Jakarta Built A Surburban Village On Top Of A City Mall
Cosmo Park, which sits on top of a shopping mall. Photograph: Shahrir Bahar
Depending who you ask, Cosmo Park is an ingenious urban oasis or an ill-conceived dystopia.
It is a surreal urban bubble, where normal life unfolds at an abnormal altitude. To access ground level, resident drive their cars down a ramp. A tall metal fence runs around the perimeter to make sure no one falls or drives off. Peer beyond the fence and you can spot the city’s landmarks below.
Indri Lestari and her son, who moved to Cosmo Park three months ago. Photograph: Muhammad Fadli
Cosmo Park was built 10 years ago but was largely unknown outside Jakarta until last month, when a drone photograph broadcast its oddness to the world.
Cosmo Park is a complex of neat, two-storey homes built on top of a car park. Photograph: Muhammad Fadli
Situated amid a cluster of mega malls in Jakarta’s centre, Cosmo Park is one of two such developments in Jakarta by the Indonesian property developer the Agung Podomoro Group, and was built according to regulations.
Fazila Kapasi and her son in Cosmo Park. Photograph: Muhammad Fadli
“I feel like this is a real house, not an apartment,” exclaims Indri Lestari, who moved into Cosmo Park with her husband, who is Spanish, and their young son three months ago. “It’s just there is no kaki lima [street food cart] here,” she jokes.
The view of central Jakarta from Cosmo Park. Photograph: Muhammad Fadli