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MNEMONIC PRACTICE: Hybrid Urban Village As Reconstruction of Memory of Places


DRAFT THESIS LAST UPDATED ON APRIL 27, 2102

MNEMONIC PRACTICE: Hybrid Urban Village As Reconstruction of Memory of Places

BY IRWAN SOETIKNO (ADVISOR: Prof. BRIAN ZHANG LI)

A Graduate Thesis English Professional Master of Architecture (EPMA) School of Architecture, Tsinghua University Beijing, China


CONTENTS abstract 06 PART 1 : INTRODUCTION 20 PART 2: THEORETICAL PROPOSITION:

36–95

ABSTRACT REALITY: PHENOMENOLOGY IN ARCHITECTURE 40 CITY & SENSE OF PLACE: 1.CITY, RUIN AND MONUMENTALITY 52 2.CITY OF STAGE, PERFORMANCE AND AUDIENCE 62 3.CITY AS A GARDEN OF POETIC TECTONIC 76 4.URBAN – VILLAGE 84 CASE STUDY: KAMPUNG KALI CODE, YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA 92

PART 3: DESIGN THESIS:

96–157

SUZHOU CREEK: LANDSCAPE OF UNCERTAINTY HYBRID BUILDINGS 114 MAPPINGS 128 HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE 152

PART 4: CONCLUSION bibliography

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abstract


abstract Mnenonic Practice: Hybrid Urban Village As Reconstruction of Memory of Places

Does Architecture still matter? Are traditional and vernacular values still important to be explored and can they be embodied into the modern architecture--driven by scientific and technological development--which has occupied modern Asian metropolis following post-colonialism, capitalism and globalization? In this thesis, to re-thinking the meaning and values of traditional and vernacular, I propose phenomenology as point of departure, and mnemonic practice as design methodology. By analyzing the phenomenon of the modern and traditional environment, which I encountered in different polarity of Indonesian mythical traditional environment (Hindu Temple in Java and Bali) and Chinese historical and modern environment (Chinese Garden & Shanghai metropolis), I develop a theoretical proposition which central to the dichotomy of formal dimension and transcendental dimension 1. I believe, in order to restore our modern city and community within the corridor of critical regionalism, we have to look back again, and learn from the traditional built environment which is capable to integrate both dimensions. In this condition, place is experienced beyond merely physical perception, and ʻidentity ʼ and ʻsense of placeʼ is resonated and registered deep into our memory through different means and meanings. To test out this theoretical proposition, I propose design thesis of Hybrid Urban Village. Itʼs a design intervention on urban village at the Suzhou Creek, Shanghai following the post-industrialization, by adopting the hybrid building typology. Hybrid Urban Village is a new community which offers diversity to generic modern Shanghai urban environment. Itʼs is envisioned as a catalyst for Suzhou Creek Urban redevelopment. And finally, itʼs a reconstruction of my personal memory of places: a locus of traditional and modernity.

KEYWORDS: Mnemonic Practice, Hybrid Buildings, Urban Village, Phenomenology, Critical Regionalism.

1

Refer to Husserl, who divided two dimensions from which every system derives its meaning.

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abstract (Chinese) Mnenonic Practice: Hybrid Urban Village as Reconstruction of Memory of Places

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PHENOMENOLOGY IN ARCHITECTURE Hengshan Road International Community Church (Photo by author)

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MNEMONIC PRACTICE Memory of the City: Shanghai Century Park (Photo by author)

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CITY AS A GARDEN OF POETIC TECTONIC Jingshan Park, Beijing, China (Photo by author)

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URBAN - VILLAGE Terrace House, Singapore (Photo by author)

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MYTHICAL TRADITIONAL ENVIRONMENT Tirtha Empul Temple, Bali, Indonesia (Photo by author)

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URBAN VILLAGE, SUZHOU CREEK, SHANGHAI Project site Periphery (Photo by author)

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PART 1 INTRODUCTION

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Aerial View of Shanghai Pudong. A collection of individualized tower emerge from Tabula Rasa (www.kpf.com).

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INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND & GENERAL ISSUES:

ASIAN URBANISM Regionalism and globalization remains as a polemic issue in the twenty-first century, especially in the developing Asian region with its rapid urbanization with tremendous influence from role model of modern cities in the Europe and North America. ‘Roman operating system’ as elucidated in Mutations2, has become a generic principle of the modern cities in the West and continue to spread its influence as a model in global modern metropolis. Ancient Asian cities such as Beijing, Kyoto and Mandurai, on the other hand, as theorized by Kevin Lynch in Good City Form3 was built on the foundation of cosmic theory. After decades of development and modernization following the post-colonialism, many Asian Cities attempt to repositioning themselves amid the tension between globalization and regionalism. The tension often occurs as a result of rapid transformation and social-political transition, as the cities strive to maintain its cultural values and regional identity, while at the same time need to absorb the modernity as the promise for its prosperity and success in globalized world. The objective of this research is to develop a new perspective for Asian Urbanism, beyond the exhaustive rigid modern design theory and planning—which focus on speculative quantitative analysis & projection, sustainability and other complexity—while unable to restore social dimension and cultural identity. The research attempt to ‘fill in the gap’ within the large scale urban fabric, by focusing on micro scale urbanism and aim to address the issue of identity and sense of place.

2 3

Koolhas, Rem. Mutations: Harvard Project in the City, Barcelona, Actar 2000. Lynch, Kevin. Good City Form, Cambridge, Mass, MIT Press 1984.

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INTRODUCTION

1. URBANIZATION & GLOBALIZATION There are at least two theories which justify the global phenomenon of the world metropolis. First, dealing with the urbanization, viewed as an internal factor within a city. During the course of urbanization, the metropolis evolved out of a collection of individualized programmatic structures strewn across the landscape.4 Second, as the external pressure, every cities need to develop a strategy to keep up with change, globally and locally, and to maintain the advantages and competitiveness that they need for survival. In China, since the economic reformation after the Deng Xiaobing era, government has taken a strategy of building Urban Mega Projects (UMPs).5 As an obvious result of this strategy, there are massive UMPs which emerge as a collection of individualized programatic structures within the metropolis urban fabric, such as Shanghai and Beijing. The collection of individual UMPs have caused a segregation and discontinuation within the city’s urban fabric which crated a problematic issue. Linked Hybrid in Beijing by Steven Holl is an attempt to resolve this issue by creating a porous urban fabric. Linked Hybrid is comprised of eight hybrid buildings with multi function / programatic requirement, which are linked by series of bridge, making this development an independent city within a city. However, this operation work in the large scale, and connected bridges act as a new infrastructure which do not resolve the scale for human habitation. Therefore, one of key issue that we should pay attention here is how to mitigate the gap of large scale urban fabric with the human scale habitation? I believe at this period after the decades of urbanization and globalization, we need to ‘fill in the gap’ in-between the large scale individualized development by rebuilding, reconnecting and redirecting micro scale urban development which is important to restore the human life, social structure and cultural identity

Figure 02-04 Skyline of Shanghai Pudong Lujiajui, a collection of individualized programatic structures(left, by author). Linked Hybrid by Steven Holl as an attempt to resolve the spatial segregation of individualized programatic structures by creating a porous urban fabric (bottom, www.stevenholl.com).

4 Nijenhuis, W. ʻCity Frontiers and Their Disappearanceʼ, Architectural Design, v.64, n.3/4, 1994, p15-16 5 Chen, Yawei. Shanghai Pudong, Urban Development In An Era of Global-local Interaction. TU Delft, 2007

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2. AFTER TABULA RASA & COLLECTIVE MEMORY, WHAT NEXT? The Modernism design strategy and operation of Tabula Rasa in the last past decades in European and American cities have been proved guilty as this strategy eradicated the identity and history of place. Later during postmodernism era in the European context, Aldo Rossi with his Neo-rationalism defended the importance of history and memory of place, and proposed a new strategy of Collective Memory, which attempted to maintain and reconstruct the identity of place / city. During the globalization, these two precedents from European and American cities are widely adopted by Asian Cities which are undergoing unprecedented development. One extreme case is Singapore which experiencing the major transformation and development based on tabula rasa—described by Koolhaas as thirty years of tabula rasa; a

representation of unique ecology of the contemporary.6 Shanghai Pudong as the center of the new metropolis was also established on tabula rasa and gained its new identity from generic collective iconic towers which marks its economic establishment and prosperity. Following the Tabula Rasa, Collective Memory strategy is later becoming a ‘new trend’ signified by many conservation projects in major China metropolis, including Shanghai, which is based on European model. One of the most notable project, Xintiandi redevelopment, was a pilot project in Shanghai which gained a success and set a precedent for other similar conservation projects across China. If Gehry’s Bilbao is capable to become catalyst for Bilbao economic development, and often recognized as Bilbao Effect, then Xintiandi in Shanghai is inclined to promote similar Xintiandi Effect for conservation projects in China which is directed for commercialization. This tendency of conservation and preservation which is directed for commercial purpose and profit should be further questioned and examined, as it does not fundamentally restore the collective memory and historical identity of city. Furthermore, most of these projects only serve certain group of people and accessible for certain class of society with power and particular interest. In terms of the spatial organization, most of the conservation projects which are directed by commercialization purpose did not restore the spatial identity and meaning. The memory and historical identity are simply represented by old material, symbol, ornament, or old skin of the building without necessarily restore the spatial organization and meaning of the old architecture. This condition is noticeable, for example, in the case of commercial hutong of Beijing Nan Luoguxiang. In this old linear hutong, shops are built along the corridor, decorated and installed with shiny facade, enclosing the old un-restored courtyard house at the back. On the other case, in Shanghai Xintiandi, the spatial organization within the old historical housing is articulated and used for new commercial functions & activities. Looking at this new direction of Asian Cities which adopted the tabula rsa and collective memory for these past decades, with various direction and interpretation, this thesis will

6

Koolhaas, Rem. S,M,L,XL, 1998, p1011.

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INTRODUCTION

attempt to challenge both approach. After tabula rasa and collective memory, what are the next approach should we envision for Asian Cities in its unique regional and historical context?

Figure 05 & 06 The Comparative study of Spatial Organization between Nan Luguoxing, Beijing (left) and Xintiandi Shanghai (right). (By author)

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3. ICONIC, IDENTITY & SENSE OF PLACE The proliferation of iconic buildings as a strategy to establish an identity / brand following the globalization is a common phenomena in Asian metropolis. Responding to regional and cultural identity, these iconic buildings are often decorated with local form / ornament / attribute which attempt to signify the genius loci of particular place / city. Symbolism, analogy, and narrative of traditional, historical and cultural values are also often embedded into the modern iconic building, often simply as a strategy; to justify its existence and position in the city with unique historical and cultural background, and to rationalize the meaning of its form and physical gesture. Wisma Dharmala office tower in Jakarta, by Paul Rudolph, is one example of modern iconic building which attempted to symbolize the regional identity into overall building outlook by adopting the pitch roof form—of regional urban fabric (of Jakarta). The result of this strategy is a unique white iconic tower with series of ‘pitch roof’ shape attached to the building surface, and functioned as sun shade. Though this unique form able to establish a visual identity of metropolis Jakarta in regional and global context, however there are many social, cultural and spatial organization value of regional identity which cannot be restored solely by formal interpretation & manifestation—of building form, its element and attributes. On the other hand, in China context, Beijing West Train Station is a significant example of modern building which attempted to restore the cultural identity through association to Chinese architectural form and ornaments. Chinese roof pagoda and ornamentations which are attached to the large Beijing West Train Station Building visually identify building’s position in the Chinese historic city of Beijing, which has long cultural and historical identity including its unique architecture. However the formal architectural approach of form, ornament and symbol are only object which incapable to capture and restore the unique Chinese society with its diverse cultural and historical background. These two above mentioned projects are example among many other iconic modern buildings across the Asian continent which attempt to restore the historical and cultural background by employing objects; of local form, ornaments and attributes in association to identity. Responding to Critical Regionalism, as a new direction which challenge the global homogeneity versus the regional diversity, proliferation of modern iconic building often employed this strategy as the new ‘effective’ tool to bring forth the ‘identity’ of place / city to be recognized in the globalized world. However, after many 27


INTRODUCTION

decades of attempts it was proved as ‘ineffective’ and incapable to restore the real social, cultural and historical identity of diverse Asian society which are built beyond the physical dimension and formal objects. To return to the basic question, of identity and place / city, we have to avoid the spectacle of iconic building for awhile, and start to examine the meaning of architecture in the broader context, part of social and cultural phenomenon. Therefore, how could we restore the meaning and identity place / city, beyond the spectacle of iconic building which have been employed in modern Asian cities for many decades? This thesis attempt to explore and challenge this issue, by looking at the other polarity of society within the Shanghai metropolis; Urban Village at the postindustrialized Suzhou Creek.

