THEATRICALITY OF BUILDING AND FACADE IN CONTESTED HISTORIC PLACES
A city’s identity can be characterized, and defined by its attitude towards the past, present and future. What and how a city chooses to collect and dispose of its artifacts, directly influence the memories of its people. This research looks into architecture as artifacts of the city as well as those spaces that collects the artifacts. The interest in architecture at the historic and contested places has culminated in the following two main topics and questions:
1 The City as a Repository: Heritage in Architecture and Architecture as Heritage
The city is a repository, and architecture is its collection of elemental artifacts. Engrained in the artifacts are material potencies that holds the collective memories of its people. This perceived notion is predicated on the fact that change is an inevitable metabolic process of a city. The project questions and studies the ways in which the architectural form, the facade, and the presence it creates (or have created) have contributed to the debate on urban regeneration through both contemporary and theoretical subjects.
2 Theatricality of the building facade in contested historic places
The mass-produced construction assemblage of the facade has transformed the role of the architect. Rather than conceiving from a blank slate the contemporary architect have, at his discretion, catalogues of readymade elements for selection. With a broad range of choices in materials; and various configurations of shapes, sizes and profiles. The contemporary architect has become the design selector and configurationist of the standard facade. Against this backdrop we have witnessed the physicality of the city becoming more similar on the one hand. Yet, the ways in which different cultures appropriate these similar standard facades remains distinguishable between the different localities. In other words, the practice of space in different cultures shapes the individual identities of the place despite the physicality being monotonous.
THE ABOVE QUESTION FORMS THE BASIS FOR MY TEACHING AND RESEARCH AT THE CHINESE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG