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Urban Archive: Rethinking Time and Weathering in the Design Process

Part 2 Project 2021
Subin Park
University of Hong Kong | China
The fate of architecture in postindustrial cities like Hong Kong includes rapid erasure and reconstruction—an efficient, often linear process that tends to neglect the potential value and architectural information of the past. Every building is vulnerable to weathering through time, but current architectural practices resist from natural processes of decay. Urban Archive is situated within the reality of change. It applies weathering as a tool for design to break away from conventional modes of architectural design, construction, and representation. Ultimately, the project itself results from a design process through making and unmaking, transforming the building into a device and index for documenting spatial and material transformation.

More than simply a meditation on the inevitability of decay, Urban Archive reconsiders how a specific method of construction(found object+cast+formwork) can be an alternative to trends of commemoration and commercialization in architectural preservation. The texture of the old structure, imprinted on the new concrete cast, offers users to read it as material/spatial information about the past, from tectonic relationships to material specificities to the particulars of place. Here, architectural preservation becomes both an act of archiving and regeneration, with a unique spatial form that conveys information in ways that are distinctive from how architecture’s history is archived and experienced.

Subin Park


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