Even during Monsoon Season, Kuala Lumpur was a vibrant city, through activity, colour and people. The city was built up of a varied urban fabric, tall skyscrapers next to 3 storey terraced housing with different architectural styles. Around every corner was something different, interesting and often surprising! Here are a few pictures from my exploration there.
The next part of Urban Diagnosis:38 (Natalie Bennett)
Whilst a neighbourhood lies dormant in wait of its new built environment is it possible that it can reawaken sooner to evoke a new memory. Using a temporary urbanity to write a pre history into people’s memories, initiating a new lease of life that leaves a legacy within the long awaited new masterplan.
Time has no limits. Within all history and present in all future to come, any place within time is temporary. When dealing with today and with urban environments, which continually evolve and are therefore consistently in a period of transition. Temporary comes from a different scale of measure, a scale relative to human life. For any of the local population born after the demise of Bridge Street will remember little more than what stands today. Temporary is also is relative to the time taken to roll out a masterplan from development strategy to completed building. If the built form of the masterplan is the permanent urbanism then temporary urbanism is something that happens before and within the timescale of this phase in evolution in urbanism, in its wake a legacy can be left in the character, legibility and memory of place.
Site: Bridge Street has been subject to the ‘two kinds of urban void,’ one from the nineteenth century infrastructure and areas of industry; another of the sprawling settlement of the post war era. Neither of which have a recognisable role any more, left without identity having left so long that it has fallen into a sterile state. As a result, the neighbourhood has been left with a limited role of significance within Glasgow, its only key activity being the transport interchange at the underground station linking with the 38 and other bus routes. Neighbourhoods can take generations to establish, if the temporary urbanity is a temporary landmark acts as the pre start for the new leaving a legacy once its physical presence is no longer required.
The vision of situating tall land marks as a piece of temporary urbanity, plays on many ideas but primarily on building an identity and character of place that fore runs a new master plan. Inviting an activity to the area that lends to a new legibility, memory and legacy. That the Naught-order should be imposed as a less obtrusive introduction to the first and second-orders delivering the final urban landscape. The ambition is to create a comfortably familiar urbanism where no period of adjustment is required because it has and will continually evolve at a rate that makes it feel familiar. Creates a cycle that is fed by the people and in turn the people by the place lifting the veil of governance revealing the authentic neighbourhood underneath.
So I took the subway to Wangfujing, expecting to spend too much money shopping, I never spent a penny, surprise number one, then went for a walk down Wangfujing Snack street expecting to see some weird and wonderful things to eat…people tell you about it, you read about it, but wow, live snacks on sticks! Then I took a walk to St Joseph’s church which has a busy piazza out front with people sitting on benches, tourists exploring, kids playing…and brides and their grooms posing for photos sharing their limelight with about 10 other couples! So this is a normal sight apparently, just not one I was expecting…
Lots of surprises, but I love it!
The solid and void theory holds the idea that volumetric spaces, shaped or implied, in between the built fabric are important as or more important than the objects themselves. This is referred to as space in between, the breathing space of the city. It can also be referred to as ‘loose space,’ where the opportunities for exploration and discovery occur, where the unexpected, sometimes risky and spontaneous activities happen.
This is a topic that I have been interested in throughout my studies and coming to Beijing has only strengthened this! I love how people use space here. Sometimes spaces are designed for a particular use, but here, I feel that people reinterpret these spaces and use areas to suit their own particular needs. It is how people use space here that makes it an interesting place to be, it gives character to the urban realm, makes it feel lively and vibrant. Enjoyed walking past a public space this evening with a group of 30 or so people taking a dance lesson outdoors. Then going round the corner to a barbeque on the street and ten or so people lined along selling various things. People parking up their bicycles and others sitting on the walls relaxing. And that’s me only described one corner…(at Beixinqiao metro station).
Getting ready for some more urban planning at work tomorrow, where did the weekend go?!
P.S. Book on the topic; Loose Space, Possibility and Diversity in Urban Life; Routeledge – Franck, K.A. & Stevens, Q. (2007)