Figure 07-10 The Wisma Dharmala by Paul Rudolf (top left), with the unique form inspired by pitch roof form of regional urban character of Jakarta (top right). Beijing West Train Station (below left), an attempt to restore the cultural identity of Chinese Architecture (Forbidden City, below right)

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THEORETICAL APPROACH :

PHENOMENOLOGY IN ARCHITECTURE Why Phenomenology? To restore the social, cultural and historical identity of diverse Asian society we need to first understand essential value and meaning of its architecture and built environment. In this approach, phenomenology in architecture offer a new perspective to identify ‘sense of place’ and identity beyond the modernism approach which focus on physical dimension—of form, sign & symbol. From the several previous example, we could notice that symbolism & analogy approach which often employed by modern architecture operation is not capable to restore social & cultural identity and its practice of daily life. Vernacular and traditional environment in many Asian culture, are fundamentally built beyond physical dimension or formal.7 They also penetrate transcendental dimension—of human belief, religious practice, and mythical aspect— which cannot be captured by modern scientific framework. To understand the meaning of vernacular and traditional environment, in this particular research, I choose phenomenology as a tool which I believe effective to capture the fundamental meaning and ideas behind the physical built environment.

7 Husserl defined two dimensions from which every system derives its meaning: the formal, or syntactic, dimension which corresponds to the structure of the system itself, to the relation among its elements; and the transcendental, or semantic, dimension that is, the reference of each element to the reality of the Lebenswelt, including historic constitution. (Perez_Gomez, Alberto. Architecture and the Crisis of Modern Science. 1983). The dissertation work of Peter Eisenmann: The Formal Basis of Modern Architecture, in this context dealing with only the first formal dimension. I believe to understand the meaning of vernacular and traditional built environment, we therefore need to examine both formal and transcendental dimension which is often neglected in modern / contemporary architecture practice.

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INTRODUCTION

DESIGN METHODOLOGY :

MNEMONIC PRACTICE Mnemonic is any learning technique that aids memory. To improve long term memory, mnemonic systems are used to make memorization easier. Mnemonics rely on associations between easy-to-remember constructs which can be related back to the data that are to be remembered. This is based on the observation that the human mind much more easily remembers spatial, personal, surprising, physical, sexual, humorous, or otherwise meaningful information, as compared to retrieving arbitrary sequences.8 In this research context, I propose Mnemonic Practice as a design methodology to investigate the phenomenology of vernacular and traditional environment, and to reconstruct those memories into modern environment of Hybrid Urban Village. Therefore, Mnemonic practice in this research is a thesis for design methodology, which I believe is an important device to capture the phenomenon of physical and transcendental dimension. On the architectural practice, we could find example of several building which design process is influence by mnemonic practice of personal or collective memory. Though research of this area is usually conducted outside architecture discipline, and still speculative, however it offers a new corridor for design thinking and methodology which is significant for architectural theory and practice. Frank Gehry’s famous Bilbao museum is a sample of architectural expression which was influenced by Gehry’s personal memory and obsession to fish form, fluid, and sail’s surface. 9 The fluid, iconic and sculptural form is not necessarily derived from a rational design thinking / problem solving, but it’s rather an evolution of Gehry exploration to fish form and his personal memory of phenomenon of fluid, seas, sails and wind effects. Peter Eisenmann’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, is a monument which was design as an attempt to reconstruct the collective memory of the past tragedy. The array of massive concrete block with the sequences of paths and spatial narrative, is a form mnemonic practice which represent an important event in the past and registered in the collective memory of the people.10

Figure 11 & 12 Eisenmann’s Holocaust Museum, Berlin, mnemonic of collective memory (left, wikipedia). Gehry’s Bilbao museum, mnemonic of personal memory (right, wikipedia). 8

Wikipedia See Gehry Talks, Rizzoli, 1999, where Gehry himself explained his design process and thinking. 10 Nielsen, Kasper Lægring. Exploring the Mnemonic Dimension of Architecture through Recent Holocaust Memorials in Europe, 2007. 9

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THEORETICAL PROPOSITION :

ABSTRACT REALITY In investigating the vernacular and traditional environment versus the modern urban environment, I propose a theoretical proposition of ‘abstract reality’ which capture the phenomenon of built environment include its intangible ‘abstract’ aspect which I believe essential in constructing the unique sense of place within many traditional environment. The collection of ‘reading’ and investigation of this phenomenon are focused on comparative study of urban environment and traditional environment, of city and village, of global and regional: of Indonesia and China context. Indonesian Hindu temple in Java and Bali are among the objects of study which represent ancient, traditional and vernacular aspect. While Chinese Garden, is a parallel case study of Chinese culture which I believe significant to represent phenomenology in architecture. In the urban context, I propose Shanghai as the study case to examine the meaning of ‘sense of place’ and identity in the middle of its rapid transformation and social transition. Ruin, as the physical evidence of its development and transformation, in my view is a significant phenomenon which signify its ‘image’ of the city. Among those ruins, urban village appears as an interesting phenomena which reveal the human resistance against the deterioration and destruction of building physical elements due to aging process. And to further understand the this issue, I took a comparative study of dwelling of village in rural Shanghai and traditional Balinese village.

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PROPOSAL:

HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE, A SUZHOU CREEK URBAN REDEVELOPMENT, SHANGHAI 1. Suzhou Creek A 125km long river, originated from Lake Tai, cutting through the center of Shanghai metropolis and flowing into the Huang Pu River at the northern end of prominent urban promenade, The Bund, in Huang Pu district. The poetic memory, hope, and fantasy of Suzhou Creek as depicted in movie Suzhou River11 , has become essential aspect of Shanghai imageability12 and history. In the past, this 50m wide river has become a boundary separating different political influences throughout Shanghai’s history. In 1842 when Shanghai became international trade port, the river formed the boundary between the British concession (Southern bank) and the American settlement (Northern bank) until both concessions were merged into the International Settlement in 1863. In 1937, during the Japanese occupation, the river formed the boundary between the International Settlement (South) and the Japanese concession (North). As a major consequence of Shanghai development as international trading port, Suzhou Creek emerged as an important shipping route, facilitating the transport of goods into the interior of China. Along the river banks, a multitude of warehouses and factories were built at this time, making the region close to the river a significant industrial area. Later after Shanghai rapid urbanization and transformation, the industries were withdrew from urban center, left the warehouses and factories abandoned and creates several issues related to sustainability and conservation. The heavily polluted water of Suzhou river, affected by industry and domestic waste water, has also become a major concern. Since 1992, Shanghai Municipal Government has been pursuing a redevelopment of the area. In 1998, authorities launched the Suzhou Creek Rehabilitation Project, a 12-yearprogram to improve the water quality, mitigate flood impact, introduce wastewater and water resource management and push for urban revitalization and a higher living standard in the desolated areas along Suzhou River. In the meantime, Suzhou River is considered clean enough to host annual rowing competitions.

2. Urban Village Urban Village is an urban planning and urban design concept which refers to urban form, typically characterized by medium density development with mixed use zoning, provision of good public transit, pedestrian and public space. The ideas of the urban commentator Jane 11

Suzhou River (苏州河, 2000) is a tragic love story movie set in contemporary Shanghai, directed by Lou Ye. First coined by Kevin Lynch, the term refer to quality in a physical object which gives it a high probability of evoking a strong image in any given observer (The Image of The City, P9). 12

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INTRODUCTION

Jacobs are widely regarded as having had the largest influence on the urban village concept. Jacobs rejected the modernist views that dominated urban planning and architecture in the 1950s-60s and constructed an alternative philosophy that values traditional neighborhoods and the role of the inner city. Proponents believe that urban villages provide a viable alternative to the social ills that characterize modernism in cities, such as freeways and high-rise estates. 13 In this research we look at the urban village in China context which is different from the previous meaning as influenced by Jacobs. Urban villages (Chinese: 城中村; literally:"village in city") are a unique phenomenon that formed part of China’s urbanization efforts. The villages appear on both the outskirts and the downtown segments of major cities, including Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. They are surrounded by skyscrapers, transportation infrastructures, and other modern urban constructions. Urban villages are commonly inhabited by the poor and transient, and as such they are associated with squalor, overcrowding and social problems. However, they are also among the liveliest areas in some cities and are notable for affording economic opportunity to newcomers to the city. 14 In Shanghai, in particular, the existence of urban village is mainly related to social and economic issue which can be traced back from the emergence of Modern Urban Housing process since 1840–1910. 15 In general there are three main group of residents which determine the polarization of urban housing and living condition. Based on occupation and income level, they are divided into Upper Level, Middle Level and Lower Level. 16 This lower level of group which will later form the cluster of urban village following the rapid urbanization and development. Since 1894 there was flow of workers from mainly rural area to fill in the demand of occupation of the docks and Chinese & foreign enterprises related to industry, transportation and other public undertaking. Together within this flow were people worked as carpenters, tailors, launderers, shop assistant, women servants and clerks. All this group of people constituted a bulky working class at the lower level of society. With the limited income which could barely covered the basic living expenses, they live in the extremely crude and simple living environment. They often occupied the low standard worker houses built in the area with factory concentration or even form a slum which first appeared in late nineteenth century at Shanghai docks.17 From sociology point of view, a research conducted by Prof. Xiaming Chen from University of Illinois-Chicago, 18 categorized Shanghai neighborhood into 6 types; agricultural village, town center, urban residential village, old urban settlement, new commercial housing complexes, and luxury flats & villas. Both agricultural village and town center are located at the boundary of Shanghai municipality. At the urban centre, urban residential village are the lowest hierarchy of living environment. The urban residential village in this categorization refer to original Chinese term gongren xincun, translated into “workers new villages,” which refer to the main housing settlements in urbanized Shanghai for mostly factory workers and their families 13

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_village

14

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_village_(China)

15

See Chapter One: The Emergence of Modern Urban Housing (1840-1910); Lu Junhua, Modern Urban Housing in China, 1840-2000. 16 Ibid. 17 Ibid. 18 “Untangling a global-local nexus:Sorting out residential sorting in Shanghai”, 2007.

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INTRODUCTION

from the 1950s through the early 1980s. From the early 1990s, these residential villages became a main destination for many lower-income people in the old urban neighborhoods (type 4) displaced by rapid urban redevelopment in Shanghai.19 Urban Village in this research is mainly refer to ‘urban residential village’ and ‘old urban settlement’ which remain along the post-industrial area along the Suzhou Creek. These Urban Villages are surviving in various condition; decayed, destroyed, desolated and entrapped among the new rising residential apartments and commercial towers.

3. Proposed Site and Its Context The context of the project is situated on Suzhou Creek in Shanghai, a historical territory within urban center which offers problematic issue of nature and city, history and future, postindustrialization and transformation which reflect instability or uncertainty. The proposed research site is located within the Shanghai urban area at Changning district. The site is an urban village (200 X 500 m) adjacent to the north side of Suzhou Creek, surrounded by complexity of modern infrastructure (3 metro lines) and roads, modern high rise apartment, historical site of former St. John’s University (now East China University of Political Science and Law), Public Zhong Shan Park, and commercial blocks.

Private Residential Blocks

Urban Village

former St. John’s University

Zhong Shan Park

Commercial Blocks

Figure 14 Propose site: Urban Village, and its surrounding context.

19

Ibid.

