route, set to be an interchange for the mass rapid transit (MRT) station. Both infrastructures had been constructed around the same period.
But there was a problem: the existing CSW TransJakarta bus stop was located at the flyover’s apex of 23 metres above street level, with an infamous towering stairway as the only access and no direct connection to the ASEAN MRT station 100 metres away. As many users protested this discommoding design oversight, the CSW bus stop was soon shuttered. In 2019, the government held a design competition to resolve the access problems and enhance the intermodal connection, with Studio Lawang’s design emerging as the winner.
The solution by Studio Lawang was to unify the two modes elegantly by way of a ‘floating’ circle, allowing for multi-level pedestrian connectivity, viewing decks and an interchange hub atop existing street medians. They reintroduced CSW with a new name, Cakra Selaras Wahana, which means a harmonious circular facility.
A key strength of this proposal was how the circular form is not arbitrary. They referenced the original 1948 Kebayoran Baru town plan by urban planner Soesilo, where the CSW intersection was drawn with a roundabout. Although this roundabout never manifested, or has long been removed as the streets had to accommodate more vehicles, it was cited as a design consideration for an adjacent architectural icon: the L-shaped ASEAN Secretariat heritage building by architect Soejoedi in the 1980s.
“The design aim [for CSW] was to recreate the lost roundabout,” wrote Studio Lawang. “The façade was a modern interpretation of the ASEAN Secretariat to pay homage to the heritage building.” This way, the new facility also articulates the past in the present.
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Cakra Selaras Wahana
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan, DKI Jakarta, Indonesia
Gross Floor Area
4,400 square metres
PT Transportasi Jakarta
Studio Lawang JO PT Rekatama Konstruksindo
Patrisius Marvin Dalimartha
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer
PT Emse Mitra Membangun
PT Pavilion Sembilanlima
Mario Wibowo Photography
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1 Jengki or Yankee style refers to American-influenced modernist architecture in post-independence Indonesia. It was first observed in middle-class residences in Kebayoran Baru, completed 1955. This style is characterised by bold geometric shapes such as pentagon masses, with the steep wall/roof angles acting as sun shading.
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