Groundbreaking



The Pavilion of Indonesia, model shown here, will be a combination of its country's sculpture, architecture, crafts, progress, food and entertainment. The entrance gate, or Tjandi Bentar, will be carved in stone in Indonesia to the specifications of authentic Balinese temple entrances. The Meru (right), or temple tower, will also be shipped from Indonesia to the exhibit site. The pavilion has been designed by the Indonesian Architectural Committee, headed by Mr. M. Sudarsono in association with Abel Sorensen and Max O. Urbahn. The contractor is Turner Construction Co.
Cover of Groundbreaking Brochure

SOURCE: Groundbreaking Brochure, The Indonesia Pavilion

Following is the transcription of remarks by Indonesian and World's Fair officials at groundbreaking ceremonies for the Indonesian Pavilion, New York World's Fair, Friday, January 18, 1963.

RICHARD C. PATTERSON, JR. [Chief of Protocol]: Your Highness, Your Excellencies, Mr. Moses, Mrs. McCaffree and gentlemen. This groundbreaking is of very great interest to the people of New York, the people of the United States, of Indonesia, and the people of the world. It is symbolic of the time in which we live. Indonesia - one of the largest nations in the world in population, and I was told by his Highness, coming out this morning, that it is now 96 million, in size and in spirit - is many thousands of miles away from New York.

But President Sukarno, the founder of this republic, came to the Fair on this site and he realized what the New York World's Fair stands for - Peace through Understanding - and man's achievements on a shrinking globe in an expanding universe. He and his government, therefore, planned to bring to New York and to the Fair, a part of Indonesia. The people of New York, your Highness, and the world, will meet the people of Indonesia here. They will learn of them - of their culture, their history, and their plans for the future.

We are delighted that a part of the Republic of Indonesia will be here in New York. It is now my pleasure to introduce Mr. Allen Beach, director of the International Area of the Fair. Mr. Beach has been working at fairs a great part of his life. He has in fact, worked on fairs in Indonesia. Mr. Beach.

ALLEN BEACH.: Thank you Ambassador Patterson. Your Highness, your Excellencies, Mr. Moses, ladies and gentlemen. Governor Poletti is traveling abroad. It would have been very appropriate if he could have been here today, and he would have liked to have been here because he was here the day that President Sukarno came and was the host along with Mr. Moses the day that he picked this site, So, on Governor Poletti's behalf, I would like to say just a few words in welcoming you here today.

Indonesia has a great story to tell the world - a really very great story. It's a dynamic nation, a determined nation, a forceful nation with youthful vitality. By comparison to some other countries of the world, Indonesia is a young country. It's a young republic, and it's on its way to greatness. I have a very close affinity to Indonesia because I have lived there, and the first fair that I worked on outside of the United States was in Indonesia.

This was the Pekan-Raya International in 1955, at Djakarta, a wonderful year to be in Indonesia, because this was the 10th year of Indonesia's independence. The word Merdeka - this is the word for independence and freedom - was on everyone's lips as August 17th approached, the day of Indonesia's independence. A tremendous ceremony was under way for weeks. It was indeed a thrilling time to be in Djakarta and in Indonesia.

I recall how I was caught up with the sprint of the ceremonies and the celebrations that were going on, and many times I thought that this was probably the feeling that my forefathers had many years ago in the United States, when this country was a young country. Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwonw is very representative of this forceful leadership in Indonesia. He is here today as an emissary of President Sukarno, and he - among his many duties - acquires a new duty which is chairman of the Indonesian Committee for participation in the New York World's Fair. He's a four star general. He heads up all the tourist organizations of Indonesia, as well as his duties as a Sultan of Djokjakarta. I think this is very representative of Indonesia's leadership.

He was very instrumental in the movement to bring independence to Indonesia, and was also instrumental in negotiations that brought West Irian into the republic of Indonesia. Indonesia is one of the first countries to break ground, working with their architects - Abel Sorenson and Max O. Urbahn and their construction company. President Sukarno is an engineer and has taken a personal interest in the design and plan of the pavilion.

