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A Street Journey to


Created for Asian Architecture Project 2 CASE STUDY- AN ASIAN STREET Group Members Lau Hao Shun (Ben) Chong Kah Weng Voon Jia Wen Ling Gee You (Zachary) Lee Chee Siong Lecturer Dr Francis


Preface Masjid India was always perceived as an area of cultural wealth and heritage. For years, Indian culture was brought into the stage of Kuala Lumpur since the colonial times of Great Britain back in the 1940s. This made Kuala Lumpur as one of the most diverse and assorted lifestyles in the heart of Malaysia. Masjid India plays a big role to this lifestyle where the merge of Malay and Indian lifestyles come into play through the market and commercial livings of Kuala Lumpur today. Within modern lifestyles emerging from this city, some traditional practices of old timers here and its heritage brings a big contribution towards the cultural wealth of visiting this road for a life study and a street vision. This album will concentrate to point out the lives of the Indian Muslim culture in this district of KL where a contrast of old and new in lifestyle, street and architectural perspectives come to stage when witnessing the daily lives of the citizens. Accompanying the context will an essay of each topic to summarize all of the points.


Contents A. Chapter 1: The Styles of Perished Streets as an experience of the urban life B. Chapter 2: The Everyday Life Streets as programmes or events C. Chapter 3: The Language of the Pavements Streets as language – semiotic D. Chapter 4: The Culture of the Streets Street as container of society, culture, history and memory E. Conclusion


Overview of the Street Apartments

Masjid India

Bazaar

Courtyard


The Styles of Perished


The Frontier of the Indian Muslim lifestyles Old 1970’s apartment blocks with overhangs for shading provide the basic needs for everyday life. Photographed by Lau Hao Shun


Old vs the New, the gritty apartments versus the office block

Photographed by Voon Jia Wen


The Frontier of the Indian Muslim lifestyles Old 1970’s apartment blocks with overhangs for shading provide the basic needs for everyday life. Photographed by Lau Hao Shun


Fusion of Islamic style with modern tiling

Photographed by Chong Kah Weng


Old vs the New, the gritty apartments versus the office block

Photographed by Ling Gee You


An abandoned altar makes pedestrians puzzled about its function while although it does carry slight heritage on its Islamic design.

Photographed by Lee Chee Siong


Genius Loci of Jalan Masjid India, the mosque itself.

Photographed by Ling Gee You


Back alley sky

Photographed by Chong Kah Weng


All tiled up Reminiscence of the old ways of construction

Photographed by Chong Kah Weng


Entrance of bazaar Stacked Canopy for market application.

Photographed by Ling Gee You


Inside the bazaar market early morning.

Photographed by Ling Gee You


Street as an experience of the urban life Urban can be characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. There are a lot of factors that lead to the urbanization of a town. Urban life mostly dealing with the results of a large numbers of people living close together. These results can be systems of public transportation and other services; opportunities for employment, entertainment or education, environmental pollution and variety types of housing for the people who live in the urban area. Jalan Masjid India has two categories of people who are using the street. The first one is the permanent resident and the other one is the visitor. There are a lot of immigrants from other states or other countries immigrated to here for business trading, living and other purposes. The inclusion of immigrants in a local society changed the cultural identity of the street. The multicultural societies may lead to multi-identities of the street. Every group uses the street, perceiving the street and knowing the street in a different way. The way of the different group of people using the city is different and the way of the population uses the city is what that determining the identity of the city. By that, it made Jalan Masjid India, a street that consists of different characters as well as identities. Each spot of the street is uses by each group uniquely and it is connected to one another which form a path that link all the identities and characters together and form the image of the street.

The existing of the LRT station in Jalan Masjid India hugely affects the incoming and going of the visitors. The LRT station act as a central point that transport people from other places to Jalan Masjid India and it makes the whole street more accessible by public. Besides the incoming and going of the visitors, the streets are filled by the continuous flow of pedestrian. The street itself is not merely acting as a tourist attraction but also as a pedestrian route that links the transport node with the other shopping complexes. Furthermore, other than the LRT station which acting as the main transportation vehicle, the street itself is accessible by other vehicles such as bus and car.


