Surabaya has long been a place of convergence. The influence of various cultures, religions, and colonial occupation are evident in the built forms of the coastal city on the Indonesian island of Java. In an effort to emulate this unique contextual ecosystem, Sorg Architects drew inspiration from indigenous temples and other ancient and sacred gathering spaces. The resulting design established a US Consulate Complex that successfully represents a cultural bridge between local context and a 21st century American ethos.
Located on a 6-acre site, the new 59,500 SF Consulate is one of six buildings that form the new US Consulate Complex designed by Sorg Architects. A central 2-story gallery connects and organizes the Embassy’s two L-shaped wings into public spaces and private functions. This winged configuration forms a courtyard at the main entrance with a minimalist wood and glass porte-cochère, made of Merbau—a native rot and termite resistant hardwood, prevalent in local temple construction. On the exterior, dark wood sunshade screens of the same material are contrasted with Sierra White granite of the upper floors.
Sorg’s design of the interior continues the interplay between dark, natural materials and cool, light stone, bringing in the bold wood forms on a canvas of light granite from the exterior. Open lobbies and double-height representational gallery spaces express an elegance that maintains a modern aesthetic.
The US Consulate in Surabaya meets LEED Silver standards, with sustainable design elements, including native plant species for landscaping to reduce water consumption and heat island effects, light shelves to allow daylight into 75 percent of interior spaces, and a complex storm water management system specifically designed for this flood prone region.