I spent many wonderful months in Indonesia. I visited many of your cities; enjoyed the friendship of your people; enjoyed your culture; appreciated your art and music; and now in 1964 and 1965, the many millions of people who weren't as fortunate as I to travel to Indonesia will be able, through your pavilion, to enjoy, appreciate and learn more about your fine country.

His Highness Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX presents Fair President Robert Moses with a native Indonesian wood carving.

Sultan of Djokjakarta and Moses

RICHARD C. PATTERSON, JR.: Thank you very much, Mr. Beach. Your Highness, we are aware of the great importance your government attaches to this Fair, and to the representation of Indonesia, in that they have designated a man of your stature and renown as its Commissioner General. We are honored by your presence. We know that the Pavilion of Indonesia will be one of the most interesting and exciting at this Fair. Genelemen, I give you his Highness, the Sultan of Djokjakarta.

HIS HIGHNESS SRI SULTAN HAMENGKU BUWONO IX, COMMISSIONER GENERAL FOR THE PAVILION OF INDONESIA: Honorable Mr. Moses, Commissioner Patterson, ladies and gentlemen. As chairman of the Indonesian Committee for the New York World's Fair, I wish to express my deep appreciation for your presence at this gathering and your interest in this project. This groundbreaking ceremony which marks the beginning of construction of the Indonesian Pavilion at the World's Fair is evidence of the determination of the Indonesian Government and its people to contributeto the realization of the basic purpose of the Fair.

It is indeed the sincere hope of the Indonesian nation that its participation in the Fair will further the aims of world peace, develop better international understanding, and promote harmonious international relations. And, in this respect, I sincerely welcome and appreciate this opportunity given to us by the New York World's Fair Corporation.

The Indonesian Pavilion which will occupy a 40,000 sq. ft. block, will have a circular main structure which will reflect our way of life; our rich and dynamic culture; our huge natural resources and the possibilities of exploiting them; and our contributions to world trade. And last, but not least, it will reflect our efforts to attract foreign tourists.

In this area we have seen the emergence of many unique nations - each one struggling to develop its own identity, and Indonesia, too, is still in the process of consolidating the gains of its revolution. Quite logically, the Indonesian Pavilion will illustrate the efforts which have been made toward the realization of the aims of its revolution. That is, the establishment of an Indonesian society based on the five principles of our philosophy and the achievement of friendly international relations through mutual respect and understanding.

The importance Indonesia attaches to the World's Fair is indicated by the fact that President Sukarno himself, before deciding on Indonesia's participation, viewed the site of the Fair, and, furthermore, gave personal direction in the planning of the pavilion. It has been decided by the Indonesian Architectural Committee, in association with Mr. Abel Sorenson and Mr. Max O. Urbahn, that the Indonesian Pavilion will have a tropical accent. It has been conceived as an expression of the rich culture and colorful history of our country, and of the dynamic new developments which have occurred since independence. The entrance gate which will exemplify our cultural past, will lead to a pavilion depicting the present way of life of the almost 100 million Indonesian people.

A variety of Indonesian art goods and handicrafts will be offered to the public at the gift shop to the right of the entrance. the roof of the circular main structure will bear a large sculpture reminiscent of a hand which will symbolize the five inseparable principles of our philosophy, the "Pancha Sila," emphasizing belief in God, humanitarianism, national unity, democracy and social justice.

Robert Moses presents and explains the Fair's official medallion to His Highness, while Allen Beach looks on.

Beach, the Sultan of Djokjakarta and Moses

Indonesia is known for her great scenic beauty, her various arts, her enchanting music, and her variety of dancers - all these truly affecting her motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Eka, or Unity through Diversity. But the people of Indonesia are also known for their great hospitality and their skill with exotic dishes, which we hope many visitors will sample at our restaurant in the pavilion.