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INTRODUCTION

4. Design Typology: Hybrid Building The concept of hybridization originates from genetics and refers to the cross breeding of different species. In Architecture, definition of hybrid building is associated with the programmatic requirement. In 1985, Joseph Fenton categorized American Hybrid buildings into three main categories: Fabric Hybrids-volumetric infill into the city’s gridded fabric; Graft Hybrids-which express each program in the resultant form of the hybrid building; and Monolith Hybrids-programmatic elements being subsumed into a continuous envelope.20 As a common phenomenon in American cities, Hybrid Buildings were breed to accommodate the complexity of the programmatic requirements in modern urban fabric. Recently, the Linked-Hybrid by Steven Holl, in Beijing, has attempted to create a development which act as porous urban fabric. The bridges—connected eight main towers—tie the complex program into a single hybrid building. However, this connectivity operates in the large scale which at the end act as a new infrastructure of the complex and yet does not necessarily dissolve the spatial quality at the micro scale.

5. Design Thesis: Hybrid Urban Village The final proposed design for this research will be the 5th stage of Suzhou Creek Urban Redevelopment (following the 4 series of government action for urban redevelopment, dealing with Water, Conservation, Tabula Rasa, and River Front). It is a hybrid development comprises of housing, work place & market place, social space & public facility. The hybrid development is an proposed intervention to the existing urban village at the edge of Suzhou Creek which endure resistance against the pressure of economic development, high land price and physical border (the river). The outcome of the design is a general master plan of selected site which address the problematic urban issues, and architectural conceptual proposal which is expected to become a project prototype to envision large scale transformation at the particular area.

Figure 14 Government’s action on Suzhou Creek .

Figure 15 Hybrid Urban Village - thesis proposal. 20 Fenton, Joseph. ‘Hybrid Buildings’ in Pamphlet of Architecture no.11.p7

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CONTENT FRAMEWORK: THEORETICAL PROPOSITION: ABSTRACT REALITY: PHENOMENOLOGY IN ARCHITECTURE CITY & SENSE OF PLACE: 1.CITY, RUIN AND MONUMENTALITY 2.CITY OF STAGE, PERFORMANCE AND AUDIENCE 3.CITY AS A GARDEN OF POETIC TECTONIC 4.URBAN – VILLAGE CASE STUDY: KAMPUNG KALI CODE, YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA DESIGN THESIS: SUZHOU CREEK: LANDSCAPE OF UNCERTAINTY HYBRID BUILDINGS MAPPINGS HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE

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PART 2 THEORETICAL PROPOSITION ABSTRACT REALITY: PHENOMENOLOGY IN ARCHITECTURE CITY & SENSE OF PLACE: 1.CITY, RUIN AND MONUMENTALITY 2.CITY OF STAGE, PERFORMANCE AND AUDIENCE 3.CITY AS A GARDEN OF POETIC TECTONIC 4. URBAN – VILLAGE CASE STUDY: KAMPUNG KALI CODE, YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA

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PART 2 THEORETICAL PROPOSITION

ABSTRACT REALITY: PHENOMENOLOGY IN ARCHITECTURE

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Figure 01 & 02 The Weather Project by Olafur Eliasson (Left, wwww.tate.org.uk). People’s Square Shanghai (Right, by author).

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ABSTRACT REALITY

ABSTRACT REALITY: PHENOMENOLOGY IN ARCHITECTURE

ABSTRACT REALITY The Weather Project by Olafur Eliasson under his laboratory for spatial research is an experimentation which attempt to manipulate human perception through series of art installation which mimic the natural phenomenon. This project was capable to create an illusion which challenge our notion of reality. In architecture practice, the development of building material and technology is now capable to create a seductive phenomena which manipulate our perception of space and place. It also capable to build a camouflage which mimics the phenomena of natural process and environment (see fig.03 & 04). The media facade technology, for example, as a new emerging building technology which is widely used for commercial building is phenomenal in its capability to create a vibrant identity of a building and place, stimulate our perception and direct our attention to certain things. Perception as part of our body system & structure which become the primary source to inform our understanding / knowledge of the world, is important aspect of phenomenology in architecture which is still controversial but provocative. In contemporary architectural theory, Phenomenology in Architecture was developed under the major influence of philosophical writing by Martin Heidegger. In 43


ABSTRACT REALITY

contemporary architectural practice, this theory has been practiced by several prominent architect include Steven Holl and Peter Zumthor. The abstract dimension of space / place, which is associated with intangible reality, is however I would argue as important as tangible physical dimension in establishing our consciousness, awareness, and memory of space and place. Under the spectacle of development of current modern building science and technology, we are faced by a new reality which is empowered by technology, and allowed our selves to be seduced. In the traditional architectural practice, the tension between abstract dimension of intangibility and reality of building and space exists and capable in creating a poetic and memorable sense of place. An achievement which the modern practice attempt to gain by technological instrument.

Figure 01 & 02 La Defenses Offices by Un Studio (left). Media Facade technology.

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ABSTRACT REALITY

PERCEPTION Perception involves the stimulation which is registered by our basic five senses: Sight, Hearing, Taste, Smell and Touch. Our perception to building, space, place, and environment however is contributed by complexity of physical and psychological mechanism. Visual sense, as the strongest component in building our perception, is obviously become the primary attention in the architectural practice today, which apparent in the creation of physical object, material and form to attract, seduce and camouflage our perception to architecture and environment. However, in the traditional environment, there are evidence of creative practice which composes a unique environment by stimulate our complex senses and perception, and capable to raise our awareness of place beyond visual stimulation through object. To understand the complexity of traditional architecture in stimulating our perception, I’d like to use the analogy of ‘good food’. Our tongue could register five basic taste which define our perception to certain food. Those tastes are bitterness, saltiness, sourness, sweetness and umami. The sensor for each of this tastes is located in the specific location within the surface of tongue. The bitterness, for instance, is located at the back of the tongue. This explain why the sensation of bitter medicine is perceived when the medicine is almost reach the back of tongue into the throat. The traditional food, of Indonesian yellow rice for instance, with its rich composition of ingredients is capable to stimulate

bitter

salty

salty

sour

sour sweet

Figure 05 & 06 Indonesian Nasi Kuning, with rich ingredients and taste (left, wikipedia). Schematic location of taste sensor along the tongue.

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ABSTRACT REALITY

all sensory of taste as the food pass the surface of tongue from its tip to the bottom. This mechanism is probably explain why we feel the sensation of ‘good food’ with rich taste, while taste other full as dull or less delicious. Similar to traditional food, the vernacular Indonesian architecture (i.e. Balinese Architecture), is capable to create a continuous stimulation to our complex senses across the complex dimension of time and space. This complexity of traditional architecture define the human position in place beyond the physical and spiritual realm, which is cannot be captured modern theoretical framework, and sometimes identified as mythical. The distance of modern architectural framework and of traditional one can be traced back from the original conception of form and space in the western and eastern world.

Figure 07 & 08 Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci (left, wikipedia). Vastu Mandala.

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ABSTRACT REALITY

THE CONCEPTION OF FORM & SPACE: CONTAIN VS CONTAINER The Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487, which was based by the work of Vitruvius, is an influential drawing which establish the canon of proportion of human body. The geometric dimension and order by human body through a long ‘evolution’ of modern architecture practice will later produce an architectural object; an independent physical form which isolate human body from its environment which impose human control over its nature. Villa Savoye which signified the principle of modern architecture as promoted by Le Corbusier is a prominent example of ‘architectural object’. The building is detached from its surrounding and lifted up above the ground, of plane landscape, which emphasize its visibility and monumentality. Based on Vastu Mandala, the traditional Indonesia architecture however put more emphasis in the spatial dimension, the relationship of man and nature (and gods & cosmos). The form and architectural element is simply an instrument to define the spatial boundary and position of man in his cosmos. In this perspective, the notion of space is created through perception by fives sense, natural phenomenon, and belief.

Figure 09 & 10 Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier (left). Balinese Temple : Pura Dalem Agung.

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ARCHITECTURE OF THE INVISIBLE: OF MAN & NATURE Balinese build their living environment in the cosmos, in between the mountainous region (The volcanic Mount Agung as its highest peak) and sea. Balinese adhere to local Hasta Kosala Kosali (similar to Chinese Feng Shui) in constructing their urban cosmos / environment, settlement and architecture. Influence by Indian VastuMandala, this rule determine the size, proportion, different kind of construction and spatial relationship of the buildings which reflect cosmological concepts. 21 And this rule has been persistently dictating the modern urban development, community and architecture. Building is not allowed to rise higher than surrounding trees, or modern infrastructure which has to maintain its balance proportion with nature are some of evidence of this rule. In this context, regionalism is not only simply translated into resemblance or mimicry to traditional form, but also a total celebration and practice of tradition, belief and its myth, beyond the formal appearance of buildings and symbols. The sense of place in Balinese traditional environment is composed by complex tangible and intangible element which creates a unique, palpable and pungent stimulation to our senses. Place is experienced beyond the man-made physical boundary or object. The sensation of being in a particular place is also associated with smells or aroma, sounds, and the change of natural phenomena. Other intangible aspect such as ritual, myth, and local belief also contributed to one’s perception of place. The aroma of burning offering in Balinese village will obviously remind one who approach a certain territory before he/she can visually define the place.

Color of My Memory: of Balinese temple In 1999, as architecture student who visited Balinese temple as part of study discourse to research the vernacular architecture, I was overwhelmed by this traditional physical and spiritual realm. It was green environment with rich composition of different tones and intensity. Under the bright blue sky of tropical island which sometimes overcast by clouds, I could feel the warm air which was flowing with the breeze of wind carried the salty smell of ocean. 21

Oliver, Paul. Dwellings: The Vernacular House Worldwide, 2003, p184.

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Approaching the temple, the pungent smell of offering and flowers will suddenly direct us to the location of temple which is visually invisible. It was orange and brownish clay brick wall which gated our steps into the courtyard of traditional Hindu temple. The Balinese built their architectural enclosure with all local material which requires minimum maintenance. The clay brick wall, for instance, is laid naturally without cement. Through the natural process, washed by rain, humidity and sunlight, the brick will ‘melt’ and stick one to another. The green moss and fungus which grow on the surface of stones and brick function as a ‘glue’, binding the building component together and creates a unique texture and color. Conceptually the age of the building can be traced from its color, texture and form. The older, they will looks closer to the nature, and blend into the environment. Walking deeper into the complex, I encountered more layers of wall and gates which is composed in different scale and height to capture the ‘spiritual’ matrix of nature. This physical boundary is built in the very careful organization which visually composed series of illusion of spaces. As the result, we feel in the nature and at the same time off the nature, and our journey from matrix of space to space is guided in a gentle manner by seamless transition of place. The sound of the water spout built rhythmic of stillness and peacefulness which guide the visitor to the courtyard of prayer. Right in front of vision is an open stage of natural scenery which embraced the entire spiritual realm. And in the small courtyard with pungent aroma of burning offering, one will bow him/her self and sunk behind the low parapet wall while send his/her pray to the gods who dwell in the other dimension within nature. The conception of space in this traditional realm is beyond the form and rigid physical architectural element. And the ‘sense of place’ of this environment is built by series of stimulation to our five senses, across the dimension of time and space, which capable in imparting a strong message to our perception, and depict ‘color’ of place which embedded into memory.

Figure 11 Bali Island with the peak of Mount Agung.

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Figure 12 & 13 The Spatial organization of Balinese temple. The element of water & sound, aroma & smell, visual of ornaments and nature, tactility of material and natural phenomenon altogether compose the perception of place (above). The layers & illusion of space (below).

Figure 12 & 13 The Spatial organization of Balinese temple. The element of water & sound, aroma & smell, visual of ornaments and nature, tactility of material and natural phenomenon altogether compose the perception of place (above). The layers & illusion of space (below).

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ABSTRACT REALITY

Figure 16 The Bulgari Hotel, a contemporary adaptation to local architecture.

Figure 14 & 15 The Vastupurusha Mandala, the temple and the city, the Balinese cosmic order.he distinctive Balinese architecture and urban cosmos: 1. Family Temple; 2. Sleeping Pavilion; 3. West Pavilion, workhouse; 4. Ceremonial Pavilion; 5. Guest Pavilion; 6. Storage for rice; 7. Kitchen; 8. Protective Wall.

