Brutalism is not our favorite school of architecture. Come to think of it, is it anybody's? The school is defined by 'Wikipedia' as 'linear, fortress-like and blockish with a preponderance of concrete.' Every single word of that description applies to Monpera, a concrete monolith unleashed on Palembang in 1968 in celebration of Indonesian nationalism and the arrival of military rule.
The monument, consisting of several wedges of brutalist concrete is today part of the city's waterfront and heritage, but it also a monument to 33 years of military rule under General Suharto and hence a tribute to totalitarianism. The architecture is questionable, the museum within is full of yellowing paper clippings but the views from the top of the mighty Musi River are wonderful and almost excuse all the rest.
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