Saturday, 30 May 2009

Caravanic City of the Future

The advancement of technological approach in the built environment today has contributed to the development of architecture and urbanism through many ways. By learning from nature, architects and designers have manipulated its potential to develop sustainable ways in creating a better environment for mankind. This is being done by a long search and through collaborative research with multi-disciplinary exercises. It is our intention to explore the many potential, learnt from nature, to propose a new kind of living environment that is reflexive and responsive to human needs. The crux of this proposal is to test the many possibilities of nature’s behavior, and to translate the decoding of nature into livable environments.
Through history, we have seen and experienced the rise and fall of human civilization. This process is a repetitive process, which, by learning from them, we could have built a better living condition for the future, by not repeating the same mistakes done in the past. History has proved that human migrate and expand their living boundary base on their needs, whether they are economical needs or socio-cultural needs. From single dwelling to multiple dwellings, this expansion of boundaries grows into a much denser and complex living condition. It is normal to see high-rises and hyper density dwellings that dominates today’s built environment, with reasons to support the ever-growing spatial needs of human. These expansions have degrade living qualities and at the same time created disastrous consequences. 
If we look back into history, this process of expansion, whether the expansion of dwelling units, townships or at the urban scale, when a big disaster happens, civilization will be wiped off and erased, and the whole process of growth is being repeated again, but in a different context. This repetition will not be sustainable enough for future generations to survive if we do not seek for better solutions. In a way, the solution should be designed as a ‘survival tool’. What can we leave behind for the next generation to survive are systems that will help them to re-create habitable spaces beyond those that are conventionally associated with buildings and development projects. We are proposing a scheme that is self-sustaining, while maintaining the flexibility of growth. This idea is generated from the process of research and appreciating nature’s mechanism, translated with advanced technological possibilities that are available. The ability to understand, mimic and reconstruct the possibilities of growth through nature’s genetic process is the underlying basis for our experimentation.
The symbiotic process between water creatures, vegetation, the river and mankind is seen as the most appropriate approach to be adapted in designing this proposal. The proposal sits on a context, which is rich in its biodiversity content, as well as potentials for economic generator and growth for habitable spaces. The proposed site is in Kampung Simpang Empat, Kedah, Malaysia. It is located up north from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, filled with vast paddy fields and flows of river. The natural formation of its landscape enable the local community to self-sustain their economic income, and at the same time have a good quality of life together with nature. However, for the past ten years, increasing development due to the demand of expansion (lifestyle, density, economy), the beautiful paddy field and river landscape of the areas have been transformed into high-density dwellings, commercial buildings and other uncontrolled development. This has cause the shrinking of the paddy field, which was the main source of income for the community. Pollution from industries also contributed to the degradation of river quality. This proposal tries to challenge this problem. 
The proposal embraces natural characteristics of the environment, which also intimates biological patterns and mechanisms. By manipulating the existence of the polluted river, a specifically designed apparatus helps to recycle trash components, dead organisms, peat and others to produce self-generating structures that behave like the living organism itself. These self-generated structures will accommodate all expansion and growth of the surrounding habitat. Human’s spatial needs will expand to the river, no longer to the adjacent paddy fields. Shops and markets will co-exist with the river symbiotically. Communal living will be promoted again, the river will be the main source of income and living patterns will change. We do not have to reduce the land use of agriculture to accommodate capitalistic demand. Green spaces will expand instead of concrete blocks. Rubbish will be turned into livable structures. Bio-diversity will be the next lifestyle. Each component was designed to specifically respond to a particular issue. These apparatus manipulates the dereliction and waste produced around the site, giving way to a diverse, complex, self-organized ecosystem; the result of natural systems.
We hope that the proposal will mark a new emergent architecture that will contribute to the built environment and create better lifestyle for the future. We believe that innovation from the research conducted will lead architects, artists, urban designers and the public at large to be able to find new solutions, and improvise the genius systems found from nature. The new city that is being proposed here is hoped to stimulate social cohesion through a reflexive design strategy. We believe the need to stimulate the emergence of qualitatively decent total living/working/learning environments, and by taking a radical step forward, we see this design as an alternative that advance sustainable thought and performance for humankind and the environment. This is the future city. A caravanic city for the future.
Design team: Hafiz Amirrol, Meor Haris, Sabri Idrus, Nasir Baharuddin
Urban Design Consultant: Syed Sobri Zubir
Competition Website: d3 Natural Systems

