Interstitial museum plane : an urban event infrastructure for Zhihang Historic Temple District
THERE WAS NO WAY TO MAKE IT BLEND IN.
Tugged away behind the refurbished shop houses of commercialized boulevards, the hidden, back lanes of Guangzhou perform as the locus of a fragmented, urban metamorphosis. Sounds of the elderly in a game of mahjong, opera performers and schoolchildren chanting and reciting, and the visual matrix of drying clothes, advertisements and public slogans, all emancipate authentic form and character to the cultural landscape of Guangzhou residents. Sadly, the contemporary tourist, organized in a packed itinerary or tour group, often miss out on the context of the everyday and instead roam straight to the main tourist attraction. In Zhihang Historic Temple District, the influx of mass tourism to the millennia-old Buddhist temple, Guangxiao si, coupled with the new underground metro station and mega-commercial developments, are resultantly adding immense pressure towards the future development of its immediate historic textures. Rather than adhering to government provisions on revitalizing the site through formulistic strategies to rapidly modernize, the thesis seeks to reveal the hidden cultural qualities and subtle aesthetics of the temple district through the implementation of a museum plane as an urban event infrastructure to re-weave the interstitial back lanes. The typology of the museum will bring the modern traveler into the back lanes and initiate a series of activity loci en route from the site entrance- the metro station- to the doorsteps of the ancient temple, the climax of the journey. Each urban locus would be strategically embedded at the intersections of the neighborhood lanes as an event stimulator between the modern traveler and the local resident. Its location will be in par with time and distance traveled, and each would contain a dual function- an exhibition space for the traveler, and a communal hub for the local resident. As an alternative route off the main road to the temple, the interstitial museum plane will serve as the vital connector towards the cultural and economic sustainability of the temple district.
School:The University of Hong Kong
School Location:China - Hong Kong SAR
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:historic districts china guangzhou urban renewal planning zhihang temple district shi
Date of Publication:01/01/2004