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.
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.
In June, Twitter user @shahrirbahar1 posted a bird’s eye view of the complex, 78 two-storey, cookie-cutter units on top of the parking lot with Jakarta’s immense urban sprawl in the background. It was a photo that captured both the scale and incongruity of the project.
“Good morning Jakarta,” he wrote. “What type of person thinks about developing a housing complex on top of a building?”
Is Cosmo Park some kind of postmodern dystopia or, in a city beset by perennial woe, an ingenious use of urban space? While some outsiders are unconvinced, those who live at Cosmo Park offer glowing reviews.