The Office of New Life Stories

We arrive before 8:00, too early to catch the architects at work. As we step back to photograph the full height of D-Associates’ three-story office building, a squirrel skitters across on a cable above us, disappearing into the leaves of a tree. We are in the middle of Jakarta’s ‘cold’ season, enjoying daytime temperatures in the low 30s, without the cloying humidity that wilts even those accustomed to tropical weather. The dry heat has caused the vines veiling the building to brown, but the façade is nevertheless quite likable. The raw concrete and naked brick surfaces are unpretentious, and the vines and abundance of leafy branches sheltering the glass cladding speak of the principal architects’ sensible affinity to nature.

The office caretaker, expecting our arrival, opens the

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