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AAU Fall 2013 Case Studies Michael den Hartog


AAU FALL 2013 ARCH 424 MICHAEL DEN HARTOG

21st CENTURY MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART SANAA KANAZAWA, JAPAN

Sanaa’s 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art evokes a conceptual ideologue of what a museum or public space could be and, at least in my case, a new urban fabric. The museum’s name gives away or at least alludes to its lofty aims, it is the museum of a new century, a new epoch and consequently of a new society. Contemporary life is a system of seemingly random networks that the contemporary individual must wander his way through. Stimuli push and pull one in many directions, but the attuned individual is able to understand if not rationalize these impulses. Sanaa’s museum sets up a playground for the presently not so attuned individual to hone these skills. The museum is a condensed and contained version of a very fine grained and dense urban realm in which the pedestrian moves through tight alleys, being drawn by open spaces or by the activity occurring within the array of generic masses. The 21st Century Museum attempts to capture a portion of this complex urban fabric, contain it in a fish bowl like container and put it on display. Instead of filling the site with a conceptual urban amenity that the passerby could inadvertently wander into, the museum is setback from the edge, conatined in a geometry that contrasts its surroundings, yet tied to it by path and visual connections. Though it would be more interesting if the project became more ingrained in its surroundings, its decision not to do so alludes to a profession and society not ready for such a development. Architecturally the ideal is diminished by the rigors of program, a museum which demands partitioning of the interior to create public and private spaces. The rigors of security and zoning regulation make the free flowing concept of a site encompassing scheme impossible. Though with these drawbacks the museum can be appreciated for its attempt, it allows the indivdual to be drawn by impulses and stimuli, experiencing the space in a variety of ways.

fine urban fabric

establish boundary

fish bowl urban realm


AAU FALL 2013 ARCH 424 MICHAEL DEN HARTOG

21st CENTURY MUSEUM SANAA KANAZAWA, JAPAN

FREE

PAID

FREE

site plan - fish bowl placed on display

division of program/space


AAU FALL 2013 ARCH 424 MICHAEL DEN HARTOG

HIROSHIMA PEACE MEMORIAL MUSEUM KENZO TANGE, 1955 HIROSHIMA, JAPAN

Building as Facilitator of View

Site Paln - Axial Relationship


AAU FALL 2013 ARCH 424 MICHAEL DEN HARTOG

The Hiroshima Peace Museum and Park designed by Kenzo Tange in 1955, exemplifies the translation and transformation of traditional Japanese techniques while also balancing contemporary ideas. The project’s defining characteristic is its axial organization defined by the location of the A-Bomb Dome, across the river from the museum itself. The strength of this move is difficult to quantify with words, though seemingly a simple solution, to orient the building towards the physical remnants of the disaster it memorializes, yet it takes an incredible amount of tact and bravery to achieve, especially at the time of the proposal when the event was still extremely prominent in the peoples’ minds. It is not an easy situation to confront for both the architect and the current user of the building, to so prominently address such a horrific event, but Tange dedicates the entire structure to this task. Much like traditional Japanese temples the building is a facilitator to view something else, and even goes as far as many temples when composing nature, to allow the user to inhabit the image he is viewing. The building, aligned precisely with the ruin, raised on piloti separating it from the distractions of the ground plane, curving the walls to provide a focusing effect, serves as a view platform dedicated to the thoughtful contemplation of one of history’s darkest events, consequently when inside the building the architecture itself becomes secondary and it, like Shisendo, becomes a tool.

Unpacking Viewing Platform

HIROSHIMA PEACE MEMORIAL MUSEUM KENZO TANGE, 1955 HIROSHIMA, JAPAN


AAU FALL 2013 ARCH 424 MICHAEL DEN HARTOG

HONG KONG COMIX HOUSE HOME BASE MALLORY ST., WAN CHAI, HONG KONG URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY, 2013