Monday, 25 May 2009

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Urban Strategies for Tower Hill Development

These are studies on strategic positioning of views in relation to the site, surrounding areas and building types. 'Extension' of the city into the site would be the main interest in framing important and interesting views, and also suggest types and configurations of spaces that will enjoy those views. The typology study is investigating potential parti diagrams for the building form. Four main strategic operations were also selected to be studied to manipulate potentials and see the scale of influences generated from the future intervention.

The top image is describing the possibility of shifting and twisting the massing of the building in order to capture specific views around the site. This technique is 'borrowed' from MVRDV's Gyre Building in Tokyo, and will be tested against different techniques and processes to refine the potential of manipulating hierarchy, layering and surfaces in the design. The later image is an exploration by slanting the building mass, which is a continuation from the shifting and twisting process. This operation is also speculating the effect of the intervention which hopefully will create a visual and physical phenomena for the site and allow the ground level to still function as a public garden.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Friday, 22 May 2009

The Walkscapes of Serangan Island

The daily ritual of walking in religious procession is translated through assembling and sorting of fragmented urban spaces as layers of abstracted elements. The proposed scheme therefore is an assemblage of fractured parts of the traditional walking city comprising districts of modernist reform projecting capitalist-consumerist ‘experiences’. Simultaneity, fragmentation, and ephemerally characterize this postmodern condition with intertwined pedestrianized paths and networks that create places, which enhance aesthetics and social awareness. It is hoped that the permeable streetscapes will expose the myriads of the ordinary people and challenge the opportunities for intentionally entering, maneuvering and exploring the spatial and physical repertoire of the proposal.
This scheme tries to exploit the natural landscape formations of the island. The advantages of doing so offer an original urban fabric and identifiable panorama from outside and on the island itself. The rich diversity of built form; squares, streets, alleys and landmarks culminate in a unique sense of place within the various localities. By gently regulating with varied height restrictions of the urban form gives a sense of spatial coherence that create the qualities of urban ‘space of flows’ which then become the most identifying character of this township. The whole phenomenon suggests a state of fluidity, at the same time offering a huge variety of built volumes.

Ritual Art of Offering as Catalyst for Sustainable Urban Intervention

The ritual art of offerings as part of religious procession has been inherent in many traditional cultures since time immemorial. This form of ceremony is apparently still practiced in contemporary times and one of the places that are heavily laden with this form of offerings to the Gods is on the paradise island of Bali, Indonesia. Their livelihood is ingrained with this ritual from the day of their birth until the day of their cremation. Since this ritual is part of the culture, which in turn shaped the built environment, therefore, it becomes the primary concern of this design to explore their significant attributes so that it can be used to generate alternative solutions in modeling sustainable and livable communities for the future. The site for the proposed urban design intervention exercise will be on an empty land of more than 400 acres to be developed in supporting a community of 20,000 people on the island of Serangan, supposedly to be the miniature of Bali and the home to the second holiest temple that is the Pura Sakenan. 

Get the full paper here

Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Rebuilding

Hafiz Amirrol will be lecturing at MERCY Malaysia's Response and Recovery Training Program.

Date: Saturday, 23 May 2009
Time: 2.00 pm
Location: Legend Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Urban Strategies for Tower Hill Development

These studies are trying to exploit the potential and opportunities found around the site. Important elements to be manipulated are like extensions of the public realm from human's movement and activities around the site, slipping of the site with historical elements and circulation programmes, connecting the proposed development with any possible potentials with the existing surrounding hotels (programmes, infrastructure, etc.), and the issues of framing panoramic views as an extension of the city into the new intervention program.

Temporary Relocation Houses in Aceh

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Core Houses in Aceh

Design team: Norazam Abu Samah, Hafiz Amirrol and MERCY Malaysia Technical Team.

