Work title: WEARING THE GROUND (0000701541)
As the world increases its population at the rate of 80 million people per year, mega-cities of 25 million residents or more are projected to emerge within 10 years. Urban centers in South East Asia like Hong Kong and Taipei are experiencing land unavailability while population density and demand still rise. So-called urban regeneration plans have been put in place to replace “old” buildings in the city at a high rate to build higher in order to accommodate more residents. Taipei, especially older districts are facing the dilemma of the need to revamp for greater accommodation while running in the risk of losing local tradition, as urban regeneration equates bulldozing the existing edifice and build on the same lot something that is taller and faceless.
Traditionally, ground has been looked at as “something” that houses “sites” to architecture, that architects built "ON" ground. On the contrary, this project proposes a new way to look at what we specify as ground, furthermore, how building sites are defined on ground. In the process of urban regeneration, what if old buildings are not replaced, but become ground/sites for next layer of architecture for further accommodation.
This pseudo-parasitical idea is studied through a local site in Taipei, where its age and “messy” organization makes this area an eventual target for regeneration. Local buildings’ facades/skins are being valued as new ground, where new possible selections of sites for next layers of architecture are being evaluated. It made preservation of local culture at a scale grander than artifacts possible. While traditional sense of ground distinguishes above and below, such new layering makes border of old and new; reminiscence and prospect. On the other hand, such new implementations upon current states would have to adjust any malpractices and inefficiencies, mainly in terms of unplanned programmatic organizations, thus creating a new zoning rules based on programmatic optimization of service and consumption.
Building vertically on “one” site on ground, connect programs vertically will be challenged with an Urban Programming Optimization Mechanism (evaluative zoning) that architecture constant evaluate multiple sites as it interact with this new layer of ground in the urban regeneration process.