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PART 2 THEORETICAL PROPOSITION

CITY & SENSE OF PLACE: 1.CITY, RUIN AND MONUMENTALITY 2.CITY OF STAGE, PERFORMANCE AND AUDIENCE 3.CITY AS A GARDEN OF POETIC TECTONIC 4.URBAN – VILLAGE

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Figure 01 Ruin and Tabula Rasa. (Shanghai 2005, photo by author)

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CITY, RUIN AND MONUMENTALITY

1.CITY, RUIN AND MONUMENTALITY

ENCOUNTER The People want the building that represent their social and community life to give more than functional fulfillment. They want their aspiration for monumentality, joy, pride and excitement to be satisfied. (J.L. Sert, Nine Points on Monumentality) The destruction & demolition of old building and structure into ruin and tabula rasa was a common view in the daily life of Shanghai. The rapid economic development, high land price, and proliferation of new buildings to accommodate the urbanization and social change demand the expansion of tabula rasa for a ground to make new architecture. Ruin as a part of man-made architecture, due to natural process or deliberate deconstruction, under certain circumstances can evolve into an object of monumentality. Learning from previous encounter to the ruin of ancient temple in Indonesia, due to natural process (and contrast to the ruin I encountered in modern city such as Shanghai), ruin has offered complex meaning rather than just a piece of disintegrated artifact. It has an abstract spatial quality, function, and monumentality. By rethinking and reevaluating the phenomenon of ruin, I propose to protect and recompose them as a part of architectural process.

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CITY, RUIN AND MONUMENTALITY

ANCIENT RUIN & MONUMENTALITY Gedong Songo Temple is an ancient Hindu Temple in the Central Java, Indonesia. It was built during the Sanjaya dynasty at 8th to 9th century. The complex was located at Mount Ungaran, and consist of 9 independent buildings, most of which is in ruin now. As a temple which served as an architecture for worship and spiritual symbol, Gedong Songo over long period of time endure the natural process of decaying and deconstruction. Its building material was made of earth of volcanic soil which naturally decomposed and disintegrated into ruin and reintegrated into earth and landscape. Philosophically, the aging process of ancient structure represent the cycle of life and death, a natural process under the complex cosmos which cannot be resisted and escaped. Under the setting of scenic mountainous region with endless open horizon to nature, the remain surviving temple and its ruin symbolically and literally exhibit its monumentality of ancient civilization which once inhabited the region, and existed as part of the cosmos we share today. Architecturally and spatially, this site reveal a dichotomy of monument and ruin. Both of the pieces are important and give meaning one to another. Monumentality of the surviving temple is established upon the ruin of its setting and surrounding.

Figure 02 Ruin of Gedong Songo Temple, Central Java, Indonesia. (photo by author)

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CITY, RUIN AND MONUMENTALITY

CITY AND RUIN TODAY The history & memory of a city, and value of its society is embedded in its architecture and ruin. Ruin can become an interesting playground as I encountered early in the ancient ruin of Gedong Songo temple. The abstraction of its order and spatial deconstruction which happened out of ‘deliberate control’ of human intention create a new territory for imagination in space and place. The scattered volcanic stone which is Figure 03 Ruin at Pudong Lujiajui, Shanghai 2005. decomposed by nature created (photo by author) a new delicate texture and color. Its reintegration into the earth and landscape become an artifact of land art, with new functionality as many as your imagination. It could be as comfortable as concrete bench, or a pathway where you can step along, or a wall which you can climb on or to lay you back. The imaginative spatial quality of ruin offer a fresh attraction, opposite to our functional modern building which embodied rigid control to its users. Architecture is a man made creation with conscious creative effort. On the other hand, ruin is the decomposition of that result which produce new spatial order of unconscious effort (of man or nature). In this case ruin offerS a potential of abstract/ambiguous spatiality which could be further explored with open creative-mind. Several projects experimented by artist--architect trained--Gordon Matta Clark has become a pioneer to explore the imaginative spatiality of ruin. (see fig.05) Ruin is the part of the phenomena of urban transformation, of city like Shanghai, without which its ‘image of the city’ would not be complete. Ruin is also part of life and building aging process. Ruin is the late stage where the building no longer can accommodate the specific function to its user, and therefore worth to be destroyed. Before becoming ruin, there are several resistant, enduring and surviving which people attempted to overcome the 57


CITY, RUIN AND MONUMENTALITY

natural process of deterioration, disintegration, decaying and destroying. This phenomenon are obvious when we pay attention to the physical condition of the building in our city. There are many traces of decaying and disintegration which is being repaired, renovated, and conserved. The individual attempt to modify his architectural enclosure will create a unique environment with distinct identity of material expression, element and form (see fig.08). The collection of these ‘building with modification’, ruin, and new architecture is capable in producing a locus with ‘sense of place’, where memory, events, time and process is embedded in the physical realm.

Figure 04 Architecture in its aging process turned into ruin and tabula rasa

Figure 05 Building Cuts by Gordon Matta Clark.

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CITY, RUIN AND MONUMENTALITY

DECONSTRUCTION OF FORM AND RECONSTRUCTION OF SPACE

Figure 06 The diagram of ruin; a deconstruction of form (above left) and reconstruction of space (above right).

Ruin as an abandoned artifact represent an interesting of form and space. It reminds me of western conception of ‘form & architectural object’, at the same time of the traditional idea of space. Ruin express a tension of deconstruction of form and reconstruction of space. The destruction of physical form, which encapsulate human from nature, produce a new spatial ambiguity with abstract order and interrelationship of ‘inside and outside’.

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CITY, RUIN AND MONUMENTALITY

SURVIVING THE RUIN The restoration process to mitigate the decaying and deconstruction of building due to deterioration of natural aging process capable of creating unique form and spatial quality which contribute to perception and sense of place. This condition can be observed in village or settlement in rural, suburban, or certain spot within urban area. In the edge of the Shanghai Pudong urban area, a patch of agriculture land are still exist in between the new development area. The unique architectonic expression of the houses/ settlement, in the middle of farming land which attempt to survive the ruin, is visually attractive and phenomenal among the new generic architecture of modern environment. The pragmatic response of the inhabitant to his/her ‘decaying shelter’ is very expressive and poetic through the articulation of modest material and construction method to fit the basic need and environment. As the result, this built environment emerge as a distinct place which can be easily identified due to its uniqueness. In the desolate local Balinese village, which is inhabited by marginal society, ironically an identity of place is exhibited by the architectural pieces which surviving the ruin. The pieces of local and natural material which is used by residents to ‘stitch’ their decaying building create a unusual pattern and tectonic expression. The various module of wooden panel, pieces of trunks, leaves of coconut trees and natural stones compose a poetic environment.

Figure 06 & 07 House at Shanghai Pudong rural area (left, by author). House at Balinese village (right).

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Figure 01 Shanghai Urban Transformation. (by author) Selected work published on exhibition catalogue in 2005 (Wang Xiao Hui - BASF).

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CITY OF STAGE, PERFORMANCE & AUDIENCE

2.CITY OF STAGE, PERFORMANCE & AUDIENCE

THE IMAGE OF THE CITY In his ‘The Image of The City’, Kevin Lynch attempted to define the mental image of the city as depicted by ‘observer’ through a series of elements he described as paths, edges, districts, nodes and landmarks. This process, of obtaining mental image of the city, is later associated with sense of place. Image of the city is perceived mainly through our visual perception (and further processed by our mental/psychological effect) and through collective observers, this image will assert certain ‘common’ identity of the city. The process of establishing ‘mental image’ and common identity of the city is nowadays recognized as ‘branding’. It’s a strategy to maintain the competitiveness and survival of the modern metropolis in the globalized world, by erecting a landmark; iconic tower. ‘Sense of place’ of city, with its complex social, politic, and economic dimension, unfortunately cannot simply be represent by singular iconic object which solely stimulate visual sense. As we move, gather and perform in the city, there are various complex elements which are registered by our faculties (of of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch). And therefore, image of the city should

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CITY OF STAGE, PERFORMANCE & AUDIENCE

not literally correspond to the ‘visual image’ alone but also to other phenomenon of senses, event, memory, and belief. In this concept, sense of place is not constituted only by visual image but also determined by other complexity of phenomenon which is subject to personal experience and depiction. Coming from Indonesia, where living environment is predominantly set in horizontal ground plane, and the reciprocity of man and nature, or architecture and landscape is still influential and ubiquitous, I unconsciously depicted the pictorial imaginary of Shanghai as Urban-Rural or City-Nature (see Fig.1). I enjoyed Shanghai as a modern city with its exquisite grand architecture as well as I appreciated its peaceful rural environment with agriculture land and ‘forest’ which color, texture, visibility and atmosphere change in every seasons.

Figure 02 Traditional Balinese Environment; reciprocity of man and nature / architecture and landscape. (by author)

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CITY OF STAGE, PERFORMANCE & AUDIENCE

STAGE, PERFORMANCE & AUDIENCE To describe our relationship to the city and the process of developing ‘sense of place’ through complex perception and phenomenon, I would like to use an analogy of Stage, Performance and Audience.

performance

stage

audience

Figure 02 The relationship of stage, performance and audience

Stage is a place where the source of stimulation (of visual, smell, audio, etc) begin as the performance occurs and the entire phenomenon are registered by audience. In this analogy, the ‘observer’ in Lynch term is similar to audience, while stage is a place where the observer direct his vision (e.g. landmark, iconic building and its setting). However, the performance (and performer) is missing from his formal analysis of the city which only focus on form, structure and tangible structure of city. Performance is constituted by series of events, daily activities and routine within the city. It could be related to economic activities such as shopping and working, social interaction such as gathering in the park or communal exercise, spiritual and cultural celebration, etc. Performance can be defined as our daily life routine as we perform our activities, moving and be part of the dynamic city. Therefore performance and audience can be interrelated and simultaneously change their role one to another. As I move to work early in the morning, on the open and empty commercial Nanjing Road, often I would encountered a group of elderly performed their communal Tai Chi exercise in a traditional colorful costumes with foreign musical background with their happy laughter which faded on the air among the bustling traffic noise and local bicycle rings. My repetitive encounter to this event which simultaneously ‘disturb’ my perception will eventually create a strong notion of this particular place, a sense of place. In this 67


CITY OF STAGE, PERFORMANCE & AUDIENCE

case, I act as ‘observer’ or audience, who received visual and audial stimulation from a performance (by group of elderly) in a setting of stage (Nanjing Road) with its unique spatial characteristic. From other perspective, the role of performance and audience can be exchange. In the eye of elderly who practicing their exercise, the sense of place could be constituted of a busy Nanjing Road in the morning where the hectic rhythmic of the busy passer-by in the uniformed working dress code ‘disturb’ their perception and motion. As the morning getting brighter and warmer, the traffic noise getting louder, and the street getting busier and crowded, these elderly is signaled by these phenomenon to end their position in time and space, when they have to end their performance. In this perspective, the elderly play the role as the audience (as well as performer), while the other part of busy people including my self are performer who play important part in constituting their awareness of place. The perception and image of the city is established based on the role of particular individual and his role/ relationship to the city. It is true that iconic building, monumental form and other significant tangible elements are important in creating the image of the city. However, considering other complex aspects and elements as described above, the ‘branding’ as the instant process to boost modern city for the competitive purpose and driven by economic development should be further examined and re-evaluated, as the complexity and diversity of regional identity and local community have been often eradicated and neglected. The transition of core value of local/traditional community (of most Eastern culture) to the Modern city and its environment can be analogically read in comparison of two modern painting; A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Gorges Seurat, and Dance (I) by Henri Matisse. Both paintings also depict the contrast of spatial organization and its relation to place (and city).

Figure 02 A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Gorges Seurat.

Figure 02 Dance (I) by Matisse.

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CITY OF STAGE, PERFORMANCE & AUDIENCE

Gaze and Audience In the ‘A sunday Afternoon’, Seurat depicted a group of people in a park who performed in their individuality as an ‘audience’ gazing into the same direction. This image personally reminds me of the general phenomena of modern metropolis with iconic vibrant skyline where is at best to be enjoyed from a certain distance. The city become an attractive stage which hunger for audience. A relationship which could be noticed at Shanghai Pudong Lujiajui and The Bund. From the promenade along the Bund, large amount of audiences (mostly tourist) are allowed to gaze at the Pudong skyline across the Huangpu River. This pictorial scenery of collective tallest-buildings creates a strong image of the city, but only through visual perception, which would be easily replaced and forgotten. As one dwells, performs and becomes the part of the city and exposed to the complexity of urban phenomenon, there are indeed many more elements which capable of constructing his/her ‘image‘ of Shanghai.

