Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Let it work...

After a fierce thunderstorm comes something for the dead...and the living.

This is the design I've come up with to tackle coffin trading.

Reasons for such design:
-to address the social issue (night life nearby)
-distinction between Heaven/Earth/Hell
-commercialize coffin trading

Consisting of 3 levels, it shows the believed separation of Heaven/Earth/Hell.
The first floor is the Heaven--Highest level, entrance through Exit 2.
The ground level--communal spaces & Exit 1
The lower ground level is Hell--a descended level from the ground.

There is 2 entrances/exits.

Entrance/Exit 1 gives way to the death. Circular paths with 2 exits explains how a soul gets purified and proceed to have a 2nd life or linger around on earth due to certain circumstances.

Entrance/Exit 2 shows a normal passageway as we're not able to see death itself. It also provide access to eternal life which may be granted to a good soul upon passing on.


ian ng said...

Using the philosopy of Life and Death and the Afterlife to generate the spatial relationships is the absolutely correct way to go about this project! Spot on!

This approach takes it above functionalism and, in a bold & perhaps arrogant way, above contextualism. Meaning--it can almost disregard the Georgetown context. And still work. Because, like a tombstone, it is a monument unto itself.

Therefore the boxy-volumetric presentation you have now is entirely appropriate. It's as if you've brought things "back to the basics", and because the basics are so unadorned and untwisted you are forced to meditate upon the emptiness within. All those carefully positioned entrances and corridors become supremely important. And in fact their locations and inter-relationships have to be further considered for more vigourous symbolism. (You have to load more "meaning" into where you put things.) It will be symbolism for the initiated, implicit and not explicit---except in the Building Guide you have to hand to every visitor on arrival to key them in--like a Lonely Planet To Heaven & Hell. That would be sooo coool! You could even design your semester-end presentation panel as this Building Guide.

The boxes stacked one on top of the other has an exquisitely appropriate imagery!

Here is one building I'm ok to be completely puzzled by (hopefully amazed by) until my understanding and appreciation increase with repeated visits. In that sense this building will succeed because we will visit because of its architecture as much as its source of info on coffins or its facility for coffin sale.

(But of course we know you knocked this up in a jiffy with Sketchup. Haha...Thing is whether you agree enough with my views to keep it at that abstract level all the way to the ground---I mean all the way to construction.)

I said you could almost disregard the Georgetown context. But you cannot disregard the site context. Mundane things like access off the road, service entrance, main entrance, orientation, etc.

As yet I'm not quite sure which part of Veron's site you've chosen and whether you've drunk in the sea and breathed out to the cemetry--which you almost certainly want to, again to heighten your philosophical preoccupation.

And incidently, which religion/belief does this building cater to? If the beauty (poetics) of your building can convert many to choose burial rather than cremation or exposure to the vultures, then you would have succeeded.

Good start nevertheless...let's see a good ending. All best!

mikey said...

hi there..johney here btw. im doing coffin too and having a hard time><, and i quite like ur idea of heaven,earth,hell. but ur other reason for this design is to address the social issue which is the night life nearby, i don see how it is addressing the social issue.tell me pwease?

ian ng said...

It's Fred's idea, not mine.

The number of night life outlets are bound to increase as this is really a hot spot of Penang. Penangites and tourists really enjoy this culture, so to be sensitive you wouldn't want to put a damper on it, kill it I mean. A "coffin place" so nearby might do just that. At the very least it might repel the growth of the nocturnal tissue your way. So a lot depends on what kind of design you come up with---something that frightens or something of endearment?

To put it more positively, if you can design something that functions as a coffin visitor centre in the daytime and transforms itself into a nightclub when the sun sets you might just hit an ace!

Shot of spirit anyone? Just signal a seethrough waitress. Won't be a minute, will float over soon.

mikey said...

hehe was asking fred actually, but yours will do..hehe

ian ng said...

haha...you young rascal Johney...We have a bit of a group mentality here: We talk as if everybody is around. So the ideas just fly about..sometimes we (I) don't know who's saying what or when, especially when we're jointly crafting a body of ideas, like building up an argument in a court case in preparation for WWKS...haha. Fred & I had been smsing till early morning so I guess I must have been short of sleep when I replied your comment..haha. Doesn't matter...but you'd better ask for Fred's reply as his opinion could be completely different from mine.

Frederick said...

Seems like I'm a bit late. Anyway, Ian and I share the same thoughts in this aspect.

The idea is to create a new social zone in the area through contemporary designs that'd function as cafes or any other retails that may attract people.

mikey said...

ahuh i see i see, interesting..hehe thanks for this vampire-design idea..cheers~

ian ng said...

Hey Johney, I don't want you to form the conclusion that I'm against walls that move, ok? ..The way I went on at the crit about your large swing door. Sorry if I was a bit overbearing. In fact I'd be only too pleased if one of you can design a Transformer sort of building..or at least pursue the idea of buildings that don't just enclose space but in fact shuffle and regroup space in response to life rituals that play themselves out with time. Well, traditional buildings have bits of that---a window opens, skylights open, lifts move. Most shops use roller shutters to free and extend business space. Access corridors in airport lounges telescope onto airplanes. And so on. The trick is to assess the extent to which parts of your building can/need to move, and for what benefit. The whole idea of architecture is to beat the persistance of tradition. Grab an idea from the traditional and use it to generate another architecture, almost TOTALLY based on that single idea. Sorta like that...you know what I mean?

mikey said...

hey khoo, yea i sorta get wad you mean. neh, it's all good, it's all good. =D