The Everyday life


Business even from the weak. Even a man on a wheelchair has to make living by selling snacks on the street.

Photographed by Lau Hao Shun


Selling news. These mini shops are scattered around the entrance of each apartment.

Photographed by Lau Hao Shun


Stop and calm down, how may we assist you? High-end silk business such as the Joyalukkas shop dominates the area.

Photographed by Lau Hao Shun


Bikes are a common here everyday as streets get tightened up.

Photographed by Chong Kah Weng


Daily newspapers are delivered to stalls set up around town by vendors like this person.

Photographed by Lau Hao Shun


The same workforce goes at the night where stock is check in front of department stores.

Photographed by Lee Chee Siong


Songkok seller working through the night.

Photographed by Ling Gee You


A resident of the apartment glancing the view outside at night.

Photographed by Lee Chee Siong


Even at late night, traffic seems to be a standstill, pity the residents for the noise.

Photographed by Ling Gee You


In the intersection towards Jalan Bunus, on an early Sunday morning is blissfully quiet and sun shining bright.

Photographed by Lee Chee Siong


In the morning of weekdays, stall such as these serve bountiful breakfast for the people walking to work.

Photographed by Lee Chee Siong


Night settles, streets glow of night market vibrance.

Photographed by Lau Hao Shun


Street as programs and events The activities within a street is what that influence the street the most. The form and pattern of the streets’ activities defines the way the users attach to the street. Varieties of different users, people, activities and experiences provide a perceptual mixed where different users interpret the places in a different way. Users’ varied roles and functions influence the diversity of activities in Jalan Masjid India. Jalan Masjid India is economically and socially diverse and it makes itself has a longer period of activities and liveliness. The diversity of the Jalan Masjid India is a huge attraction to the visitors. It is associated with the variety of goods and specialties pertinent to meet the needs of the streets’ users. Their needs are fulfilled because they can get almost everything that is needed for their daily lives and appropriate to their way of life and culture. In Jalan Masjid India, there are different races such as Malay, Indian Muslim and Indian traditional costumes. For example, baju kurung, baju Melayu and saris that are highly in demand especially during festive seasons.

Jalan Masjid India is made up of different type of traditional shophouses, low rise building offices, departmental stores and residential units. Street traders can be seen everywhere within the street because of the distinct methods of transaction, cheaper and reasonable prices as well as availability of distinct products. The ground floor levels are predominantly occupied by commercial uses including textile, traditional costumes, jewelleries, bookshops, food and restaurant and communication service shop. However, the textile and clothing is the main trading business in this street. The newly built bazaar provides a covered space for the Malay traders who had been around in the open space for a long time. It also accommodates the people who are going to the mosque for Friday Prayers. Besides, there is a significant that difference in energy generated by the presence of people during the weekend, public holiday and the roles of occasional events and special celebration in enhancing the street activities.


The Language of the Pavements


Once in a while, street performers like this guitarist , do sing along the pavements in hope for some attention and spare change.

Photographed by Lee Chee Siong


Through the night, people keep the road clean of debris and leaves by contractor workers. Photographed by Lee Chee Siong


Even through the night, labour workers such as this mechanic keep his senses on.

Photographed by Lee Chee Siong


Random toy vendors scatter the streets at night, most probably the moment when children are to be out with their parents. Photographed by Lee Chee Siong


Even through the night, labour workers such as this mechanic keep his senses on.

Photographed by Lee Chee Siong


Durian stall by the street on Sundays

Photographed by Chong Kah Weng


Market sellers in front of the closed mosque Photographed by Chong Kah Weng


Homeless lay around the pavements, a sign of poverty in the area

Photographed by Lau Hao Shun


In various places, beggars do make a stand in the poverty scene of pavements as midclass people stroll ignoring them.

Photographed by Voon Jia Wen


Forced alone, a homeless person walking back on one of the back alleys with groceries bought from the Mydin supermarket. This demonstrates the wealth status of the street.