Bound and Performance The second painting, ‘Dance (I)‘ where Matisse, inspired by primitive art, depicted the figurative rhythmical motion of five dancer in the flat composition. I am inspired to exhibit this painting as a representation of local community at the micro-human scale within the Shanghai Urban environment. In its largeness and rapid expansion, the city at the certain condition only become a place to exist, to move and to be enjoyed only at the certain distance; gazed by audience. Imagine contained within the small unit apartment, moved within crowded street with large infrastructure and contained by high speed train from spot to spot, our perception and senses is dulled and blurred by the routine and generic environment. Space and time no longer important. And senses is enough to be satisfied by iconic & seductive form and camouflage environment. However at the several locus of local community, the liveliness and strong bound of social interaction can be found. Most of this performance can be found at the public open space, especially parks which offer ‘protection’ from urban ‘disturbance’ (of noises, traffic, pollution, and crowds). At my personal observation, parks (in Shanghai) has become an active place for local residents and community to perform and creates a unique identity of space & place.

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CITY OF STAGE, PERFORMANCE & AUDIENCE

Figure 02 Gaze at the city. The promenade (The Bund, Shanghai) become an urban space for ‘audience’ to gaze the iconic image of the city from a distance. (photos by author)

performance stage audience

Figure 02 Gaze at the city. The image of the city perceived by visual image of iconic tower/landmark, which creating ‘sense of place’ at the macro scale.

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stage + performance + audience Figure 02 The stage, performance and audience are bound in the micro scale urban space (park, plaza, community neighborhood, etc) thus creating a ‘sense of place’ at the different level.

Figure 02 Local residents socialize at Zhongshan Park (left). Children and adult gather at the Plaza (People’s Square) surrounded by collective iconic towers (right). (photos by author)

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CASE STUDY; TARI KECAK & COSMOS: OF STAGE, PERFORMANCE & AUDIENCE

It has been obvious that during the past decades nature has become the subordinate to man which is reflected in modern cities. The rhetorical reciprocity of nature and man in design and planning process has been repeatedly discussed though there is not many implication in real practice. The legendary ‘Design with Nature’ by Ian McHarg which is articulated again by Charles Waldheim in his theory of Landscape Urbanism, remain us again to return to nature process as starting point in designing our urban environment instead of being dictated by merely economic process. Just like a pendulum swing22, the arising sustainable agenda of the contemporary city and urbanism, has in fact oscillated from vernacular or traditional culture within many Asian region, which has been often neglected. As the key principle which underlying the vernacular architecture of traditional Asian cities, nature plays important role in determining the building process, operation and even the social construct. Within this mechanism, sustainability is obviously embedded into its holistic process. Therefore, sustainability which apparently swing from the phenomenon of climatic change and energy crisis in 21st century, after decades of nature exploitation following the industrial revolution, is in fact a precious wisdom of traditional culture which is diminished under the spectacle of capitalism. Quite similar to ancient China, mythical traditional environment in Indonesia was based on nature. The settlement and city is organised by cosmic order, local belief or religion, and traditional values. Place is experienced beyond the man-made physical boundary or object. The sensation of being in a particular place is also associated with smells or aroma, sounds, and the change of natural phenomena. Other intangible aspect such as ritual, myth, and local belief also contributed to one’s perception of place. The aroma of burning offering in Balinese village will obviously remind one who approach a certain territory before he/she

22

Arnold Toynbee is a pioneer in introducing the pendular swing theory of history (A study of History, 1947). It is often used to conceptualize the succession of ideas as a pendular swing, a cycle, or a spiral whereby a particular spirit of the time is replaced--either gradually or abruptly--by another one. (Ellin, Nan. Postmodern Urbanism, 1999, p297)

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can visually define the place. Despite its controversial, the adhan, Islamic call for prayer, creates such a mythical ambience when it resounds with the resting sunset in colorful horizon, positioning oneself in a place between physical and spiritual realm. In traditional environment, nature is not just a source to sustain the life but also as a place to perform. If In the modern city where our existence and performance are so much encapsulated by objects; building and infrastructure, traditional environment allows optimum interaction with nature while providing minimum enclosure to maintain human comfort. This minimum control over the nature and its element implicate the mythical conception of place in traditional environment as its natural condition is changeable. In this context, human being is only a performer. The rain, hot, wind and constellation of sky, colour of the day, and entire cycle of his environment defining the place of his existence. Within this complex entity he celebrates and perform his routine and ritual. A simple concept of this mechanism can be comprehend through performance of Balinese dance; Tari Kecak. Set in stage of nature: often during sun set with its magnificent scenery, the dance is performed by group of people in circular formation which depict the ancient Hindu Ramayana epoch. As the sun lower its position and the day getting darker, the roaring voices of the performer with minimum instrumental tool will occupy the atmosphere. At the peak of the show, a dancer in his unconscious spirit is believed to communicate with god and jumped into the bursting fire which enlighten the darkness of nature. The interplay of natural setting and the act is deliberately considered in this performance. It is a reflection of mythical harmony which is extinct in our rational modern city.

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C O S M O S

stage

performance Figure 02 The relationship of stage, performance and audience within the cosmos, create a ‘sense of place’ beyond physical realm (engaging spiritual realm/ belief).

Figure 02 The Indonesian Balinese traditional dance (Tari Kecak) performed at the stage of nature, Bali. (Photo by the author)

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audience


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Figure 03 Chinese garden at the Forbidden City. The rich textures, ornamentation and form with the interplay of natural phenomenon creates a unique atmosphere. (by author)

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3. CITY AS A GARDEN OF POETIC TECTONIC

GARDEN CITY AND DESIRE FOR NATURE

The rhetorical question: of relationship of man and nature, as attempted by many architects and planner in 19th century--such as Sir Ebenezer Howard with his City Garden Philosophy--is somehow still very inspiring and relevant to me. How could we again try to re-vision the integration of man and nature in the dense, vertical and hectic urban environment, which desire for nature? The traditional Balinese environment under the pressure of modernization and economic development still able to maintain its cosmic balance of man and nature. The building or man made built architecture is strictly restricted to height below the tallest tree at its surrounding. This traditional rule maintain the scale of built environment which is attached closely to nature and livable for human scale. On the other parallel perspective, the poetic nature of Chinese garden which represents the harmony of cosmos, man and nature can be seen as a miniature of city, a stage with performance and audience. The garden is a stage for man to live and exist, to perform and perceive the beauty of nature.

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CHINESE GARDEN AND PERCEPTION “It would be vain, and probably wrong-headed, to try to summarize all the different meaning of Chinese gardens which we have touched on. They do not add up to any single conclusion, and there is no one type that is essential one. The tradition was never intended to be summarized and turned into design formula.“23

Chinese Garden

ARCHITECTURE

LANDSCAPE

Figure 02 Conception of Chinese Garden (left). Modern conception of Built Environment with distinction of Architecture and Landscape. (right)

Chinese garden has a long historical record, meaning and styles. However there are several key inspirations which I would like to highlight in its relation to perception, based on my personal encounter with some Chinese garden in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou. Similar to traditional living environment in Indonesia which is organized by cosmic order where the distinction of man and nature is almost not palpable, the essential realm of Chinese garden is also placed between the relationship of man and nature where ‘architecture/building’ and ‘nature/landscape’ is almost inseparable. In fact, garden in original Chinese term Yuan, commonly refers to environments that integrate open-air spaces with building and covered spaces. 24 Looking at this ‘integrated’ meaning, I am inspired to think how could we re-integrate again the practice of architecture, landscape architecture, and horticulture which have been divided and encapsulated by modern disciplines which later creates a gap in the design process of built environment. As nowadays the practice of architecture simply deal with the ‘object’, while landscape architecture is to mould the nature and spaces outside the periphery of that ‘object’. 23 24

Jencks, Charles. “Meaning of the Chinese Garden”, on The Chinese Garden. Corner, James. Recovering Landscape, Essay in Contemporary Landscape Architecture,1999, p143.

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By understanding the integrated notion of architecture and landscape in Chinese garden, we would able to enjoy the holistic interplay of man and nature, building and landscape, space and place. In Chinese garden the holistic aspect of spatial design is choreographed to stimulate our complex perception through five senses. By taking full advantages of natural phenomenon such as light intensity, change of seasons, wind direction, moving water body, etc, the Chinese garden offers enjoyable unique atmosphere in different time and seasons.

Sequence Moving along the Chinese garden one is directed toward different spatial experiences, with different vista, in a continuous sequences. The texture on the floor will guide your speed. The scale and openness of spaces from layer to layer manipulate our perception of being inside and outside; of being in the realm of ‘nature’ or being enclosed by ‘building’. The fragmented thin and long corridor sometimes will break into the larger space of pavilion with open garden space; or the organicshape footpath under the thick tree canopy will suddenly end next to the pond with the peaceful ripple of water, where a thin slab of bridge await you to the next surprising sequence. Strolling along the Chinese garden in the series of sequences, our sense of dark and light, tactility of material and natural composition, and stimulation of sound of nature and aroma of plants or the wet fish pond is continuously activated, episode to episode in a never ending story.

Framing Visual perception is probably the strongest sensor among our five senses in defining spatiality. The concept of framing is dealing with the stimulation of visual perception to manipulate our imaginary notion of space thorough orthogonal composition of architectural elements. These elements are usually wall with openings such as door or windows. The technic of framing choreographs the continuity of spaces; of architecture and garden / landscape, and sometimes is utilized to manipulate our perception of scale, depth, and intensity of spaces.

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Poetic Tectonic The complex tactility of space as perceived through the composition of material objects and natural elements creates a rich poetic experiences as one moves, exists and dwell within the garden. The delicate ornamentation at the architectural elements resonate with the textures of tree’s trunk which contrast to the hard surface of the stone paved pathways and abstract formation of stone sculpture. The figurative pattern of the plants renders a rich spectrum of natural organic imaginary ‘mimics’ the delicacy of man made artifact. By the surface of the soft and gentle water body, all of this tactility is refreshed as one touch it with his/ her finger. Time, space and distance is dissolved by the interplay of poetic tectonic. Through this careful arrangement & composition of material, texture, surface and elements, our awareness of position in space and place is opened by perception.

Atmosphere Atmosphere of the Chinese garden is open to every individual’s interpretation. The rich stimulation to our five senses is changing following the change of time and season and the rotation of ‘cosmic order’ which make Chinese garden offers a different unique atmosphere in each time we approach it. In many gestures it exhibit the dichotomy of human life: of joy and peace, reflective and translucence, bold and meek, and endless episodes of life. The intensity of space and atmosphere encountered by our perception will raise a strong memory to place which lead to the ‘sense of place’.