Before

After

The Comix House Home Base renewal project is a strong example of Hong Kong’s use of generic architecture to produce unique spatial effects. Converted from a group of ten tenement houses built in the 1910s, known as the Green House, Comix Home Base represents the Urban Renewal Authority’s (URA) first attempt to develop a project that promotes both cultural and creative industries. The URA has recognized the growing trend of revitalization, that of asuming the nostalgic effects of historical architecture and reusing it to create appealing business and commercial environments stating, “The Comix Home Base is in line with our concept of revitalisation – refurbishing old buildings with special character, where practicable, for cultural and creative businesses.” The generic facade is not dismantled, instead it is revitalized. As a result the project responds to its context. Integrating itself rather than celebrating its uniqueness at the level of the street facade. The building’s success and power derives from this initial move. The generic facade acts as threshold in which the user may move between two levels of public space. The street represents the generic, commercial space that the public uses daily. It is lined with shops and retail which poor activity out onto the street. To create an additional public space the designers fashioned a void in a fabric that is known for its density. After passing under the threshold from the street, one enters a secluded plaza, which much like the mosque abutting Central’s escalator, offers an oasis located just off a piece of public infrastructure. The Comix building itself is pushed back from the site edge, creating one edge, the other two are created by the careful infill of the project. The edges of the skywalk and plaza literally touch the adjacent structures, offering vistas of building facades that are usually unseen. The Comix Home Base is made possible through Hong Kong’s generic characteristics which allow for such unique situations to occur. In a city where everything looks similar, one is hit by the contradiction that nothing feels the same. The URA’s redevelopment of the Green House capitalizes on the unique power they yield, being able to escape the intensity of market driven development in Hong Kong they are able to peel away layers of the urban fabric, creating an area of public stasis, removed but intrinsically connected to the systems working just outside.

Urban Renewal Authority Map of Selected Site in Wan Chai


AAU FALL 2013 ARCH 424 MICHAEL DEN HARTOG

HONG KONG COMIX HOUSE HOME BASE MALLORY ST., WAN CHAI, HONG KONG URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY, 2013

property agent

dim sum

moped mechanic

sushi

salon

shoe store

public/commercial street-generic Hong Kong historic/generic facade contemporary interior

public stasis/oasis

comix house

Celebration of the Generic Resulting in New Public Type

skywalk

skywalk

exit

stair

shop

gallery/event

lift

shop

shop

lift

restrooms

stair

shop

Program

Facade as Transitional Zone between Public Spaces


AAU FALL 2013 ARCH 424 MICHAEL DEN HARTOG

NAKAGIN CAPSULE TOWER KISHO KUROKAWA, 1972 SHIMBASHI, TOKYO, JAPAN void, utility space

spacer

horizontal circulation hall conection column capsule

primary core, contact with capsule secondary core, vertical circulation

Section - Tree Structure


AAU FALL 2013 ARCH 424 MICHAEL DEN HARTOG

NAKAGIN CAPSULE TOWER KISHO KUROKAWA, 1972 SHIMBASHI, TOKYO, JAPAN

The Nakagin Capsule Tower designed by Kisho Kurokwaw and completed in 1972 is the first successful example of a “plug-in” based architecture. As a contributing member of the Metabolist group, Kurokawa’s Capsule Tower remains one of the most striking examples of the movement’s small portfolio of built work. The one hundred and forty unit live-work apartment complex is composed of two concrete cores that serve as the main structural system, fitting Metabolist metaphor, it alludes to the organic growth of the built world. The core serves as the building’s trunk and root stock system, with all vital life supports contained within it (power, plumbing, circulation both vertical and horizontal). The capsules are the leaves or the seasonal aspects of an organic organisms, they, theoretically, could fall off and be replaced the building having the capability to regenerate itself and even improve. The “interchangeable” capsules are prefabricated elements, plugged into the life containing core. These are many of the ideals that the Metabolist movement sought, and Kurokawa tried to instill them in his design. Though conceptually the building is an astounding success, pushing the boundaries of what architecture can entail and suggesting different paths society may take, but functionally its success is somewhat diminished. The interiors are cramped, to say the least, and the porthole window has a somewhat claustrophobic effect (these impressions are gathered from photos, for the capsule staff state clearly that “it is impossible to visit this building”). It seems a place one would want to only stay for a day, but perhaps that is its purpose, alluding to a society not so much tied to physical place, but more nomadic, migrating through an interconnected network of urban realms.

“interchangeable” capsules primary core, contact with capsule secondary core, vertical circulation

Core Structuring


AAU FALL 2013 ARCH 425 MICHAEL DEN HARTOG

NISHI-SHINJUKU TOKYO, JAPAN 1971-1991

complex tokyo fabric

shinjuku station

cut and cleared for high rise grid

Juxtaposition of Fabrics

cut from fabric existing fabric, the site is rationally organized to accomodate high rise development