Photographed by Lau Hao Shun


Pavements lie artist who stray to get attention and some worth of money for their work.

Photographed by Ling Gee You


Icon capturing an icon A street photographer in the area being essential to the context around capturing the context too.

Photographed by Voon Jia Wen


Street as language semiotic (study of sign & reading of the street) A language is a communication tool that allows people to speak to each other and share the same mind and thoughts. It can be a sign or an image that reflect the character of something. A sign which allow the object or subject to speak for itself. The street character is reflected by the building use for business activities in the street. Apart from business activities, the building within the street is reflected by the religious element of the place. The mosque within the street is playing a huge role and it becomes a ‘sign’ or one of the most significant buildings in the street. As the only Indian Muslim Mosque in the town centre, Masjid India had to accommodate Indian Muslims from outside of the town centre. Many of them came for the Friday prayers. Beside a sign of the religious element of the place, the mosque also reflects the most dominant group who is staying in the street.

The shop-houses that have variety of architectural style such as Art Deco, Transitional, Strait Electic and Islamic architecture can be seen in the street. All these styles have their own appearance and they can be differentiated through the ornamentation, balcony, façade and fenestration. The buildings that have different styles and ‘sign’ record the history and the incidents that had happened in the past of the street.


The Culture of the Streets


In accordance to the nature of the culture, we tend to see saree and silk shops dominating the streets, pointing out traditional clothing to Indian culture.

Photographed by Chong Kah Weng


As the area is a mix trend of Indian and Malay culture, we tend to notice ‘batik’ and ‘baju kurung’ shops open at night.

Photographed by Voon Jia Wen


The bazaar at the end of the street also offers a wide range of traditional Malay clothing and items like handcrafted wooden ‘keris’ and ‘songkok.‘

Photographed by Chong Kah Weng


Indian flower stall where its blooms are primarily used in a wedding.

Photographed by Voon Jia Wen


Variety of Malay Batiks sold

Photographed by Ling Gee You


The courtyard as a playground area.

Photographed by Voon Jia Wen


Happiness of the street

Photographed by Voon Jia Wen


Joyride relationship of parent and child on the street.

Photographed by Voon Jia Wen


Foreign vendors selling silk, they do make their mark here.

Photographed by Voon Jia Wen


Fried Malay snacks sold in the back alley.

Photographed by Voon Jia Wen


Bazaar seller selling ornamental bronze-like items.

Photographed by Ling Gee You


Begging by the hard rock road.

Photographed by Lau Hao Shun


Homeless mums sleeping by the benches in the apartment corridors.

Photographed by Chong Kah Weng


As the day draws to close, the streets get quieter, all shops are closed.

Photographed by Chong Kah Weng


Street as container of society, culture and memory A street is not experienced by itself, but always in relation to its surroundings, the sequence of the events, the architecture styles of the buildings within a street, leading up to it and the memory of the past experience. The old buildings in the street reflected how people ‘used’ the street and the new buildings in the street reflected how people intended to develop the street. The coexistence of the old and new building created a kind of interesting contrast which hardly can be seen in other street. The old buildings preserved many fond memories of the past and the new buildings are going to create the new memories for the coming generation. A street is a collector of memories and it collect the memories from each individual in the street. The street users are not simply observe the whole street but taken themselves as part of it. Users from the past and present have the long associations with the street, and the image is soaked into their memories and meaning.

The Indian-Muslim Mosque is one of the best examples that reflected the culture and society of the street. A street is a place where the society and culture encountered. At the same time, it creates memory and become the container of the memory.


Conclusion As a conclusion, Jalan Masjid India is a street that located at the big city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is a street that full of Indian and Indian-Muslim cultural religious. The main attraction of the street is their local clothes and textile business trading. The designation of the buildings along the street represent different architectural style that the street would like the user to experience. With the design of the buildings, it allows the user to gain the unique experience that will last forever in their memories. A street that plays a cultural role and that represents as a heritage site is here to stay.

Asian architecture masjid india  
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