Sunday, 23 March 2008



Wohh! First of all, thank you Ian for approving my request, and thank you Ian too for your effort & dedication made to start this blog as a platform for us to allow sparkles of real great ideas.

In response to Ian’s article: ‘BUILDING IN CONTEXT PT.1 - FALKESTRASSE’ on 10 March, I hereby would like to share my humble ideas about these buildings I (and you might) came across, hoping to get some responses, about their appropriateness of their architecture in response to their neighborhood context. I’ll make it as brief as bikini:-

1a.The Audi’s showroom a.k.a. “The Iceberg” in Tokyo by British Architect Benjamin Warner.

- The nickname of this building tells it all: it’s an iceberg which you will probably knock on it accidentally like the Titanic if you are slightly unaware. Personally, I think this building with its many edges is too loud compare to the tranquility of the street made up of buildings with 2-dimensional facades. I think it should be better if it is located at a road junction instead, like the Dancing Building shown(1b), where this 3-dimensional building can be admired thoroughly.

2. Proposal of the Spiral Extension to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London by Daniel Libeskind. (Marcus, in any case, still I love your beloved Jewish Museum! :) )

- Again, I think it’s an abrupt clash to the pedestrians-oriented city, because of the sharp & edgy corners being so near to the pedestrians and drivers. Imagine the insecurity you will feel while you are driving a small Kancil, and there’s this big truck at your north-east side at the next lane, creating eclipse and as if the edges of the truck is going to crush on your window.

- It looks like as if it has been chopped off fragmentally from a major building in a much bigger scale, e.g. scale of the Bilbao Museum for example. Guess it might look much greater and convincing, if it is in a larger scale, and is set back from the streets with a certain distance to the entrance, and is admired at a further distance.

-Maybe it will look nicer and not so crude to the pedestrians if the sizes of the segments which are bulking out are reduced in a much smaller scale to respond with the windows of the surrounding buildings? What do you think?

3. Aoyama Technical College in Tokyo by Makoto Sei Watanabe.

-Although some might think that the toy-like form and the silver, red and black reflective panels are a bit inappropriate, but I really love the great sense of humor conveyed from this building, especially from the little rascal on top of it . It’s as if telling a story: a puppy owner trying to pull his mischievous puppy away from trying to squat and poo on a public property in a park.

-In the city of Tokyo where people worship dogs, dogs are treated most equal to humans, and even Nintendo had joined the trend to organize a “Nintendo Fashion Show for Nintendogs”(note the rhyme), I think this form which looks like a puppy (but well it actually exemplifies a DUCK but I really do hope to assume it as a cute puppy )is definitely an eye candy for the Tokyo citizens, as it will arouse discussions and mutual affections towards this puppy, especially among the fellow female Tokyo citizens, as females (who are not in this field) usually would choose to pay more attention on other city details rather than architecture and cityscapes. It’s something to be applauded.

-A catchy quote from, “Furthermore, the irregular form of the animal makes it appears that it is still growing.”

-This building(“form” to be more accurate) being built on top of a building had somehow triggered some of my thoughts. Will there be a revolution of construction scene whereby construction sites are being lifted up, from plots of lands, to the roof of existing buildings as platforms for constructions? Especially in metropolitan cities where lands price are soaring higher and higher and demolition of existing buildings are impractical, unaffordable, and not moral?

New museums on top of existing condos? New clubs on top of existing schools? New shopping malls on top of residential houses? New churches on top of existing mosques? New DAP headquarter on top of existing BN headquarter? Hehe, no offense. Is it a sad scene or a challenging, exciting one?

I would like to end this with a quote from the book “Architecture Now!”:-

“According to the architects, Bruner/Cott’s design philosophy embodies contextually in its most comprehensive sense; design that is energized by the surrounding urban fabric and the historic, economic and social factors that CHARACTERIZED EACH PROJECT”. Do we, as students, have to have distinctive styles of design just like the way Zaha Hadid or Daniel Libeskind do? Or each of our designs are to be characterized by it’s own self project’s site context and neighbourhood language? Which is more important?

Thank you for lending your eyes. Above are merely my humble opinions, hopefully will get your honorable comments and judgments. Thank you.

Sook Tin


LuvEiEi said...

this is fantastic!!!!!!!
Tin Tin!! thanks for sharing!!

bblsh said...

i think that the site context and neighbourhood language is more vital..bcs if we r designing building without any site context..u can act build anything but not only limited to Zaha or libeskind's style...A building which din response to the particular site or neighbourhood language would not counted as good building n it will bring up more issue!! We have done quite a lot of zone n site analysis...n we got some many issue to response...tats y it is important...We have to build smtg that actually can improved the site surrounding or it represent or signifies smtg important of the particular site!!Then only we can incorporated the exciting style into our building(of cos must have site response la)!!haha!!however,talk is easy but can do or not is another matter la...haha!!no offence to anybody!!

jinno_6 said...

wow... everybody plz thx to tin tin abt her interesting findings which benefit all of us! anyway for me i think art n design is no such thing as right o wrong.... diff ppl come out with diff perceptions and comments. some might think those buildings above is fantastic but some might not. for me i think is to depend on how u wan the building to be. a humble one o an eye-catching one? and sheng hao is right in certain extend. of coz v hv to consider abt the surroundings while designing our master piece. if not the site will look awkward and it might losing the original characteristic of the site and the building as well. then the building can b place anywhere then. thats my opinion n fill free to comment.

ian ng said...