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Figure 03 The element of poetic tectonic, sequence and framing in Chinese Garden which constitute our complex perception of time, space and place . (by author)

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urban

village

scale, direction / regulation < direct / rational / efficient non direct / mythical / surprise >

horizon < shrinking horizon

speed â&#x20AC;&#x153;the city which can achieve speed will achieve sucessâ&#x20AC;? (Le Corbusier, 1925)

purpose < industrial / commercial agriculture >

organization < hybrid building hybrid urban village >

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4.URBAN-VILLAGE: A COMPARATIVE STUDY IN CHARACTERISTIC & PERCEPTION

EXPERIENCING URBAN & VILLAGE

Village, as a settlement, community or collection of house in the traditional meaning of agricultural society, is part of many urban area in modern developing Asian cities. Village and Urban is experienced and perceived in the different way. Scale, direction & regulation differentiate the meaning and perception while being in the both environment. The modern urban environment is set by modern planning rule with certain rigid scale and grid to control the efficiency. The linear and monotonous direction and order, which is intended optimized functionality and driven by economic purpose, has create a monotonous and blurred definition of place within the urban environment. On the other hand, the bottom up approach and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;self-organization systemâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; which underlay the conception of village and traditional community produced an interesting spatial layout, with unique identity, communication and surprise. Horizon, which constitute our relation to nature and its phenomenon (of sky, 83


sunlight, etc) is also important in determining our awareness and sense of time, space and place. The high density of urban environment has obstruct of relation to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;open natural horizonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; which originally can be experienced in village--with low rise and low density structure. The increasing mobility and speed of society in modern urban environment has affected our perception of the city. Moving with the high speed train though metro system has indeed increase our mobility and accessibility to the large scale city. However, in the speed of modern transportation system we lose our attachment to the environment. Our vision is blurred, our hearing is simply disturbed by noise, and our awareness of position of space and place simply directed by sign and symbol. In the small scale village which is navigated by speed of human foot or bicycle, the texture, color and sound of building and environment is palpable. The delicate ornamentation of Chinese relics at the wall along the linong alley is perceptible. Or the wooden texture of gingko tree with its golden leaf during autumn at the edge of courtyard is capable to notify us the place and season. And at the speed of foot and bicycle people are allowed to interact and communicate one to another. Village and Urban environment is established under different purpose. In the traditional society, village is settlement which attached to the agricultural land which become the center of its economic income. While on the urban context, the economic activity is replaced by industry, business and finance. The transition of this purpose which later contribute to the development of building organization of the urban area of modern cities. Hybrid Buildings

is one of that result. The main idea of Hybrid Buildings, as first categorized by Joseph Fenton in his Pamphlet of Architecture no. 11, is based on complex programatic function which is composed into singular towers. This typological idea of Hybrid Buildings, is later become my design method for intervention on urban village at the Suzhou Creek. The original settlement of this urban village is built attached to the factory/industry. During post industrialization, the factory is destroyed and the settlement is decaying and emerge as urban village, which is occupied by marginal society of modern Shanghai.

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Figure 01 & 02 Horizon, Scale & Direction: Shanghai Pudong agriculture village (left). Shanghai Urban center (right). (Photos by author)

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Figure 03 & 04 City perceived in different means of transportation, scale & direction. Shanghai on bicycle (above) and on metro & automobile (below). (Photos by author)

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Figure 05-07 Our consciousness to environment is perceived differently through boat, bicycle and metro. (Photos by author)

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Figure 02 Ruin of Gedong Songo Temple, Central Java, Indonesia. (photo by author)

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CASE STUDY: KAMPUNG KALI CODE, YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA

INTRODUCTION Kampung Kali Code (Kali Code Urban Village) is a unique phenomena of urban village development in Indonesia in the 1980s. This project was an urban village improvement program from squatter settlement housing to permanent urban housing which resembled traditional tribal house. The project which won Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1992. Kampung Kali Code was a slum under the Gondolayu Bridge in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This settlement which covered an area of 2200 square meter was an enclave of criminals and prostitutes from the late 1960s. In 1980s, this area housed about 120 people from 37 families in shelters made of cardboard, where each family had only a single space for all activities.25 The settlement which was considered illegal by government was later to be demolished in 1986. Y.B. Mangunwijaya was an architect, writer and Catholic religious leader who arrived in this settlement in 1984 and to improve its living condition despite govermentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s demolition plan. Through his persistence lobbies and hunger strike, the demolition plan was abolished. Afterward, Mangunwijaya together with local community and volunteer began their improvement program. Through incremental development, Magunwijaya and his team built dormitory and workshop for volunteer, relocate the residents from temporary quarters to permananet homes, and created open playground for children and community facility. The total result of this project 25

World Architecture, Contemporary Vernacular, 01/2003. No. 151.

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was a better housing and living environment. It was not only related to the physical appearance and structure of the houses but also contributing to societyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s development. The site topography with steep slope and adjacent to the river, made it prone to the flood and landslide. To resolve this condition, a series of retaining wall was built and plantation & landscape work was carried onto the site. Major infrastructure such as electricity, fresh water piping and pedestrian walkways was also incorporated.

site location>

Figure 14 Site Location & typical sections.

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IDENTITY, SENSE OF PLACE AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Kampung Kali Code represents a community which managed to lift itself from sub-human circumstances to become a neighborhood of honest, normalâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;albeit very poorâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;people who are proud of their achievement. It is a story of social cooperation and participation of volunteer and local resident to help themselves to build a better living environment. 26 The redevelopment of this village established a self identity and pride among its residents which were used to be labelled as outcast of society (of criminals and prostitutes). The physical development, infrastructure and facility have improved their life and enable the people to be reintegrated into the urban society. To characterize the unique development and identity, each houses are painted and decorated by volunteer artists, according to the needs and preferences of its residents. As the result, the community are transformed into a fresh outlook withe the beautiful artistic expression. Since this development, it has been reported that this unique physical character and artistic expression had attracted a lot of tourist visit, which brought an advantages to local government and and surrounding urban area. The success of this project is fundamentally are based on both formal dimension of physical development as well as transcendental dimension of social construct, belief, and spiritual aspect. On physical development, houses are built with local material with self help construction technique which were easy to be implemented on site, such as bamboo and wooden construction. While on the transcendental aspect, tribal painting with many motif of plants and animals, creates a self of identity, an association to local culture and tradition.

Figure 14 Typical structure and construction technique 26

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PART 3 DESIGN THESIS SUZHOU CREEK: LANDSCAPE OF UNCERTAINTY HYBRID BUILDINGS MAPPINGS HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE

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SUZHOU CREEK: LANDSCAPE OF UNCERTAINTY

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Figure 01 Suzhou Creek, a landscape of uncertainty; a site with ruin, abandoned buildings, historical preservation, tabula rasa and new development.

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SUZHOU CREEK: LANDSCAPE OF UNCERTAINTY

INTRODUCTION

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The city is a huge monasteries,â&#x20AC;? said Erasmus. Perspective vision and prospective vision constitute the twofold projection of an opaque past and uncertain future onto a surface that can be dealt with. (Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life) The recent economic booming, political change, social and environmental issue has impacted the urban landscape and the city. Various critics and theories in the past have attempted to reshape the urban environment and modern city we live in. Previous model and precedent, especially from European and American cities, are now obsolete for new developing Asian region which demand a new critical framework and strategy concerning its unique regional character. On this chapter, issues of this research are exposed through a critical reading on Suzhou Creek and its urban context. Several dichotomy of theory and critics are also discussed here with contextual analysis to its particular urban condition.

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THE POETIC MEMORY A sixteen-year-old girl in her desperation after being kidnaped by the man she fell in love with—for a ransom—jumped off the bridge into the Suzhou River at its confluence to the Shanghai Huangpu River. Her body was never found and she was believed to turn into mermaid. As the dark and smelly water of the post industrial water flowing toward the east, sometimes the mermaid was seen along the river bank. (Suzhou River, 2000) The poetic memory, hope, and fantasy of Suzhou Creek as depicted in movie Suzhou River27, has become essential aspect of Shanghai imageability28 and history. The moving water of territory with average width of 50 m has recorded a long story of people who make a living and spent their entire life benefitted from it. Scattered across this territory are the chaotic and ruined architectural artifact of factories and abandoned warehouses. And through more than a decade of political, social and unprecedented economy change and development, the river and its bank has experienced changing landscape following the rapid transformation of Shanghai urbanization. Also known as Suzhou Creek or Wusong River, the 125 km long Suzhou River, originated from Lake Tai, cutting through the center of Shanghai metropolis and flowing into the Huangpu River at the northern end of prominent urban promenade—The Bund—in Huangpu district. The end of the Suzhou River is marked by the historical Waibaidu29 steel bridge which cross over its both side and over a century has provided free accessibility to every people. Currently the connected river edge from Waibaidu bridge to the Huangpu park and stretched over to the newly restored The Bund (2008), has become a ‘monumental’ site and one of the most visited tourist destination to experience the scenic skyline of the urban metropolis over Pudong30 .

TWO RIVERS AT LOCAL AND GLOBAL NEXUS From its name which literally means “upper sea”, the life and history of Shanghai cannot be separated from two major river; Huangpu River and Suzhou River. As the last tributary to Yangtze River, before it empties to the East China Sea, Huangpu River has become an important infrastructure for international trade and commerce in this port city. Almost ten times 27

Suzhou River (苏州河, 2000) is a tragic love story movie set in contemporary Shanghai, directed by Lou Ye. The film has won several awards and nomination including the prestigious Tiger Award at International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2000. 28 First coined by Kevin Lynch, the term refer to quality in a physical object which gives it a high probability of evoking a strong image in any given observer (The Image of The City, p9). 29 Bulit in 1908, Waibaidu literally means crossing the bridge without paying, as previously toll was collected for Chinese. 30 Refer to the east side of Huangpu river, which previously was an agricultural area. The other side, Puxi, was historic city center of Shanghai.

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narrower than its tributary, Suzhou River act as secondary infrastructure which transports goods into the interior of China from main port of Huangpu River, The Bund. The nexus of this two rivers play significant role in shaping the history of Shanghai. Grow from a fishing village and a textile town, it later become a global city due to its strategic port location and 1842 Treaty Nanking, which open the foreign trade. The city then flourished as a center of commerce between east and west, and became the undisputed financial hub of the Asia Pacific in the 1930s. Figure 02 Shanghai map; relation of Huangpu River, In 1949 when Communist party take over the mainland China, Shanghai reputation as the global hub declined due to many foreign offices and investment moved to Hong Kong. Since the Deng Xiaoping’s economic reform being implemented in 1990s, Shanghai regain its status again as global city with its unprecedented rapid transformation and economic development. Today in flat-globalized world, the region surrounding Huangpu River at its confluence to the Suzhou Creek evolves as the ‘peak’ of Shanghai’s urban transformation, connecting China to the world. The Bund and Pudong Lujiajui—embracing the Huangpu River as the source of its chi—represent duality of the most pictorial urban scene; a historical achievement and a futuristic utopia. A series of skyscrapers in Pudong Lujiajui has been recorded as the tallest in the world, a successor to its sister The Bund which achieved similar reputation in the 1940s. Also at the edge of this river, Shanghai hosted the 2010 world expo, a new momentum to build: better city, better life. The world is flat, the new paradigm of twenty-first century world which was introduced by Thomas Friedman, is propagated as a new force for better life. A life where knowledge and resources are connected all over the world without geographic boundary of oceans and seas as in the Columbus’ era. However, there are equally strong critic that the new flat world creates peaks in economic prosperity and environmental opulence that just keep rising, and valleys in poverty and environmental destruction that do nothing but deepen. 31 Similar to the case of Shanghai development, behind the prosperous global ‘peak’ at the Huangpu River, there are plenty of desolate local ‘valley’ along the Suzhou Creek. These valleys are often obstructed by the new large and shiny development. The polluted river itself almost literally death as its bank is gated by perimeter wall to guard from flood. The path along its edge is segregated into discontinued lines which often functions as service corridor, transporting local goods, utility control, and domestic waste. 31

Lefaivre, Liana. Architecture of Regionalism in the Age of Globalization, 2012.

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Coincidentally, the proposed site of this thesis share similar river morphology with Pudong Lujiajui & The Bund. The ‘V’ shape of the river creates a long river-edge, brings unique attraction on the land form. The axial relationship between the project site—urban village—and its opposite, historical St. John’s University, somehow also share similarity to The Bund and Pudong Lujiajui across the Huangpu River. Symbolically, the project site represents the ‘valley’, core of local lowest society, against the rising ‘peak’ at the other side.

Figure 03 Project site morphology

Figure 04 Pudong Lujiajui morphology

BORDER Massive and large single use of a territory in a city which incline to form border and as Jane Jacobs concluded to make a destructive neighborhood32 , is also prevalent in China’s economic center, Shanghai. Border which under certain territorial scale and circumstances will become a void, has a significant impact on social condition, economic performance, physical development and later will exert developer and planner in decision making on laying certain strategies and operation upon the particular zone. Larger and more polemic than railroad tracks, as Jacobs further exemplified in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Suzhou River with its 23.8 km length traversing Shanghai urban center is a border and void that has emerged under various historical background, political change and urbanization. In the past, It was deliberately established as a political border. In 1842 when Shanghai became international trade port, after the Treaty of Nanjing which forced China to open up, the river formed the boundary between the British concession (Southern bank) and the American settlement (Northern bank) until both concessions were merged into the International Settlement in 1863. Then in 1937, during the Japanese occupation, the river formed the boundary between the International Settlement (south) and the Japanese concession (north). 32

Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities ,1961, p257.