AAU FALL 2013 ARCH 425 MICHAEL DEN HARTOG

NISHI-SHINJUKU TOKYO, JAPAN 1971-1991

Nishi-Shinjuku is a high-rise development within ten minutes, walking, of Shinjuku Station. It was the first major high-rise development within the Tokyo prefecture, beginning in 1971 with the construction of Keio Plaza Hotel. The most recent project is Kenzo Tange’s Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building completed in 1991, consisting of three structures each taking up one city block. Nishi-Shinjuku is a striking urban morphology in comparison to its adjacent urban fabrics. Though I was unable to find sufficient information on its developmental history, extrapolations can be made through visal comparison, Nishi was literally cut out of the existing fabric of dense, curving, organic streets that define much of Tokyo and replaced with a vast infrastructural network supporting tower development. The juxtaposition is noticeable during the walk from Shinjuku station, as one passes into the development it is as if you have walked into another city entirely, the vast tree-lined highways first struck me as reminiscent of Los Angeles. This contrast becomes even more apparent at the viewing deck near the top of the Metropolitan Building. The line dividing the development and the more standard Toyo fabric is clearly visible, the buildings immediately shrink in height but ground density increases to almost total coverage. Nishi-Shinjuk’s overall plan is extremely reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s vision of the radiant city, vast, layered infrastructural networks subdivide the area into large city blocks each containing one high-rise development offset from the street and composing a greater field. But it is also reminiscent of Metabolist visions of a mega structure held together by infrastructure.

Morphology - buildings in infrastructural field tokyo’s first major high rise district buildings offset from street creating field of towers seperated by large boulevards


AAU FALL 2013 ARCH 425 MICHAEL DEN HARTOG

SHIKUMEN HOUSING SHANGHAI, CHINA 1860s - PRESENT

Shikumen or Lilong housing serve as physical a recording of much of Shanghai’s cultural and urban history as well as an exemplar of many its current urban development challenges. The Shikumen typologies were first built in Shanghai during the 1860s merging western style terrace housing with Chinese courtyard schemes. Courtyards in the Shikumen style became compressed due to its urban location but still offered an exterior space separated from the busy street scape.The Shikumen’s are largely a result of an influx of migrants to Shanghai during China’s turbulent Taiping Rebellion. Shikumens form a very dense fabric that, along with the stone wall forming the courtyard and gated entries to interior alleyways, it offered a protective compound from rebels, increasing its popularity. The density of Shikumen development creates a tight knit community defined by the social relationships and activity supported within its alleyways. Due to their dense nature and compressed streets, residents of each neighborhood were inevitably intertwined into one another’s lives due to proximity alone. Presently Shikumen’s represent the juxtapositions present in the city’s social and economic realms. During the Cultural Revolution Shanghai experienced a vast amount of immigration but had little new construction. As a result existing residential structures, at the time Shikumen’s composed nearly 80% of the city’s buildings, were increasingly subdivided. This subdivision has continually increased into the present and the state of many Shikumen areas reflects it. Yet the dilapidated state of the Shikumen neighborhoods is often hard to see due to their interior nature. Often, on the street, many Shikumen’s have been reconstituted as commercial space, yet the buildings behind reveal a different condition.

outer wall of shikumens oriented to engage street, interior houses “protected”

city street, automobiles

main street sub-street entrance

Morphology - density and street organization


AAU FALL 2013 ARCH 425 MICHAEL DEN HARTOG

1860s originally intended for one family

SHIKUMEN HOUSING SHANGHAI, CHINA 1860s - PRESENT

in the 1950s and 60s, driven by the Cultural Revolution spaces became subdivided to meet housing demands due to a lack of new construction

continuing to the present,, spaces have become even more subdivided, adding to structural instability and dilapidation

subdivision of space overtime to increase number of occupants

Sequence - iinterior/exteriior orientation

outer edge “renovated to engage street and provide more rentable space, older shikumen form internalized network cut off from street


AAU FALL 2013 ARCH 425 MICHAEL DEN HARTOG

“Xintiandi is a place where older people find it nostalgic, younger people find it trendy, foreigners find it Chinese, and Chinese people find it foreign. It is a place where everybody finds something of his or her own. Xintiandi belongs not only to Shanghai, but to China and the world.” (Shikumen Museum, Xintiandi)

