Bina Graha is a presidential building constructed during the reign of President Soeharto initiated by Ibnu Sutowo, Director of Pertamina in period of "Oil Boom" that is a state foreign exchange increasing because of rising world oil prices due to oil embargo on the initiative of King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz in response to intervention of the United States in the Arab-Israeli War of 1973 (the Yom Kippur War) so that the acceptance of the exported crude oil increased. Using modern architecture with traditional interiors with Jepara-carved-furniture.
This building was used by President Soeharto as the presidential office then used by President BJ Habibie and President Abdurrahman Wahid. Located at Jalan Veteran No. 17. At that time State Palace and Freedom Palace were used for state ceremonies, swearing, receiving ambassadors from friendly countries and other state ceremonials. In the reign of President Megawati Sukarnoputri, this building was used as a museum.
Furthermore, this building was used as the office of Vice President Jusuf Kalla besides at the Palace of Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia at Jalan Merdeka Selatan.
This 2-storey-building of Bina Graha was constructed during the reign of Soeharto. President Director of PT Pertamina, Ibnu Sutowo is the person who initiated its construction. Construction of the Building with area of 2955.30 square meters was began in 1969 and completed in 1970. Windowpane of the building is thick, bulletproof.
Location of the Bina Graha (Jalan Veteran 17) is on the east of State Palace facing Ciliwung River. This building is one of the few buildings in the courtyard of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta. Other buildings are Freedom Palace (facing Monas), State House, and Baiturrahim Mosque. Journalists covering the protests occurring frequently in front of Freedom Palace often call it the State Palace.
During the reign of Dutch government, the area where the Presidential Palace stands was named Rijswijk, the lively area, home of the Europeans. At that time, family of the director general of the royal of financial and land affairs resided in that place. The family then sold the house to the Raffles. But Raffles did not occupy it. The house was known by the name of Raffles House. In 1846, the mansion became der Nederlanden Hotel. In 1950's it became Dharma Nirmala Hotel.
By President Soekarno, the place was used as army post of Cakrabirawa, elite presidential guard troops of which elements are mostly Mobile Brigades. In 1969, Ibn Sutowo converted it into Bina Graha. Nearly 30 years Soeharto served in the place.
President BJ Habibie and Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) used the building as the presidential office. Gus Dur made the rear of this building an office of press bureau and place of press conference. Presidential spokesperson, like Wimar Witoelar, Yahya Staquf, and Adhie Massardhie, served in the place.
During the reign of President Megawati Sukarnoputri, the building was converted into a museum and art gallery. Some 2,000 paintings, sculptures, and valuable art goods were stored in the place. Paintings of Indonesian and foreign maestros were kept in place, such as works of Affandi, Dullah, Sudjojono, R Bonet, and Theo MeierWalter Spies. The painting entitled "Kehidupan di Sekitar Borobudur Abad Ke-9" by Walter Spies (German painter) is valued at approximately IDR. 9 billion. That's according to the Head of Museum and Art Gallery of Palace Adek Wahyuni, a graduate of Arts High School of Indonesia ASRI Yogyakarta.
During the reign of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Bina Graha has been also converted into a museum and art gallery, and office of Special Advisor of the President and Presidential Spokesman, like Andi Mallarangeng and Dino Patti Djalal. When becoming one of special staffs of the president, Zannuba Arifah Chafsoh or Yenny Wahid also served in that place.
Currently, art goods have been transported from the Presidential Palace to some other places, such as the Great House of Yogyakarta, Bogor Palace, and Cipanas Palace. "If the paintings of Indonesian and foreign maestros are moved carelessly, they can be damaged,"