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As the repercussion of the political decision, several different settlements with distinct architectural form and style, spatial organization and scale emerged and shaped the unique piece of urban morphology especially along area across the river bank. Part of these pieces now become a precious heritage and survived within the complex layers of Shanghai metropolis. The second stage, Suzhou River evolves into a border, happens during the Shanghai Urbanization. Since 1930, as a major consequence of Shanghai development, as international trading port, Suzhou Creek became an important shipping route, facilitating the transport of goods into the interior of China. Along the river banks, a multitude of warehouses and factories were built at this time, making the region close to the river a significant industrial area. Later after Shanghai rapid urbanization and transformation, the industries were withdrew from urban center, left the warehouses and factories abandoned and creates several issues related to sustainability and conservation. The heavily polluted water of Suzhou River, affected by industry and domestic waste water, has also become a major concern.

The smelly and dirty river makes Suzhou River become the filthiest area to live where residents across its bank are often forced to close their windows tight shut to keep off the nauseating odors.33 Many perimeter walls which were built along the bank to resist the recurring flood has further fortified the border where people are no longer can access the water physically and even visually. Now within the void of the river, the changing flowing water tacitly pass the memory to the growing city without noticed.

Figure 06 Suzhou Creek viewed from the top of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;borderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (retaining wall). 33

Xinhua Agency News, February 18, 2003. (http://www.china.org.cn/english/environment/56128.htm)

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Figure 05 Schematic typical section of Suzhou Creek: 1. Privatized development / gated community which occupied the edge of the river; 2. Urban Village / Post Industrial Site / Conservation Projects with public access at the edge of the river; 3. Suzhou River flanked by high retaining wall.

TABULA RASA AND COLLECTIVE MEMORY Unlike Rome, New York has never learned the art of growing old by playing on all its pasts. Its present invents itself, from hour to hour, in the act of throwing away its previous accomplishments and challenging the future. (Michel de Certeau) Dealing with the site of uncertainty comprises of dynamic component such as polluted water and decaying river bank making the decision in directing certain attitude towards the development of Suzhou River become problematic and tactical. City should not only dealing with building and project which cater to economic development and urbanization as happened in the past decades in China following the economic booming. It should also concern about ‘making place’ as Rossi during the postmodern urbanism in Europe argued that the significance of place is not laid in its function or form but in the memories associated with it.34 Rejecting the modern movement’s functionalism, which become the primary determinant of form, Rossi took the locus of traditional city as the main concern, which later defined by Anthony Vidler as “the third typology”. 35 If the city like shanghai should bring forth the collective memory and its history as an integral inclusion into its urban development, then the main question here is what kind of memory and history should be represented in this context? Different from China’s second largest city, the capital Beijing, which city core was built by imperial China with fundamental philosophy and wisdom that signify the unique achievement of Chinese society and its culture

34 35

Ellin, Nan. Postmodern Urbanism,1999, p25 (as cited from A Scientific Autobiography ,1968). Ibid, p28.

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in the past, Shanghai was built under various ‘foreign‘ influences and its glorious Pudong CBD was literally built on tabula rasa. Though it retains poetic memory from the industrial age, the artifact of Suzhou River and its bank is less compelling than urban artifact of the pre-industrial age in Italy and Spain which at the beginning of 1960s inspired and triggered the neo-rationalist movement which regarded the building and city as “theaters of memory”. The abandoned industrial buildings and its ruin along the river with its poetic memory—associated with certain group of people—is later treated with at least two different strategy: turned into tabula rasa or conservation to preserve its memory. Since 1992, Shanghai Municipal Government has been pursuing a redevelopment of the Suzhou River. In 1998, authorities launched the Suzhou Creek Rehabilitation Project, a 12year-program to improve the water quality, mitigate flood impact, introduce wastewater and water resource management and push for urban revitalization and a higher living standard in the desolated areas along Suzhou River. Following the redevelopment program, there are various development strategy applied to parcel of lands across the river promenade. Some of the oldest industrial area and warehouses are destroyed and turned into tabula rasa, where modern high rise buildings are planted to accelerate the social and economic development. The proliferation of privatized developments with its banal planning and strict gated community which often occupy massive area adjacent to the river has further exacerbate spatial segregation at the river bank. It obviously erases the memory and sense of place of this territory. The gate wall of some development cutting through the river edge without allowing the public accessibility into the river. This condition enforces the ‘border’ of the river and destroy the potential of the river edge as the part of urban spaces. Against the tabula rasa approach, in the late 1990s another initiative by artist which response to the history and memory of the site, has turned part of this area as a protected heritage zone and many warehouses have been conserved, now providing quarters for Shanghai's flourishing art scene. Through his writing on Asian Ethical Urbanism (2005), William Lim introduced ‘conservation and memories’ as one of the effective instrument to neutralized ‘Post-Planning’, which is entirely driven by a monetary and profit-oriented process.36 However, the practice of ‘conservation and memories’ is later criticized as it solely often represents and benefits certain elite group of people: “Official history often tend to reflect only what the rich and powerful have chosen to remember. However, memories of the community an the marginalized must also be given due recognition.”37 Later in 2002, a new strategy and plan is implemented by government. It is the construction of entertainment facilities and one square kilometer of parks along the downtown section of Suzhou Creek between Zhongshan Park and its confluence with Huangpu River, aiming to raise the commercial attractiveness of this central part of the river.

36 37

Lim, William Siew Wai. Asian Alterity, 2008, p37. Ibid, p28.

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URBAN VILLAGE Flying with Google Earth, one can observe the patch of development from different typology and scale which has invaded the river bank of the post industrial site. Collection of individualized programmatic structure has strewn across the landscape adjacent to the moving water which once functioned as a corridor of transportation delivering the goods into the interior of China. By recognizing the pattern, form and scale, those development can be categorized into privatized and gated residential (with various typology, height and density), industry, agriculture land, public park, tabula rasa, and commercial area. The physical segregation caused by boundaries of each development creates the spatial discontinuation along the river edge which dissuade it from public engagement. Among different type of patches, one that draw my attention is urban village. In China, urban village usually associated with low rise high density residential community which is entrapped by skyscrapers, infrastructures, and modern urban construction. It is usually overcrowded with poor building infrastructure, sanitation, and inhabited by marginal income, migrant worker and transient. However, urban village offers attractiveness in its rich spatial quality and experiences, dynamic density, and social diversity which often naturally established through self-organizing system. This lively phenomena has become very rear and almost extinct from Shanghai urban fabric. There are only few urban villages remain along the edge of Suzhou River. They are surviving on the precarious condition pressurized by high land price and economic development. At any time this territory could be turn into tabula rasa and replaced by the archetypal residential tower. If tabula rasa has been proven guilty as it erased the distinct locus and memory of particular site. And conservation of abandoned industrial buildings which lead to the creation of art district, exclusively serves only certain group of people, and was motivated by commercialization. Then what are the next strategy to redevelop the creek which has once memorable and then turn into a death border? What attitude should be considered appropriate to operate the pieces of urban village as the last ground with flat river horizon, unique open community and diversity? How to create the river edge as the new urban spaces with active engagement from public users? How do people in the expanding metropolis could once again be benefitted from the river which used to bring life to the city.

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Fig.07 Residential: old low rise typology, urban

Fig.08 Residential: old low rise, row housing

Fig.09 Residential: private anting golf villas

Fig.10 Park: privatized marine park

Fig.11 Residential: private high rise apartment

Fig.12 Residential: private high rise apartment

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Fig.13 Park and privatized residential; high rise

Fig.14 Privatized residential; medium to high rise

Fig.15 Agriculture

Fig.16 Industry

Fig.17 Promenade: confluence of two rivers

Fig.18 Form and pattern; density and tabula rasa

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DESIGN THESIS PROPOSAL It has been clear that government has taken series of action and effort to mitigate and resolve the issue on Suzhou Creek. Those actions can be summarized into four main steps; 1. WATER. Started in 1992 (12 years program), dealing with several effort to improve the water quality, mitigate flood impact, and introduce wastewater and water resource management. 2. CONSERVATION. Established heritage zone and warehouses conservation initiatives(1990). Suzhou Creek Art district (Moganshan Road Art District). 3. TABULA RASA. Old factories and abandoned warehouses are cleared for a new privatized development. 4. RIVER FRONT. River front development; 1 square kilometer park &

commercial structures. This design thesis will propose the next, 5th step; HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE, (by referring to Hybrid Buildings typology) as a catalyst for Suzhou Creek Urban Re-development in the future, by addressing main issues discussed in this chapter.

Figure 19 Governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s action on Suzhou Creek .

Figure 20 Hybrid Urban Village â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thesis proposal.

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PART 3 DESIGN THESIS

HYBRID BUILDINGS

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HYBRID BUILDINGS

MEANING In the globalizing world with the rich cultural diversity and technological development, the word hybrid are often used to describe anything ‘mixed’ or ‘combined’ to identify new form of things or objects—cater to modern society’s need, who starve for innovation. In Architecture, the word hybrid usually can refer to cultural assimilation which breed a new architectural form and style, or new building technology which is comprised of different system, technique and so on. In the cities which experiencing current building boom, such as Dubai, Shanghai, Beijing, Manhattan, Moscow, the hybrid idea is often desirable to bring such a dynamism, liveliness and diversity into its urban fabric. In conversation about the building boom phenomenon, Peter Cook once commented on city like Dubai as singularly uninteresting and bland. “I think the really interesting stuff is always the hybrid, the parasite—the piece that’s partly enclosed, and partly electronic, and partly collapsed. Partly here today and gone tomorrow—or whatever it might be.” he further elaborated. 38 However, in this research, my definition of hybrid architecture is referred to Hybrid Buildings, which is first catalogued by Joseph Fenton in 1985 particularly on American cities. Fenton did his categorization based on programatic requirement and form. Though historically hybrid building emerged from many previous effort to generate a non singular pure building ‘type’, which might stand as an anti-typology, in modern metropolis these days hybrid buildings have in fact appears as a ‘new typology’. For example, monolith hybrid tower in metropolis like Shanghai, has often represent a new typology—of typical mix function of commercial, office and hotel/apartment. In this case, it is important to highlight that ‘hybrid’ has a clear distinction with ‘mixed use’, which frequently used to describe the sprawling megastructures of the middle of this century, as each of the structures has an individual form supporting the underlying pattern of the city grid. 39 38 39

In his interview with Geoff Manaugh (The BLDG BLOG book). See Steven Hollʼs forward in Hybrid Buildings. (1984)

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HISTORY AND PRECEDENTS The concept of hybridization originates from genetics and refers to the cross breeding of different species. Building, in this case, have also been cross breed like plant and animals to produce Hybrid Architecture.40 The existence of building with combined function can be traced back thought out the history. The house with the shop below is the prevalent example in many different ages and cultures. The acceleration of urbanization which increase the land price, urban density and technological development in building construction are among the main reason behind the proliferation of hybrid building in the twentieth century. First introduced in 1880s, hybrid building had a rich and varied development in American cities, until the depression of 1929. After the depression, the systematic segregation of dwelling, working and recreation which was advocated by CIAM IV had forced the declining of hybrid buildings. Later its growth happened after the segregation urban planning policy was being re-evaluated. 41 Joseph Fenton categorized American Hybrid buildings into three main group: Fabric Hybrids—characterized by the affirmation of a form and its envelop and the subsequent relegation of program into inconspicuous status in the overall appearance of the building; Graft Hybrids—with clear expression of program, frequently apparent in the direct grafting of simple building type to one another; and Monolith Hybrids—which are inherently products of the industrialized twentieth century city, with substantial impact of its monumental scale on the spirit of the city. 42 With rapid urbanization and building boom, China’s cities also invaded by proliferation of hybrid buildings. Among many kind of hybrid building which are completed around the globe recently, the next precedents will show representation of each hybrids group. Most of the case studies are of China’s cities. Each of these building are also unique representation of hybrid building in its attempt to confront the old hybrid generation. Three super-tall at Shanghai Lujiajui represent the traditional typical American Monolith hybrid—in larger scale—and empowered by the new building technology, they become the symbol of new international metropolis. In its successful attempt to challenge the old archetypal skyscraper which grows hinger vertically, CCTV-Headquarters by OMA, rethinks skyscrapers in a radical transformation. Museum Plaza, by Joshua Prince Ramus who was OMA New York Partner, with similar hyper-rational approach transform the individual skyscraper into collective tower, a graft hybrid. The unique outcome of this building is in its organization which shift up the ‘active ground’ to the center of the tower and act as a public space. As the editor of Pamphlet Architecture no. 11 which catalogue the hybrid buildings, Steven Holl recently develop another type of hybrid; Linked-Hybrid in its attempt to create a porous urban fabric of Beijing, although it works in large scale; while the main outcome of this thesis design is to solve the micro/human scale development. 40

Fenton, Joseph. ‘Hybrid Buildings’ in Pamphlet of Architecture no.11. Ibid. 42 Ibid. 41

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Figure 01 Categorization of Hybrid buildings by Fenton (1985). 112


Generic Monolith Hybrid: Three Super-tall At Shanghai Lujiajui (Jinmao Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center and Shanghai Tower)

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Among the numerous individual buildings which line up over the Shanghai skyline, the three super-tall at Lujiajui Financial District are the most important iconic building, a representation of economic power, a glorification of capitalism. With its singular monolithic form which in fact accommodate multi functions, they are inherently the product of the twentieth century city, a typical Monolith Hybrid. Designed by three giant American corporate firm, Jinmao Tower (SOM, 1999), Shanghai World Financial Center (KPF, 2008), and (Gensler, expected to be completed by 2014), those tower are the phenomenon of pendulum swing; repetition of booming skyscraper in American cities especially New York and Chicago during 1920s to 1980s.

