Monday, November 15, 2010


Architecture is most dynamic form of art whose limits are pushed beyond its boundary defined by its predecessor. It is very often derives its momentum from global forces and aspiration. The priority that one exercise depends on various traits that shapes individual and our cultural aspiration. The momentum that modernism exerted on globalism resulted in virtue of presence of building but absence of language. It is global imperatives that perhaps shapes our social and cultural priority thus architecture. The more such imperative that exerts pressure on our culture… harder that architecture finds it be container of values of our time and region. The contemporary trend in global architecture is seemingly about delimiting formal process from the clutches of tight compartmentalized modernism and subsequently aided by technology. This apparently is very anti modernist stage setting whose virtues are reinventing notion of urbanism and architecture to its mainstream of structured living pattern. Perhaps modernists were pushed to be reactive as against the clutches of classical thought and series of wars resulted in destruction of daily life. The contemporary thoughts have immense possibilities to exist and perhaps disguise of being anti-modern would be the last the priority.

The architecture and urbanism of Taichung and Yilan are not far from such contemporary though pattern. Hwang architecture is about its region... it’s about contemporary life yet regionally appropriate… its about daily ritual… its about pushing modernism to its more appropriateness... and its about questioning global trends of formal narcissism that are about to devour cities/region and cultural diversity.. It’s about positions against such form for every where and nowhere.

The series of walks that are set up across the various locations in Yilan had strange notion to create public realm by connecting the disjointed/micro/public realm into larger disjointed macro public realm. These interventions bring about stage experience of city which could be revealed as multi dimensional experience rather that codified language of formal and informal. The series of walkways not only acknowledging the hidden and mundane architecture but also brings about the significance of such building from socio-economic point of view. The series of trails are seemingly disjointed yet are well orchestrated as large structure. It’s analogically a classical music where each player is purifying or elaborating the next but individually significant.. Yet collectively profound.
- The idea of recreating residual space under the bridge emanates the new language and concern of public realm and eco system. The series of unprecedented forms are results of various objects that are discarded or ignored from daily rituals are finding its new appropriateness in public realm.
- The walkway along towards the railway station has been created by pushing the edge beyond the road yet allowing the individual block as a part of walk revealing its existence from its privateness to its publicness. This brings about strange experiences of seeing discarded or abandoned private realm as part of public realm. The trails passes through existing units some are intact while some are left with walls as traces. The series of public functions are introduces as a part of re-educating oneself about city through series of disjointed private/public realm.

- The tree space is a larger container resulting from series of small public domain. Its strategic location opposite station is a magnet that brings people from station and surrounding areas. It also act as a catalyst like a bow which is not dynamic by its presence but allows its counter part to project further by pulling it back. The large public realms in city are great moment for pause and pull back.

- The trails pick up series of such private/public realm including temples/malls/winery to bring about nature of cities that would be conducive for socially plausible urban realm.

The series of trail flows into the basement parking unassumingly a public realm hovering over and leaving no traces of what it is hinging on. It’s like giant parasite about to devour its parental body. The architectural program is reinvented as various public functions. The language is perhaps high key in nature but material palate is low key in nature i: e wood/stone/steel. It celebrates strange nature of domesticity within the guise of public realm- almost analogous to the relation between trails and objects. The stack wood walls supported by steel super structure and walls and floor finished with cement situ has something to relate to its predecessor. The language is trying to bring about hidden values of the locale architecture.

The climax of trail is large public building with large open space by two building and connected through bridges. The language is locale and pervasive contextually. The large open space have staircase that act as connector among the domesticated public realm-semi public realm to large public domain i: e river front. The bridge that is connected by staircase brings people to larger container with some sense of ecstatic urban experience. The domesticated language of public building now slowly transform into convoluted bridge to the side of river. There are series of small intervention on both side of river as landscape exercise. However it is very difficult to distinguish the extreme territories of what is architecture or landscape or urbanity. The pedestrian bridge is again a parasite to the main bridge gives new meaning beyond its existence as pure functional presence i: e relation between people and river/ relation between city and river and river edge as urban space. The various objects are significantly detailed out from similar material palate and offers rich grains of tactile/ tectonic/ visual experience. The project is very significant from the position of how individuality of building and architecture can begin to define urbanity at large by such gestures.

The architecture of cemetery negotiates the terrain of hill in Yilan. The building stands out on hillock as if terrain was haunted for its appropriateness. The series of levels as undisciplined as it can get receives plinth of the building and residual front as terrace. The building has concrete walls/ pleated surfaces finished in grey slate stone quarried from China where urn with ashes can be kept almost in a manner of pigeon holes and has pebble & concrete floor. The terraces are retaining walls resulting from leveling are embanked with stone procured from the site. The concrete roof edging out the walls are almost animates the natural setting of terrain and sky. The mist raises often leaving traces of only stone embankment wall/ grey walls/ hovering roof profile almost suggesting the architecture metamorphic regeneration as profound natural process.
The resultant architecture is a rare combination of sinuous and experiential. The front of sever few blocks are design as a public park. The act of building such architecture is important from the position that society is ready to accept ideal of last rituals as suitable for architecture to exist. The questions that arises out of such act that culture that are grappling hand in hand with global forces are willing to write their own architecture and program as explicitly and ready to overlay new value system to their traditional thought pattern.

Friday, November 12, 2010


As i arrived in Taiwan; did not have enough understanding of past experiences of our exchange programe. However to my surprise i was asked to give talk on traditional cities of India. I am definitely not an expert on this subject matter but tried my best of eight hours of preparation to put to gether. I looked at the idea of Living Traditional Cities of India emphasizing the evolutionalry process based on certain principle and belief to recent readjustment that city goes through. I showed two cities: Jaipur and Madurai. Both the cities are similar in nature except the geographical location. But the most interesting thing was the nature of transformation that geography exerts on city is something to look at. Its quiet a revealing that city behaves its own was and intentions are in its own way. Perhaps it should be relooked again from academics point of veiw and take it to the studio assignment. We are very limited with our thoughts in terms of Metros and particualry Mumbai. The reasons are plenty but concerns are seems to be out of biases. I hope exchange program always looks at geographical India rather than Metros aspired and destined to be west.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


The trip to Srilanka came up with low expectation but ended with deep impression about the terrain/ people. Srilanka has abundand naturaly gifted situations. The east and west with coastal region while central has mix of plane and mountains. The Batticulao city was real surprise as it has been hidden all these years behing the shadow of war and now suddenly opened up as a potential for tourism and other economic opportunity of lime base industry. It is yet to be seen the transformation that Batticulao goes through over the period ten years. Within the context of its socio-cultural morphing of various regions.. the natural setting... the issue of small town destined to be a large agglormeration of various economic activity and people shall be a challannge to the governing authority. However the impression of Srilanka as what is was and what is now are two opposite sides of perception.

SMART CITY MISSION: New Urban Paradigm of Imagination or Perception

The recent time has seen the shift in urban planning concerns of our cities, especially second tier cities. The emerging paradigm...