Xintiandi, developed by Shui On Land of Hong Kong and designed by architect Ben Woods, represents a pivotal shit in China’s view towards heritage conservation and reuse of what could be described as architecture representative of certain cultural elements. In the case of Xintiandi, the development focuses on the reuse and redesign of Shanghai’s Shikumen housing. First it is important to describe Xintiandi’s role in Shui On Land’s larger Taipingqiao development. Xintiandi served as the seed of which the larger development is organized around, completed in 2001 it represents the project’s first phase. Its role, along with the subsequent park, is to serve as a new commercial and recreational center for the later developments, which include upscale, high-rise residential, commercial office space and other service/financial related programs. Essentially the development aims to transform what was and still partially is a dilapidated, lowincome residential neighborhood into a high-class commercial and service area. In doing so the architect and developer took a previously unseen position in post economic reform, open-door China, they decided to “reconstitute” a portion of the existing Shikumen or Lilong housing fabric. It is important to define reconstituting, the majority of the housing that existed on the Xintiandi site was entirely demolished or at least completely gutted, what was reconstituted was the aesthetic atmosphere that the Shikumen neighborhood contained. The facades were rebuilt to provide, the now consumption oriented space, with a certain notion of place, of cultural significance. This is an important gesture because it helps to provide a sense of place to what would generally be another placeless commercial development of global brands. Instead Xintiandi feels unique, though the interiors of stores like Starbucks or Coffee Bean the same seen anywhere, the exterior allows one to feel as though they have been transported back in time, but while not losing the comfort of their familiar brands. Yet this notion of place or “vintage” culture is completely manufactured, for this hist orical time period of Shikumem’s with wide streets and piazza-esk seating never truly existed, though one cannot argue against the model’s success.

XINTIANDI SHANGHAI, CHINA DEVELOPER: SHUI ON LAND GROUP DESIGNER: BEN WOODS

JGTKVCIGEWNVWTGCUHCECFG ETGCVGUPQUVCNIKEUVTGGV GPXKTQPOGPV RNCEGNGUUKPVGTKQT

KEQPQITCRJ[ETGCVGUUGPUGQHRNCEG VQRNCEGNGUURTQITCO

Conservation of “Cultural” Facde to Create Unique Consumption Space


AAU FALL 2013 ARCH 425 MICHAEL DEN HARTOG

Developement Plan of Greater Taipingqiao

XINTIANDI SHANGHAI, CHINA DEVELOPER: SHUI ON LAND GROUP DESIGNER: BEN WOODS

Construction Phases Xintiandi was the first phase of the Taipingqiao Development, thaus serving as the seed through which Shui On hopes/is transforming the morphological as well as socioeconomic quality of the area Shui On Land Master Plan of Xintiandi and larger Taipingqiao Development. 





 

  



Xintiandi as Seed Chronology of Developement






AAU FALL 2013 ARCH 425 MICHAEL DEN HARTOG

UPPER CLASS COMMERCIAL NODE

XINTIANDI SHANGHAI, CHINA DEVELOPER: SHUI ON LAND GROUP DESIGNER: BEN WOODS

rolex omega

starbucks vintage fresh HISTORICAL COMMERCIAL ZONE shikumen aesthetic reuse

beer garden

vabene restorante

haagen dazs Cultural Bridge Between Commercial Zones shikumen museum/art shops/historical landmark

wine/ coffee bistro beean

first communist congress shikumen museum cigar/ wine

steakhouse Contemporary Commercial Zone standard shopping mall/cinema/hotel

jazz

88 xintiandi

gap cinema

xintiandi style

Commercial Division

Global Branding, Types of Consumption

Internalized, Semi-Private Space


AAU FALL 2013 ARCH 425 MICHAEL DEN HARTOG

ISSUES OF SHIKUMEN REUSE, PHOTO COMPARISON OF XINTIANDI TO ADJACENT SHIKUMEN COMMUNITY What defines Urban Regeneration in Contemporary China? Urban Reuse of Shikumen: Planned Xintiandi vs. Unplanned of Locals Repackaging History to PRomote a Certain Kind of Place Problem of Xiaoshimin, Relocation of Existing Residents global brand

XINTIANDI SHANGHAI, CHINA DEVELOPER: SHUI ON LAND GROUP DESIGNER: BEN WOODS

local shop

closed upper floor vacant/staff only

live/work

clear interior plugin program plugin program

interface with public street

semi-private space interior street/pay and stay

Developer/Government reuse

Street Life of Xintiandi vs. Street Life of Huangpu Tangjiwan Road

Inhabitant Reuse

low-rise dense housing lack of green space

cleared of visual obstructions

high-rise residential tower in green field utelized space

historic environment repackaged as clean photo-worthy environment

social as well as commuter space

foreign to user

familiar to user

Historical Conservation as Built Environment

communal street access

security checkin

New "Gated" Housing Communities of Xintiandi and Existing Shikumen Strreet

Asia Urban Case Studies  
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