Figure 02 Three super-tall dominated the skyline over the Shanghai Pudong Lujiajui. 114


CCTV-Headquarters (Beijing, China, 2004â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2008)

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HYBRID BUILDINGS

An ambitious project which withdraw a controversial debate during its conception, was finished prior to 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and mark a significant achievement in Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s building construction and technology. The new typology of hyper-building which challenge the traditional individual skyscraper, OMA CCTV develop an original scheme by creating cantilevered-loop connecting two towers. Looking at its complex programmatic requirement which is wrapped by a singular form and envelop, this building is belong to the group Fenton categorized as Fabric Hybrid.

Figure 04 The complex programs are organized into two looped tower, with maih function of: administration 64,800m2, multipurpose: 54,900m2, news broadcasting 65,000m2, broadcasting 31,800m2, production 105,400m2, loop 11,100m2, services (canteens, gym) 22,500m2, parking 59,700m2. (CCTV: total 473,000m2)

Figure 03 OMA CCTV Headquarters. 116


Museum Plaza (Louisville, USA, 2005â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2010)

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HYBRID BUILDINGS

By employing the hyper-rational approach in organizing the programatic diagram and translating it into form, Museum Plaza become a piece of contemporary graft hybrid which shifted a new cultural ground above, at the center of the building. Designed by Joshua Prince Ramus (REX), this project rethinks conventional attitudes toward property development which aim to construct a contemporary art institute and concludes with a business pro forma that supports this commitment. Located at the CBD of Louisville, US at the bank of Ohio River, this project cover a total floor area of one and a half million square feet, which comprises of mix program of contemporary art institute; the University of Louisville’s 2,300 m² (25,000 sf) Master of Fine Arts program; a 250-room Westin Hotel; 98 luxury condominiums; 117 lofts; 25,000 m² (269,000 sf) of office space on 13 floors; 1,900 m² (20,000 sf) of restaurants and shops; parking for 800 cars; and a public sculpture garden. 43

Figure 06–07 Programmatic organization (Left). The transformation process from singular monolith tower into a hybrid tower (Right).

Figure 05 Individual towers are transformed into collective towers which form a hybrid (above) 43

REX; http://rex-ny.com/

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LINKED HYBRID (Beijing, China, 2003–2009)

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HYBRID BUILDINGS

The Linked Hybrid, Beijing, completed in 2009 by Steven Holl achitect is a significant example of hybrid building in China. Comprised of 8 linked towers and complex programmatic interconnection, the building attempt to create a complex network of public and private space, business and leisure, living and working, cultural and education, as an integral development within Beijing urban fabric. The 220,000 square meter pedestrian-oriented Linked Hybrid complex, sited adjacent to the site of old city wall of Beijing, aims to counter the current privatized urban developments in China by creating a new twenty-first century porous urban space, inviting and open to the public from every side. Filmic urban public space; around, over and through multifaceted spatial layers, as well as the many passages through the project, make the Linked Hybrid an "open city within a city". The project promotes interactive relations and encourages encounters in the public spaces that vary from commercial, residential, and educational to recreational. The entire complex is a three-dimensional urban space in which buildings on the ground, under the ground and over the ground are fused together.44

Figure 09 & 10 Steven Hollâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Linked Hybrid diagram, the transformation from horizontal traditional typology to individualized development to hybrid (above). Steven Hollâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Linked Hybrid masterplan (below).

Figure 08 Individual towers are transformed into collective towers which form a hybrid (above) 44

Steven Holl Architect: http://www.stevenholl.com/project-detail.php?type=mixeduse&id=58&page=0

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PART 3 DESIGN THESIS

MAPPINGS

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HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE

MAPPINGS 1: Suzhou Creek & Urban Context

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HYBRID BUILDINGS

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HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE

1.NODES, CENTER OF URBAN SPACE / PUBLIC GATHERING (In Proximity to Suzhou Creek)

1

2

4

5

8

10

12

3

6

7

9

11

13

14

PUDONG LUJIAJUI / LUJIAJUI CENTRAL GREEN SPACE (1,2,3,7)

NANJING COMMERCIAL ROAD / FUZHOU ROAD (9,10,11,12)

THE BUND (4,5,6,8)

PEOPLE’S SQUARE & PARK (13,14) (Photos by Author)

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HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE

2.SUZHOU CREEK CORRIDOR

(Photos by Author)

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3.TERRAIN VAGUE (AND ITS DEVELOPMENT) (Along Suzhou Creek Corridor)

1

2

4

5

7

10

13

3

6

8

9

11

12

14

15

RUIN & TABULA RASA (1,2,3)

URBAN VILLAGE (7,8,9,10,11,12)

CONSERVATION (ABANDONED FACTORY) (4,5,6)

GREEN PROMENADE & NEW PRIVATIZED DEVELOPMENT (13,14,15) (Photos source: www.panoramio.com)

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4.NODES, CATALYST FOR FUTURE CONNECTOR (Along Suzhou Creek Corridor)

1

2

4

6

3

5

7

8

9 HISTORICAL SPOTS (1,2,3)

PARK & RECREATIONAL AREA (6,7,8)

COMMERCIALIZED ZONE (ART DISTRICT)(4,5)

HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE (9/design thesis) (Photos source: www.panoramio.com)

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Figure 01 Thesis Project Site of Observation

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HYBRID BUILDINGS

MAPPINGS 2: Site Project & Observation SHANGHAI URBAN CENTER OF CHANGNING DISTRICT

Z

SUZHOU CREEK

Z

University Extesion

URBAN VILLAGE Former St. JOhn’s University

Zhongshan Park

Commercial District

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HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE

1.URBAN VILLAGE

Estimated Site Area: 28,000 m2 Estimated Houses: 450 (original permanent buildings) Estimated Residents: 2,250 persons Boundaries: Suzhou Creek, University, Private Residential Development Height from sea level: 4M Character: Open Community

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HYBRID BUILDINGS

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HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE

z

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HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE

SPATIAL ANALYSIS open community

2012 2002 Historical Development of settlement (urban village): turned into tabula rasa and new privatized development.

136

2000


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TYPOLOGY

Typical Large Building at the periphery (or scattered within urban village)

Typical Permanent Building (Plane Roof House within urban village)

Evolution 1: Parasite

Evolution 2: Upgrading

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SOCIAL & ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES

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2.ZHONGSHAN PARK

Estimated Site Area: Estimated Residents: Boundaries: Height from sea level:

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HYBRID BUILDINGS

3.FORMER ST. JOHNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S UNIVERSITY

Estimated Site Area: Estimated Residents: Boundaries: Height from sea level:

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4.COMMERCIAL BLOCKS

6

5

8

7

LANDMARK

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Commercial center along the main street, with mixed development. Mixed Development. Shopping Mall at the intersection, center of activities. Office Tower acts as the landmark of area. Landmark, seen from the river. Landmark, seen from school extension across the Suzhou River. Landmark, seen from Jiangsu Road, historical area. Landmark, seen from bridge across the Suzhou River

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1

2

4. COMMERCIAL CENTER

3

4.

5

6

7

8

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HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE

5. HOUSING TYPOLOGY

Estimated Site Area: Estimated Residents: Boundaries: Height from sea level:

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HYBRID BUILDINGS

1

2

6

7

10

15

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

11

16

3

4

5

8

9

12

13

14

17

18

Urban Village (1-3 floor) Row Housing (3 fl, open community) Row Housing (5 fl, gated community) Row Housing (5 fl, gated community) Row Housing (7 fl, open community) Apartment Block (12 fl, gated community) Apartment Block (6-12 fl, gated community) Apartment Block (8 fl, gated community) Apartment Tower (15 fl, gated community)

10. Apartment Tower (15-20 fl, gated community) 11. Apartment Tower (30 fl, gated community) 12. Apartment Tower (20-30 fl, gated community, with private access to the river) 13.Idem 14.Apartment Tower (15-18 fl, gated community) 15.Apartment Tower (15-18 fl, gated community) 16.Apartment Tower (30-35 fl, gated community) 17.Apartment Tower (30-35 fl, gated community) 18.Apartment Tower (30-35 fl, gated community)

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LANDMARK

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HYBRID BUILDINGS

ESTIMATED PROPERTY VALUE

APARTMENT TOWER PRIVATE GATED RESIDENTIAL WITH AMENITIES & FACILITIES (CONDOMINIUM) APARTMENT TOWER ROW HOUSING

APARTMENT BLOCK

URBAN VILLAGE

20,000 RMB/SQM

20,000 RMB/SQM

20,000 RMB/SQM

20,000 RMB/SQM

20,000 RMB/SQM

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20,000 RMB/SQM


HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE

6.BORDERS

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7. TRANSPORTATION

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PART 3 DESIGN THESIS

HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE

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STRATEGY: 5 PRINCIPLES

1. BREAKING THE BOUNDARY RIVER EDGE PERIMETER / RETAINING WALL ZONE / DEVELOPMENT BOUNDARY

2.CONNECTIVITY CROSSING THE RIVER BUILDING THE INFRASTRUCTURE: BRIDGES MEANS OF TRANSPORT: BICYCLE & ON FOOT TARGET OF USERS: PUBLIC & LOCAL RESIDENTS

3.RE-BUILDING COMMUNITY (INCREMENTAL) PARK EXTENSION BUILDING NEW SOCIAL & PUBLIC SPACE BUILDING RIVER EDGE BUILDING HOUSING

4.HYBRIDIZATION (INCREMENTAL) FUNCTIONAL: LIVING, WORKING & SERVICE CONCEPTUAL: FORMAL, CULTURAL & TRANSCENDENTAL

5.URBAN RE-DEVELOPMENT (LONG TERM GOAL) ESTABLISHING HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE AS A NEW PUBLIC WATERFRONT RE-LINK SUZHOU CREEK TO THE HUANGPU RIVER AS A NEW CORRIDOR OF SHANGHAI URBAN SPACE

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OPERATION

Historical Artifacts & Spatial Construct (Memory) / Cultural Realm

Ruin & Reconstruction (Physical) / Formal Realm

Natural Landscape ( Park & Garden) / Transcendental Realm 157


HYBRID URBAN VILLAGE

ruin vs built

nature vs man made

CONCEPTUAL DESIGN MODEL AN ENVIRONMENT ESTABLISHED UPON FORMAL AND TRANSCENDENTAL DIMENSION, REPRESENTED BY: 1. Natural Landscape ( Park & Garden) / Transcendental Realm 2. Historical Artifacts & Spatial Construct (Memory) / Cultural Realm 3. Ruin & Reconstruction (Physical)/ Formal Realm 158


HYBRID BUILDINGS

space vs form

space vs form

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161

mnemonic practice  

mnemonic practice: hybrid urban village as reconstruction of memory of places

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