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Translating The Invisible Link

Part 1 Project 2003
Sergio Baquedano
Raymond Cheng Boon Tiong
National University of Singapore Singapore Singapore


Introduction
Wushu refers to Chinese Martial Art which history is deep rooted and profound. It influence till today is still strong . Wushu is often regarded as a mean to cultivate mind and maintains a good health in present stressful environment. It ranges from fast paced to slow paced taiji which is practiced world wide.

Site
Upon analysis of the site, the public green is under utilize and the potential program along the Rochor canal is still yet to be seen. Relating to the urban context of my selected site, my intention is to create an urban link form point A to point B as show in the presentation. This intention is to revitalizes the existing situation and to create a stronger regional community spirit with the main insertion of Wushu function. In traditional Wushu practice, people gather around to learn and spar within the courtyard, this inward and protected sanctuary and the process of learning foster a strong bond.


The main presence of the wushu and medical centre integrate into this link and the main challenge is to bring public education and wushu awareness to the residence. On the public green, the medical block stands as a media box which will facilitates any big events and functions. As the sky bridge fly over the road, it provide a sky deck for community activities. It is through the movement from the ground floor to the sky deck, one will pass the layers of medical spaces which will educate them by the programmed skin. As it enter the high rise housing area, the insertion become subtle and surfaced as urban landscape and activities decks which interact with the below main Wushu spaces. These sunken spaces create an identical sanctuary of what the traditional Chinese courtyard has. Despite the narrow site constraint, this gesture make the Wushu spaces well hidden for privacy yet revealed for public awareness. The process of going deeper and deeper provides mental preparation for one too as he enter from the open to the transitional courtyard and eventually to the main hall.

The co exsistence of Wushu and Medical presence translate the inserted link into a communal generator.


Technology Design
The main technology design consideration is made to the medical block which is situated in the public green. It functions to facilitate the public green with media and educational projection plane and a vertical access to a sky community deck within the link.
The main feature is the glazed double skin elevation with perforated strips revealing the inner skin of exhibits + media. This double skin concept expands to cater for a vertical circulation to the top which will access thought the different floor of media + exhibits layers. The outer frosted skin reveals and conceals the “content” within creating a subtle presence of the glowing inner showcase skin. To produce a column free and more defined edge at the elevation the supporting columns are offset away from the façade with cantilevered floor edge. The entire structural system and services are integrated within and it stretches out to the external skin with minimum structural presence to present a clean simple lighted box expression on the contrasting public green.

Sergio Baquedano
Raymond Cheng Boon Tiong


Translating the invisible link

The proposed Wushu Centre, is a place for Chinese pugilistic arts which involve a broad range of knowledge and skills encompassing weaponry, philosophy, medical practice, military strategy, etc. It aims at promoting the practice of Chinese Martial arts, while at the same time inculcating the related philosophical values.

The Context
The site is located within an urban area that was characterized by shophouses and has a high concentration of Chinese population. It is currently in the stage of transformation with a number of new high-rise developments. The intention of the programme is thus to retain a strong link between the cultural traditions and practices and modern day ways of life.

The Site
The scheme is a follow-up of an urban study of the genius loci of the place that allowed students to individually select a site for the proposed programme. The site selected by Raymond is a compact strip of open space between two existing medium-rise housing blocks. The challenge of the design is how to introduce activities in the currently under utilized open space at an appropriate level so as to ensure minimum or no impact on existing buildings both physically and programmatically.

The scheme here displays sensitivity in its handling of scale and form. There is also a great sense of delight in the execution of the linear form that is largely underground. While the design is undoubtly modern, the spaces provided embody a strong sense of spatial tradition particularly in its axiality. There is also a strong sense of progression when moving through the building as well as spatial variation derived from interesting contrasts between open and close, brightness and darkness with the introduction of natural lighting and visual linkage to the ground level. The strong linear form has two distinctive ends, the quiet south for the practice of Taichi fronting the canal and the busy north for the medical hall at the commercial area.

The proposed center is seen as a bold urban insertion that enriches the meaning and strengthens the character of the place.

Tutor(s)

2003
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