Good Show, Tin! (Or is it Tin Tin?) I'm off for futsal...u guys comment first...I'll come back this evening.

(Maoyang, where r u?)

Sook Tin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sook Tin said...

Thank you guys! :D That's wht I'm curious about. Should we have a signature style for each of our design? Does it make us an extraordinary one? Or isit a too selfish act? And wht do u guys think about the buildings? :D I hope to have a different perspective to look at and appreciate the buildings...

BADesign said...

fuiyoh tin tin ! good job..

i think the first two buildings sort of complements its surrounding buildings. more subtle too. But the last two buildings are like they don't give a damn to their "partners" around them. so it look out of place. BUT, they do stand out because they are special.

Jon da Penang said...

yes tin....u wow me out of this planet wei!!!...hahaha...that was really a great post and an even greater idealogy behind the questions u raised...

actually, from what i see in our studio until now, there have been certain styles that pops out here and there, some of us idolize a certain style or archi that we see as THE GREAT ONE...and tends to design in his/her zaha with her very radical lines or santiago with his very structure like buildings or libeskin with his oh so some say literal some say organic forms...thoh im not really sure how true this is however i have mentioned this to ian...haha...this was what he said "I guess we're all trying to find that language we can call our own...something that reflects our peculiar personalities...and hopefully something the world will appreciate."

this will be a never ending debate i think, cuz all of us like jinno said have different views and design differently, but i do think sometimes its fun to have one little red apple amongst a basket of green ones...i mean whats life without a little surprises so does a city....

so bottom line however it may be, we have to be sensitive and respectful as least for now, until u become a big shot like norman forster that is...hahahaha...kidding.

MY said...

yeah.. thanks for the post.. i guess everyone has their own opinions. haha.

(hey ian i'm here.. i havent really added anything to my design yet so i havent post anything here. will see you during the tutorial on monday.)

bblsh said...

tin tin..i think jin answer ur q oledi rite? There are no rite or wrong...juz either wat r u trying to achieve as Ian has told us to do so from the starting at all...but u muz belif urself..dont alway sit at there worry dis worry tat(u know i know la)..i think ppl always will choose their best choice, no wonder wat choice u have made,trust urself and go ahead...dont scare for lost bcs we have ntg to lost liao(p/s:we have oledi lost everything,erm...maybe me nia!!!!haha!!!)gogogo!!!Well...i will get the photo for u la when i bek to penang next week!!gambate...i wan go c football matct now!!today is football festival ler...dont miss it if u r a football fans...

BADesign said...

signature style or not ?? it's a bit too early for us to decide on that now la. we are still in year 3 ?? we are still developing our styles mah. slowly and eventually we will definitely have this sort of fixed style and way of ours. in fact in studio now we can actually see like some people, their way of designing, the outcome is always that kind wan.. lol.. it's something that we don't actually need to decide on but it shows naturally and automatically. your style will just be there. (unless you always copy other people's work la.. HEHE)

that's what i think la.. LOL

ian ng said...

Well well well...I can see that you're all building on each other's thots and getting sharper and sharper in your perceptions! Wonderful! That's what all this is for.

You may want to pause and consider this: The day you have a fixed style is the day you die, when you can't create anymore. I don't mean the day you return to dust, I mean the day your imagination dies..and you can only copy. (I'll take this further under DECON & SIG. STYLE as it's a bigger subject.)

Response to site and the historical context are two of the eternal prerequisites of good architecture--if there is a strong site to respond to. All sites have history, however virginal or drab, and Decon challenges this by disregarding history altogether. That's why some of you commented that the buildings shown don't "respect" their neighbours.

Incidently, you guys are in 2nd Year, not 3rd Year of Architecture. Your sem 1 & 2 foundation thingey was only pray pray oni...sad but true..sigh. You have to hook onto the international definition of architectural sch years.

Talking about site response: From this morning's crit (Mon.) I think Adrian has a lovely, lovely scheme! Like a miniature classic! I'm really looking forward to seeing how he'll develop it. If one of you can persuade him to post it here we can all talk about it.

Of all the buildings Tintin posted here the Aoyama Tech College is the least decon. Anybody can tell us why?

BADesign said...

ok.. im making a guess here.. its da least decon cuz its futuristic ?? robotic?? like those japanese anime robots.. haha..

ian ng said...

haiz..thot the post went through.
Sorry Benson, long overdue response..
Your answer is kinda right and wrong.
If by futuristic you meant nothing from the past, nothing ever seen before, then you're right. But if you meant something reminiscent of Sant Elia's work from the FUTURIST movement early last century then you're not quite right.
I reckon you'd be in a better position now to answer that question, now that you're finishing off your essay on Postmodernism (PM).
Whereas PM embraces history and the literal commonplace object, Decon steers away from that and goes for abstraction.
Thus Aoyama is the example from Sook Tin's collection that most readily evokes recognisable objects--dog, car, lawnmower. Hence the least decon.

(I guess Jon will now say, there you go again. Can't win.)