Metamorphosis of the Public Realm
- Name: Supun Nadeesha
- Year: 2015
- Studio: Level V
- University: University of Moratuwa
A city is nothing but a rooted complicated web, formed with different networks and functions as a cyclic process which plays different roles within a day. A simple change within those networks can badly damage the whole network.
Pettah, is one of the rooted cities in the heart of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Time has fed those networks about more than 500 years and results strong unique networks with an unbearable building, vehicular and human density which has formed nothing but a complete maze. Due to this increasing density, many problems have occurred resulting involvement of government party to carry out new development projects to solve the problems by zoning Pettah as a concentrated development zone and relocating the wholesale vegetable, dry rations, fruits and fish market out of the Pettah while developing the wholesale commercial goods within the premises. This foreseen development plan has created many complicated problems by changing those rooted urban networks which rely on each other.
This is where the author’s project has arisen with many researches on the networks, user categories, time schedules, history to develop a transition layer to facilitate the network which has been neglected by development projects. Therefore a timeline has been developed on development plan and the problems which occur due to development plan and both have been overlapped to simplify the project. The main intention of the project is to create a time conscious design through an adaptive layer, upon the identified current urban network which will sustain and evolve through new developments while preserving the urban cultural departures and creating an urban linkage through condominium space.
The running theme throughout of the design is overcoming redundancy in its many forms. Being the underlying design generator, this base conceptual idea has been tackled in the design through different approaches according to the setting. A building can be rendered redundant when the context it is placed in no longer facilitates the function of the building. As such, the context calls for an evolving building in terms of functional adaptability. As such, the proposed building aims to functionally alter itself to fit into the changing focused functions and user groups with time. All the four levels changes with the existing materials which have been used in the original level. So the materials flow starts to end within the design.
Stage I– Facilitating the existing situation (A Transformable space utilization)
A condominium plugin-in to facilitate existing wholesale market Pettah. Though there are attached midrise buildings, almost all of the upper levels of those buildings are neglected and have become lost spaces. An elevated street level has been identified through the research investigation to activate and utilized the redundant the lost spaces in the upper levels of the midrise building which allows reducing traffic, shortage of land, haphazard development, etc.
by analyzing the daily program within the urban network throughout the day certain spaces have been identified as spaces which can be used for different function within different time of the day. Therefore within a fixed structure the space is utilized throughout the day for different activities until the relocation plan gets on process. Dawn auction > Wholesale market > Retail market > Rest house > Lodge.
A community center to upgrade city service providers. When new projects are implemented to develop the city, the bottom level people who depend on the city networks get omitted from those networks. Therefor while relocating certain functions, those spaces have been utilized to facilitate, sanitize and educate those people up to standards of the new networks where they can fit in to the new system again.
A facility center to accelerate the development projects. Pettah is a place where shortage of land to carry out those developments also makes more problems. There for once the city service providers are upgraded to current requirements, those spaces are utilized as a facility center to provide the services which are required for ongoing developments. (Storage, sanitation for laborers, metal and timber workshops)
Stage II _ Facilitating the developed situation ( A monumental elevated urban green walkway)
Once the development plan is over, the project is also no longer valid and the building could have been dismantled. But Since it already has a structure and by utilizing the materials of the building the structure is extended as a bridge allowing it to be used as a green walkable pathway. Therefore it has the potential to become a breathing pocket in the highly urbanized Pettah. And also it is formed in a way to acknowledge the culture which is omitted due to development projects by exhibiting the objects and pictures while preserving the DNA of Pettah culture with possible linkages.