Since January 1961, Indonesia has been doing her utmost to implement her 8-year overall development plan. The success of the plan will not only enhance the standard of living of the Indonesian people, but will also demonstrate the benefits to the gained with technical and economic cooperation between developing countries and highly developed ones. Let us hope that the successful cooperation between the Indonesian Committee for the World's Fair, and the management of the New York World's Fair Corporation may be a happy omen of things to come. Not only for my country, but for the entire world. Thank you. And may I, on behalf of my government, give to Mr. Moses a symbol of friendship.

ROBERT MOSES: Your Highness, Mr. Ambassador, friends, we are happy to see you here again. I remember with great pleasure the visit of your dynamic President and his party in 1961, when you came to look us over. You are here now as the Commissioner General of the Indonesian Pavilion. I believe you like what you've seen. I'd like to add something, not being much of a diplomat myself. I've seen a good many representatives of foreign countries come and go in the last two years, and I have seen no more interesting personality than President Sukarno's.

And I want to add something to that also. He came out here and he looked the place over on the ground. And he knew just what he wanted. He had a very clear idea, being an engineer, of the size of the place. And then when he got back, the lawyer said that they didn't quite have the lease papers drawn up. They weren't ready. You remember that, some of you. and he said he didn't care, that he'd sign his name down on the bottom and they could fill out up above.

Now that's the kind of man I like. Some years ago when I took over the building of the Power Development on the St. Lawrence River, subsequently on the Niagara, and that included a good part of the seaway, my officer in Canada who had been the mayor of Toronto, Bob Saunders - who was later unfortunately killed in a plane accident - came in and we talked about a contract. And I said, why do we have a contract? Well, they said, this is a billion dollar enterprise. I said, what difference does that make? Let's do it on the basis of friendship and getting along together. So we never had a contract. We carried out that entire program, and I think this is quite unprecedented in any kind of international affairs - with no contract at all. We never had a dispute. And I think that President Sukarno is just that kind of a fellow and the General is also.

At this point we are building what we consider to be an olympics of progress, which means that the nations of the world, their industries, arts, inventions, will be here in free and open competition to demonstrate achievement. Indonesia is one of the great new countries of the world. I imagine that there are very few people in the Untied States who have any idea of what goes on there, aside from the fact that it is stretched over about 3,000 miles as our country is - it hasn't the same acreage or mileage, because the United States has a greater latitude. And the Indonesians have a vague idea of what it means to speak of a hundred million people. This is a tremendous experiment in democracy, a great new republic, and we are delight to have them here. We have a symbol of the Fair, Your Highness. We want you to take it with you. It has the Unisphere on one side, you saw that as we came here; that is, you saw the beginning of work. On the other side is the shield of the City of New York. And that's it.

His Highness Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX and Robert Moses salute the construction workers as they start excavation for the Pavilion of Indonesia.

Start of Excavation


ARCHITECTURE OF THE INDONESIAN
PAVILION NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR,
1964 - 1965
Architecture of Indonesia Pavilion
To enter the Indonesian pavilion, one has to go through a "Tjandi Benthar" gate. Before entering the gate, one sees on the right side a "Meru" structure and a lotus-filled pond.
 
The "Tjandi Benthar" gate and the "Meru" structure, which are specially Indonesian forms of architecture and are well-known to tourists who have visited Bali, are intended to take the visitor into an Indonesian atmosphere.
 
The reflection of the pavilion in the pond may remind the visitor that Indonesia is a "watery country" in the sense that the Indonesian and the Pacific Ocean bound the country, while numerous seas and straits connect its thousands of islands.
 
The pavilion has a roof shaped like an umbrella, a contrivance known all over Indonesia and used to screen off the heavy downpour or the glaring sunlight which goes with a tropical climate.
 
The beams of the radial frame of the roof converge at the axis and then spread out again the form of a five-petal flower. From within the flower, five shafts of light point skyward. The number five is symbolical of Pantja Sila, the Five Principles on which the Republic of Indonesia is founded. They are:
1. Belief in the One, Supreme God
2. Humanity
    4. Democracy
3. Nationalism
    5. Social Justice

 SOURCE: Card, The Architecture of the Indonesian Pavilion

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