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Project 1 part 2


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Project 1 part 2

  1. 1. School of Architecture, Building and Design Bachelor of Science (Honours)(Architecture) Theories of Architecture and Urbanism [ARC2224] Project 1 Theorizing Architecture Part 2 Name: Soh You Shing Student ID: 0308010 Tutor: Dr. Lakshmi Priya Rajendran
  2. 2. CONTENTS 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 SS15, Subang Jaya 1.2 Site – Neighbourhood of Subang Square 1.3 Le Corbusier & the Planning of a Contemporary City 2.0 FACTORS THAT IMPACT THE SITE 2.1 Urban Spatial Planning 2.2 Population 2.3 Open Spaces 3.0 SYNTHESIS 4.0 CONCLUSION 5.0 REFERENCES
  3. 3. 1.0 INTRODUCTION The aim of this project, Theorizing Architecture is to allow students to analyse and theorise architecture through the understanding of architecture in term of language with vocabulary and grammatical structure. Students are required to analyse architecture and urban forms in relation to relevant architectural theories. The objective of this essay is to study and analyse the relationship between the neighbourhood of Subang Square (SS15, Subang Jaya) and the theory by Le Corbusier. SS15 is chosen to be studied and analysed as the site has an interesting human’s culture and lifestyle. This essay will be focusing on the three main factors that impact the site through the understanding of Le Corbusier’s theory. 1.1 SS15, Subang Jaya Figure 1 : Location of SS15, Subang Jaya Source: Subang Jaya is one of the busiest suburban cities in Klang Valley which is 20km West of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was established in the year of 1974 and now it is administered by Subang Jaya Municipal Council (Subang Jaya Municipal Council, 2004). Subang Jaya consists of SS12 to SS19, Bandar Sunway, USJ and etc. It covers an area of 161.8 sq. kilometers with a population of over 450,000 people (Subang Jaya Municipal Council, 2009).
  4. 4. In the heart of Subang Jaya is where SS15 is located, a popular and vibrant commercial and residential area (Figure 1). SS15 is developed by Sime UEP (a subsidiary of Sime Darby) which is completed in the year of 1998.The location of SS15 is very strategic as it is near to the townships of Petaling Jaya and it is surrounded by many amenities. For example, Subang Jaya City Centre in SS16 is just across the street of SS15. Subang Jaya Medical Centre in SS12 is right beside it. The accessibility to SS15 is very convenient via New Pantai Expressway and Federal Highway. It is also near to Shah Alam Highway and North Klang Valley Elevated accesses. Nowadays, SS15 has become a trend setting area due to its wide population of students as there are quite a number of higher education institutions situated in that area (Michael, 2014). The student population here is about 20,000 with 80% from outstation (Leong, 2008). Also, it has become a famous place where the youngsters will hang out during the night. 1.2 Site – Neighbourhood of Subang Square The site chosen to carry out this project is the neighbourhood of Subang Square. Subang Square is located in the centre of SS15. It is a high rise office building with a shopping gallery on its lower floors. The surrounding is filled with shop-office blocks and commercial lots. This site is chosen as it is very interesting and it is one of the better sites that can be related through the theories of Le Corbusier. Figure 2: Site (Neighbourhood of Subang Square) Source: Subang Square
  5. 5. 1.3 Le Corbusier & the Planning of a Contemporary City Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris) was a Swiss-born French architect who belonged to the first generation of the so-called International school of architecture (Corbusier, 2015). He approached the field of urban planning more slowly than he did in the field of architecture. Le Corbusier’s theory of urban planning, as it developed over the following decades, is a search for these basic principles. In the interest of clarity it may be divided into four stages: A Contemporary City (1922), The Radiant City (1935), The Great Waste (1937) and Regional Planning (1939) (Guiton, 1999). The theory “the planning of a contemporary city” from Le Corbusier can be represented by SS15, especially on the site – the neighbourhood of Subang Square. The theory focuses on a lot of elements but centralized plan plays the major role as Le Corbusier is famous for its design on centralized plan which has been often contrasted to Frank Lloyd Wright’s decentralized plan. He also mentioned on strict separation of zoning according to the function of the space. Le Corbusier focused on open space and he stated that buildings should be built around it. 2.0 FACTORS THAT IMPACT THE SITE 2.1 Urban Spatial Planning Urban spatial planning is very crucial to form a good urban neighbourhood. The urban spatial planning of the neighbourhood of Subang Square is very strategic. In Le Corbusier’s description of 'A Contemporary City of Three Million Inhabitants' (Corbusier, 1929), he stated "The city of to-day is a dying thing because its planning is not in the proportion of geometrical one fourth. The result of a true geometrical lay-out is repetition. The result of repetition is a standard." This proves that Le Corbusier Figure 3: Portrait of Le Corbusier Source:
  6. 6. is a strong supporter of geometry (grid) in planning. The site - neighborhood of Subang Square is mapped according to its grid which leads to different zones. With the aid of gridlines, the repetition of the massing forms a perfect form of the urban spatial planning. Next, as Le Corbusier’s centralization theme was strict separation of societal functions, he divided separate zones for workplaces, residences, shopping and entertainment centres (Tungare, 2001). Figure 5 shows that in the neighbourhood of Subang Square, commercial lots are more on the West and South of the site whereas residential area is on the North and East. A higher educational institution, Taylor’s Business College is located on the South of Subang Square. It is very obvious that the area is designed in a centralized theme and the societal function is separated clearly. Figure 4: Grid lines form a repetitive geometrical layout of the site Figure 5: Spatial Planning (Zoning) of site
  7. 7. Subang Square is centrally located in the neighbourhood (Figure 6). Le Corbusier also stated that a centrally located core performed the "higher" functions in his cities. Figure 7 proves that Subang Square is the only high rise office building with a shopping gallery on its lower floors in SS15. It marks the difference of its function compare to the surrounding buildings. Thus, it meets the requirement of “higher” function through Le Corbusier’s theory. 2.2 Population The population of the site is mainly office workers and students as the main building on site in Subang Square and Taylor’s Business School (Taylor’s College), which is located right opposite of it. Figure 6: Location of Subang Square which is centrally located on site Figure 7: Subang Square as the only high rise office building of the site Figure 8 & 9: Subang Square and Taylor’s Business School Source:
  8. 8. Subang Square is the only high rise office building on site as all the residential houses and shop lots are just 2-storeys building. In “A Contemporary City" (1922), Le Corbusier mentioned “The higher the density of a city’s population, the shorter the distances to be covered…However, though we must increase the density of the population, we must also greatly increase planted areas…We must therefore build the city vertically”. Although there are no apartments or condos found on site, the main population comes from Subang Square and Taylor’s Business College. As Subang Square is a high rise office building, it can accumulate a lot of people in the building/area. In addition, Taylor’s Business College is located right in front of it. Taylor’s Business College is a college that provides excellence pre-U studies since 1969 (Taylor’s College, 2014). This makes the area around Subang Square and Taylor’s Business School highly populated. Therefore, as the density of the city centre increases, the business affairs around, especially the shopping gallery and commercial shop lots will increase greatly. The business of the commercial shop lots, mainly the eateries will increase due to high number of students and office workers visiting during lunch hour. Figure 10: The main population of the site comes from Subang Square and Taylor’s Busniess College
  9. 9. Besides that, due to the location of Subang Square and Taylor’s Business College, a lot of office workers and students prefer to stay somewhere near the buildings. Hence they choose to stay at the 2-storey terrace house around which is just walking distance to either Subang Square or Taylor’s Business School. Due to the high amount of students and office workers staying on site, it boosts up the property of the site (Figure 13). Figure 14 proves that the average sales price of the property of SS15 is very high in this past two years. The rental of the 2-storey terrace starts from RM1,300 to RM4,900 (Propwall, 2013). This attracts a lot of investors to invest in that area. Consequently this leads to a better economy and property of that site. Also, the population of site will increase highly. Figure 11: Office workers from Subang Square will visit the commercial area greatly due to its high population Figure 12: The main customer of the eateries on site is students from Taylor’s Business School specifically during lunch hour Figure 13: The existence of Subang Square and Taylor’s Business School boost up the property of the site
  10. 10. 2.3 Open Spaces In the neighbourhood of Subang Square, there is an open space (field) on the North-East of Subang Square (Figure 15). Open space plays a significant role as it acts as a space for the people to carry out their social activities. Children will be spotted at the field during evening time and there are a lot of people will be jogging along the path of the field during early morning and evening time (Figure 16). Besides, the open space is surrounded by the residential houses. This allows the resident to come out from their houses and interact with each other whenever they want. Figure 14: Chart of SS15, Subang Jaya Average for Sales Price Source: Figure 15: Open space which is located on the North East of site
  11. 11. According to Le Corbusier (Etchells, 1922), he said that “sports must be an everyday activity, and they must take place right outside the houses.” In this goal in mind, Le Corbusier greatly extended the ideas he had for his “contemporary city” (Guiton, 1999). By applying Le Corbusier’s theory on site, the large open space acts as a place for people to carry out different sports activities throughout the day. Figure 17 shows that the 2-storrey terrace houses are built around the open space so that it is easier for the resident to carry out their daily sport activities. Moreover, a basketball court is centrally located for the residence to gather and play around (Figure 18). Although Le Corbusier’s theory is applicable on site, the site itself might be a dangerous place as well. As mentioned earlier, there are more students staying in that area. It has become one of the crime’s targets. In the past few years, the crime rate on site has been increasing gradually. The resident does not go to open spaces that often due to their safety. The resident of site prefers to go Figure 17: 2-storey terrace houses are built around the open space Figure 18: Basketball court for people to gather and play around Figure 16: Pathway provided for people to jog around the open space
