Sibarani Sofian was chosen as the designer for the new capital. That honor is obviously great. Yesterday, we had a chat with Sibarani, seeing the big concept of the design of the new capital city, exploring the concept of nature-oriented development, and the difficulty of fixing the urban planning of the regions in the archipelago.

The figure of Sibarani Sofian has surfaced since Monday, 23 December. That day, the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) announced his name as the winner of the new state capital (IKN) design competition. Sibarani was rewarded with a prize of Rp. 2 billion. But, that was clearly nothing. The opportunity to design a new capital city is truly a gift that is unmatched by numbers. Together with the company he founded, Urban +, Sibarani will build a capital city with a concept he calls "Nagara Rimba Nusa".

One day after the announcement, we contacted Sibarani. In the contact that took place that morning, Sibarani immediately accepted our invitation to meet. We arrived at the Urban + office on the 28th floor, APL Tower at around 14.30 WIB. Sibarani was having lunch at that time. About 20 minutes later, Sibarani met us. "Sorry to wait," he said, shaking our hands.

The interview took place in a room dominated by gray. Filled with windows, the room looks modern. Various kinds of bean bag furniture scattered throughout the room give a casual impression. We know what we are dealing with is a man with a rich head.

Prior to the interview, Sibarani showed the rough design of the new capital city. Some are in the form of printed drawings, hand drawings, to scribbles. Apart from that, Sibarani also clarified the many mistakes in the mass media regarding the mention of his name and the description of his figure.

Sibarani in an interview with VOI (Irfan Meidianto / VOI)

"Actually, my name is Sibarani Sofian. Many say Sibarani is a clan. Batak, yes. So, my name is Sibarani. My family is Sofian. So, to confirm, I am not Batak. I am from Bogor. I'm Sibereni. Sibarani's spell. "

Sibarani Sofian

At the beginning of the chat, Sibarani reminisced about the process he followed until he was finally appointed as the winner. According to him, the competition held by the PUPR Ministry is very open. Every Indonesian who has a certification of expertise (SKA) in the field of architecture can participate, and is even allowed to invite nine other people. Based on the records, there are 290 - out of a total of 755 - applicants who submitted their works.

Interestingly, of all the winners who occupy positions one to five, none of them chose the same location. Sibarani believes that it is the location's case that will lead Urban + to win the competition. According to him, from various criteria, carefulness to find a location is the most crucial thing. Sibarani and Urban + themselves chose locations around the Bukit Sepaku area, North Penajam Paser Regency, East Kalimantan.

Sibarani Sofian dissects the design with the Urban + team (Special)


Regarding the government's directives, Sibarani explained, there are at least four development outlines that he must undertake for the new capital city. The first is to make the new capital city a green smart city. In addition, the new capital city must meet the element of sustainability and be able to reflect Indonesia's centric development. On the other hand, the government also hopes that the new capital city will become a city that can compete in quality with other cities in the world.

"The concept of a city that is expected is, one, the concept of a sustainable city, the concept of a green smart city, sustainable. Then, a city that is Indonesia centric. And lastly, Mr. Joko Widodo's addition is a city that is competent for international. international class."

Sibarani Sofian

If drawn to the big concept, all the outlines of the development will be integrated into one concept called "Nagara Rimba Nusa". The big concept is taken from the geographical conditions of Kalimantan which are dominated by forests. Meanwhile, the word "Nusa" is taken from Indonesia, which consists of the Archipelagic State. With the various elements contained in the grand concept of "Negara Rimba Nusa", this country is expected to be able to practice a national life in harmony between humans and nature.

"So we took the theme 'Nagara Rimba Nusa', because nagara is a city or government, jungle is a forest which is actually very unique in Kalimantan. And Nusa is an archipelago."

Sibarani Sofian


Furthermore, Sibarani explained, the construction of a new capital city was not inspired by any cities that have been built in the world. According to him, the natural potential of the new capital will be a big difference in the development of cities in the world.

"So, if we can really orientate towards natural elements like this, surely our government can be close to nature. And we can embrace natural policies or nature wisdom to harmonize the relationship between humans and nature and humans and God. "

Sibarani Sofian

Sibarani himself has had experience building urban civilizations in the world. As a designer who focuses on urban design, Sibarani has helped build the capital city of Malaysia, Putrajaya. In addition, the touch can also be seen in various business centers or central business districts (CBD), from Singapore, Vietnam, to China.

In Singapore, he worked with AECOM, a large firm he founded in 130 cities in the world. He has pioneered Sibarani's focus on urban design since studying architecture at the Bandung Engineering Institute (ITB). Sibarani then continued his education through a scholarship to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia. At UNSW, he studied urban design and urban development.

The design of the Chongqing CBD in China by Sibarani (Special)

Back to the concept of building a new capital city. When referring to other cities in Indonesia, Sibarani sees that the construction of a new capital city will be easier. The reason is that most cities in Indonesia today are legacies of past history. This is what makes today's city planning difficult to fix. Never mind fixing the city to be in harmony with nature. It's hard to keep a city that is human-friendly today.

We can actually see the development of a nature-oriented city from the proportion of development listed in the master plan. In the grand development plan, the government sets the proportion of forests at 70 percent, compared to the urban proportion which is around 30 percent.

"Now we have the opportunity to start from zero. From zero, we should be able to achieve the concept of equality or the concept of balance between humans and nature because our formulation starts from zero. And whatever is best, we take from the various cases that we can get. we apply there. And because of that, the soul of the master plan is how we are oriented to nature. "

Sibarani Sofian

The English, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and French versions are automatically generated by the AI. So there may still be inaccuracies in translating, please always see Indonesian as our main language. (system supported by