Trails of Ghijsels in Batavia (3): Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij (KPM)

Damn! It’s 09.30!”, we’re grumbling. Me, and “strawberry-vanilla ice cream”: Maya Hadi, and my cousin Mala (both of wearing pinky-white dress-shoes code like a scoop of strawberry-vanilla ice cream), have been waiting part of our group. Just because part of our group has been on the way, and then we were getting insane here. As the appointment that day, we should meet in KPM on site 08.00 o’clock (at least on-on 08.30 was still assumed tolerable).

Few minutes later, finally, they were appeared opposite the KPM: Rahmat, Mayasari, Oksi, whereas Luluk joined when we have spent the tour for early 30 minutes. Mayasari seemed too tired and wishy-washy, if we don’t say little bit sick and pale, because she just “quarantined” after PTD Tjepu a week later.

This kantoorgebouw is sited in Koningsplein-Oost No.5 Batavia-Weltevreden (now Jl. Medan Merdeka Timur, Jakarta Pusat). Main contractor was, the prestigious commission, AIA (Algemeen Ingenieur Architecten) Bureau, whereas the subcontractor was Reyerse & de Vries. The design was prepared by Ghijsels in 1916 and then contruction was worked for 2 years in period of 1917-18.

KPM was largest steamship company in the Nederlandsch Indies. It had a fleet 136 ships in 1927. This company maintained several kinds of inter-continental lines and domestic as well.

KPM was designed in three stores art-deco building enclosing inner courtyards. We can see the symmetry and terraced construction of the front of building striking feature.

This design also features the two towers between the representation front offices. The offices are cool and airy because adequate ventilation are provided by the open galleries and inner courtyards.

Lucky! Fortunately, we had chance to next open space upper stair. Here, we can feel the vicinity of Jakarta from 4th floor. View of Monas – Koningsplein, Gambir Train Station, Istiqlal Mosque, Red Top Hotel & Apartement, and sky climber office buildings in Jalan Thamrin-Sudirman as well. So windy here…

Anyway, like premises, company or institution in Soekarno regime, Indonesian government nationalized KPM in 1957. However, The Ministry of Sea Links was created to maintain the importance of good sea links in 1963. This ministry worked in the former KPM head office building. Now, this building is still owned by Ministry of Sea Links for the purposes of boards of SAR, Training & Education, and Research & Development.

Last but not least, I want to say thanks for Pak Wibisono, the security of ex-KPM, who has guided and accompany us to go along until the edge of this building. Also, from bottom of my heart, I would say to apologize about my lead in the beginning of this journal, don’t be offensive my friends 🙂

Warmest Regards

Mahandis Yoanata Thamrin



  1. yoan aku pengen jalan ke gereja anglican lagi… hik-hik ngiri..

  2. Hehehe ngiri yah? wah masuk gereja anglican itu syusyah… beruntung kmrn ada yg persiapan kawinan jadi kita bisa masuk liat makamnya let.col. william campbell yg tewas karena pertempuran di meester cornelis. Waduh maaf, pertanyaan Anda OOT nih, tidak relevan dengan topik di journal, bu!Khan ini lagi ngebahas ghijsels lagi! Journal ke Anglican Church besok gue posting dech! Heheeheheh

  3. mahandisyoanata said: Waduh maaf, pertanyaan Anda OOT nih, tidak relevan dengan topik di journal, bu!Khan ini lagi ngebahas ghijsels lagi! Journal ke Anglican Church besok gue posting dech! Heheeheheh

    oh iya yach hehehe salah dech 🙂

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