Patung Panahan GBK_Asian Games 2018 Neighbourlist
Gelora Bung Karno Jakarta Neighbourlist 1
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Dates back from the earliest Asian Games in 1962, Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Sports Complex has always been the Indonesians’ glorious sports arena. 55 years later, GBK is undergoing a major facelift to welcome the upcoming Asian Games 2018. Indonesian government decided that the existing repletion about the complex isn’t enough. Hence, they aspire to create a bigger, better, and the most outstanding sports complex in Asia.

We had the honour to be invited by three ministries in charge: Ministry of Publics of Works and Housing (MoPWH), State Minister for Youth and Sports Affairs, and Ministry of Communication and Informatics (MoCI) to visit the currently improved GBK and witness the progresses by ourselves.


Alongside with us was a group of respected neighbours of influencers that were also included to promote GBK to a broader demographics. Some of them were the Makna Creative lads, Explore Jakarta team, Martin Natadipraja, Bill Satya, Yuayuyuk, Cahgro, Reza Pahlevi and many others. The project officers showed us three of the main arenas for Asian Games 2018.

Stadium Gelora Bung Karno Neighbourlist 1
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So far from our trip, GBK has created a great and unforgettable experience. First is the drastically improved Gelora Bung Karno Stadium. As the progress reached 80%, the whole image of the stadium is also evolving. The nationalism vibe is eminent with the application of red and white colours on the single seats on the tribunes. The grass is lush green, and the running tracks are boundless.

Not to mention other technical advancements such as the brand new LED scoring board, a bunch of CCTVs that are equipped with 7K HD technology, gate ticketings on every gate, pompous sound systems, the most powerful stadium lighting system in the world of 3500 lux, and the VVIP royal box with bulletproof glasses.

Aquatics Stadium GBK Neighbourlist 1
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Next is the venue that captivated us the most, the GBK Aquatics Stadium. Designated as the semi-indoor venue for three water sports branches – swimming, water polo, and diving, the arena wows us with the contemporary ultra-minimalist architecture that goes very well with Fédération internationale de natation-approved pools.

The Aquatics has been completely finished as the soft launching had occurred previously. There are four pools which are the enhanced 10 lines main pool, water polo pool, diving pool, and the warm up pool. It took 14 months to remodel the area and it is a record of its own as the international surveyors doubted it at first. Now, the revamped stadium can hold up to 8.000 visitors.

Istora Senayan Neighbourlist 1
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Last but not least is the Istora Senayan. Dedicated for indoor sports which include badminton and basketball, Istora has also been improved on its own terms. The most drastic change is the seating specifications and capacity. Using single seats from previously benches, they put aside capacity for comfort by reducing the seating capacity about 12% from 8.000 to 7.158 visitors.

Nevertheless, as the first building to be finished during the original construction in 1962, they preserve some of the heritages by maintaining 10 rows of teak benches on the tribunes. Reaching 96% of progress, they decided to reuse the operator and media room on the top of the tribune which hasn’t been used since 1986.

Those descriptions are just a small part of the labor intensive GBK mega project. The entire complex is being rebuilt as regular visitors are completely unallowed to enter the premises. One of the project leaders told us during briefing that the government, which is represented by 1000-1500 workers has not only put their dedication and hardwork on this project, but also their hearts and souls.

They are in the process of rewriting history, making a grand stadium to be even more grandeur. Improving not just the interior and exterior, but improving the pride, glory, and most significantly senses of belonging among Indonesians. These are proved by their commitments to not only transform the complex but also managing its sustainability.

They use renewable energy which include the application of solar panels, porous terracotta rocks on the walking tracks to help the process of water absorbing, advanced drainage and water conservation systems that are claimed to be one of the best in Jakarta, and opening its doors for external revenues in order to endure the top-notch facilities.

We encourage you guys to consider this as the honorable #NationalPride of this period. Gelora Bung Karno has always been our country’s symbol and let’s uphold it, support Indonesia (#BelaIndonesia) on Asian Games 2018, and let the world knows how extensive our capabilities are.

#RoadToAsianGames2018: The New Face of Gelora Bung Karno
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