The PLN Building in Menteng, Central Jakarta has been standing strong since 1897. The building is a silent witness to the power of electricity on the Island of Java.
When you take the road from the Peasant Monument in Central Jakarta to Gambir Train Station, on the right side you would see an old building with a pyramid rooftop. The building seems to be drowned in the midst of tall buildings surrounding it. Still, the architecture of the heritage building appears distinct and artistic.
The building stands on the complex of the State Electricity Company (PLN) of Jakarta and Tangerang Distribution Area, at Muhammad Ichwan Ridwan Street number 1, Gambir, Central Jakarta. Not so long ago, the building founded in the late 19th century has just been restored without any alteration of its original design.
The building has been recognized as a cultural heritage and protected by the Governor of Jakarta since October 11, 2011. According to Irwan Darwin, Head of Public Relations of PLN Jakarta Raya and Tangerang Distribution Area, it is the first building owned by the state electricity company on Java Island. That was one of the reasons the Jakarta Governor established it as a cultural heritage.
“Every first Friday of the month, PLN employees gather in this building after some sport exercise. Everyone come and meet each other. In addition, the General Manager of the company speaks to them in this gathering,” he added. During its service as PLN Office for Menteng Area between 1980-2010, partitions filled the hall of the building to make divided spaces for employees’ working area. Once the restoration has finished, the partitions are removed and the building returns to its original form.
Three floors make up this building. The first floor as well as the second floor each has four rooms. While for the third floor, it has no partitions at all. The entire floor is covered with green carpet. The top of the building, the pyramid form, is used as ventilation.
The frames of the doors and windows were made of thick and good quality teakwood. It has a distinct feature: detailed carvings on every door and window, also on the door handles and knobs. It gives a strong impression as a tropical building. The terrace is supported by iron pillars. (WI/Bambang Triyono, Yoga Muhammad Prasetya)