Walking as Spatial Assemblage

These drawings describe important elements found along the journey, and are described through layers of categories; land use, lot boundaries and functions, built forms and voids. By trying to achieve a more specific subject matter, which is walking patterns that suggest types of activities around the site, this study also try to explore the permeable streetscapes that expose the myriads of the ordinary and sees opportunities for spaces to be entered unintentionally or intentionally, maneuvering and exploring the spatial and physical repertoire of the site, which is located near Tower Hill, London.

Rumah Lidah

Sketch design options for a house in Kelana Jaya, Selangor.

Design team: Hafiz Amirrol, CODA

Taut; Cocoon

Taut; Cocoon is a beauty of things imperfect; is the most conspicuous and characteristic feature of what we think of as nature’s beauty. The quintessential aesthetic of this installation is to encourage the astonishing repertoire of forms bred from the idea and process of fractal shapes, fragmentation, morphologies of the nature, mixing registers and playing with virtuosity on our senses – visual and analytical. It is into a world of such paradox, engendered by the awareness to understand nature and its attributes towards contemporary sensibilities, that we invite our viewers. The wall has been chosen as the context, but is an open context, which brings together both artistic characteristics and the finesse of architectural space. 

The art piece’s title takes its inspiration directly from the cocoon, or pupa, which is the life stage of some insects undergoing transformation. From the understanding of this life cycle process, this work carries the idea of a complete metamorphosis represented by the immediacy of activities carried out in the training centre of Petronas - Permata. This vocabulary, rooted in everyday reality, shall make this installation accessible to all. It articulates a subtle duality, trying to provoke mixed feeling of both attraction and repulsion.

Design team: Sabri Idrus, Hafiz Amirrol

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Urban Mat Exploded

Analytical sketch in revealing the potentials of the 'urban mat' of Petty Wales, London. The series of drawings would be a selection of sites that have important remarks to the surrounding context and would be drawn in sequences, as if they were pieces of puzzles that can be assembled together to form a map.

Unfolding the Journey Process

Journey to the Floating World 2; Shibuya - Katsura Villa - Omotesando; December 2008.

Tutors: Jonathan Dawes and Marco Guarnieri, AA School of Architecture

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Journey Sketches

Journey to the Floating World; Tokyo - Kyoto - Osaka; December 2008.

Tent Village Aceh

Design team: Norazam Abu Samah, Hafiz Amirrol, Fairus Salehen, Ar. Ayof Bajuri, Ar. Abdul Rahman Richard, Ar. Azman Zainonabidin, Tajul Edrus Nordin, Kamaruddin Ibrahim and MERCY Malaysia Technical Team.

RSU Gunungsitoli Nias

Health service provision on Nias Island, Indonesia had always been insufficient and became worse after the March 28, 2005 earthquake. The Gunungsitoli General Hospital was one of the major district health facilities heavily damaged. Shortages of doctors and specialists, limited clinical skills of nurses and midwives, poor management and maintenance were worsened. Located in the major town of the isolated island, this hospital serves more than 700,000 populations and is the only referral hospital. The Indonesian Ministry of Health with recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) requested for MERCY Malaysia’s participation for its reconstruction. A collective team comprising of architects, medical planners, engineers, surveyors and technicians was deployed to conduct a comprehensive assessment, including a technical report for the Indonesian Government. Damaged grade and design failures of the current hospital were studied thoroughly with the presence of experts in the industry. The master plan included new hospital blocks massing and layout, temporary hospital block, space planning for medical and non–medical areas, inclusion of a Disaster Management Zone for disaster preparedness and a centralized mechanical and electrical system. In order to ensure the sustainability of investment in revitalizing the hospital, the program was undertaken as a comprehensive intervention. The revitalization project for the hospital was fully completed in December 2008.
Design team: Norazam Abu Samah, Hafiz Amirrol, Fairus Salehen, Ar. Ayof Bajuri, Ar. Abdul Rahman Richard, Ar. Azman Zainonabidin and MERCY Malaysia Technical Team.