  12. 12. other places to carry out their sports activities. This makes the open space useless in the end thus this contrasts with the theory. Le Corbusier’s theory can be applied a few years back but not for now due to the safety of the residence to carry out their sport activities in an open space. 3.0 SYNTHESIS Through the analysis, the site offers interesting insights on the urban development in Subang Jaya based on Le Corbusier’s theory. Although Corbusier has a lot of elements in this theory, only certain aspects of the theory relevant to the site context is analysed. As mentioned earlier, the urban spatial planning in the neighbourhood of Subang Square is done in based on grid lines which leads to every zone is separated according to its societal functions. From the analysis, it might lead to some changes in term of urban spatial planning in the future but it should still have a clear separation according to its societal function as this makes a city/ area looks more systematic in a way. At the same time, this will lead the people to have a clearer image and direction on wherever they want to go, just like the city of Boston by Kevin Lynch. Lynch (1960) said “Each part of Boston is different from the other. You can tell pretty much what area you are in”. Next, the population of site is high due to Subang Square and Taylor’s Business School compared to the other areas in SS15. Indeed, building the city “vertically”, as mentioned by Le Corbusier, will boost up the economy of a city. The present context shows that the 2-storey terrace houses are very run down and it needs a lot of renovation to make the house liveable and new. Based on the analysis, the government might make some changes on the housing area sooner or later. There will be a chance that the houses will be demolished and be replaced with condominiums to accumulate more resident when the population of the site hits a certain limit. Therefore the site will transform from a sub-urban area to a beautiful cityscape. As Corbusier (1922) said, “We must increase the density of the population….therefore we must build the city vertically”. Also, open space plays an important role to the people to carry out sports activities according to Le Corbusier. In these past few years, this theory is no longer that suitable on the site itself. The crime rate has increased tremendously and people are scared to hang out or play in the open space due to the crimes that happened tremendously in the past few years, especially snatch theft. Ten years later,
  13. 13. there will be greater potential for it becoming an indoor basketball court or indoor football field due to the safety of the resident. Although it might be safe for the resident to play, they will lose the fun and joy of experiencing natural air in the field. Also, it will lose its beauty acting as one of the landmarks of the site. Finally, the site is full of potential to be developed into a greater city. Everything will change eventually according to time as time passes but Le Corbusier’s theories can still be applied on site. Besides the three main factors mentioned earlier in this essay, the site can still be studied and analysed in order factors, such as circulation, human’s behaviour, social issues and etc. For example, how does the orientation of the buildings impact the circulation of the site? Architects and urban planners in the future will have to think of human’s lifestyle, comfort and safety to design a better place for living. As what Le Corbusier said “Contemporary cities cannot meet contemporary needs unless they are adapted to new conditions” (Guiton, 1999). 4.0 CONCLUSION This essay was intended to study the relationship between the neighbourhood of Subang Square and Le Corbusier’s theory. Although most of Le Corbusier’s theories are idealistic and very rigid, the study offered interesting insights on the urban context and development while applying Le Corbusier’s theory. Conclusively, this essay is an attempt to bring the chosen site, which is neighbourhood of Subang Square and Le Corbusier’s theory closer to each other and understand its relevance in the present context.
  14. 14. 5.0 REFERENCES Crime rate down at SS15. (2012, September 21). Retrieved June 12, 2015, from rate-down-at-ss15 Etchells, F. (1929). The city of to-morrow and its planning. London, New York: J. Rodker. Etchells, F. (1946). Towards a new architecture. London, New York: Architectural Press. Guiton, J. (1981). The ideas of Le Corbusier on architecture and urban planning. New York: G. Braziller. Le Corbusier Biography. (n.d.). Retrieved May 25, 2015, from corbusier-9376609#the-radiant-city Leong, S. (2008, June 14). Real Estate Investments in Malaysia. Retrieved June 12, 2015. Lynch, K. (1960). The image of the city. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Michael, K. (2014, April 7). SS15 is fast becoming a popular destination for those seeking good coffee. Retrieved May 26, 2015. SS15. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2015, from Subang Jaya Municipal Council Community Recycling Centre. (n.d.). Retrieved June 1, 2015. Taylor's College. (2014). Retrieved June 1, 2015, from Tungare, A. (n.d.). Le Corbusier's Principles of City Planning and their application in Virtual Environments. Retrieved June 12, 2015.