To have a little green oasis or ‘pocket park’ in an area as dense as Greater Jakarta is quite rare, yet perhaps timely needed. The concept itself has been around since the ‘50s, which sees unused lots and abandoned alleyways turned into a safe and inviting space in the form of a mini-park.
Willow Habitat was built to serve the same purpose, utilising a vacant building lot in Bintaro to create a compact green space and commercial hub for the neighbourhood’s residents and city dwellers to turn to.
Created through a joint effort by Khayal Group, design studio Roots & Co and architect Atelier Riri, Willow Habitat blends minimalist aesthetics with dashes of eco-design. While it may not have the splendour of a large open space and rich greeneries, it accommodates its affinity for nature through other eco-friendly means, as shown in the little details: tables and seats are upcycled from plastic waste in collaboration with local waste management company Gammawaste, with aims to add to the park’s roster of upcycled furniture in the future.
Taking advantage of the open air, the parkette sees children playing tag with their friends, parents indulging in a lively chatter, couples taking pictures of one another and a lone reader fixing a spot for himself to enjoy a classic novel with a cuppa in hand. Food options also become one of the park’s main attractions; there’s Fudgybro with their brownies, Manatea with their selection of refreshing beverages as well as ice cream, and plant-based pizzas from Max’s Pizza.
All this culminates into one neatly-designed stomping ground that harmonises an environmental ethos with the lifestyle demands of urbanites. With many plans for the future, there is potential for this park to bloom, harkening back to the promise signified by its name: a growing willow tree.