Market Monument

Stanley Tan Hanjie

 

Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London and the Royal College of Art, London U.K

The proposal intends to be a concentrated city intensifying the uses of the traditional city whilst becoming an alternative infrastructure to the ground conditions created by many contemporary developments.

It proposes an alternative way of living in the city via introducing a new sheltered street market ground condition and establishing an elevated activated horizontal datum of pleasure, culture, creative work, and living which closely relates to the London urban fabric.

With globalization and commoditized architecture, the city has adopted a generic international financial monoculture which removes/replaces authentic city life and no longer acts as an accurate social barometer of the city – it works against the grain of everyday life and the logic of an all-encompassing city.

The city as an idea means multiplicities, diversity in food, music, and arts, culture and local economies. In particular, the lively street market food cultures which celebrate the diversity of the city’s peoples and provide chance encounters and meetings. 

Stanley to start could you give us a brief introduction as to who you are, where have you studied, what stage are you in your architectural career? 

I am an Architectural Designer who has yet to master juggling a football on his head with a glass of fine whiskey in hand. 

Born and raised in the sunny island state of Singapore, received my tertiary Architecture education at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London and the Royal College of Art in London, United Kingdom; I have since taken a keen interest in the evolving logic(s) of cities within their cultural contexts and sensitivities. I am equally drawn to the buzzing energy of cities and quiet vast landscapes, my inspirations take form; from travels and may other glorious pursuits of diverse ingenuity.

 

I am currently living and working in Singapore as an Architectural Designer, I had previous stints in London and Hong Kong as well. However, I am now back home and pursuing my Professional License. 

Why did you decide to study architecture? 

 

Why did I decide to study Architecture? Because, why not?! I say, there is not a Profession that gets to deal with shaping the physical environment and envisioning a new way of life for the betterment of humans, nor is there any other which deals with varied challenges; work with so many other different professions, in order to deliver and realize an idea to built completion.

Are there any architects in particular who inspire you? If so have any in particular had an influence in the creation of this particular project? 

 

There are several architecture practices which are on my radar at the moment.

Architects / Firms like - StudioKO, Pascal Flammer, Kerry Hill Architects, Atelier Deshaus, Valerio Ogliati, Barozzi Veiga, SCDA Architects, Christian Kerez, etc 

Works by Paolo Soleri, Louis Kahn, Hans Kollhoff, Atelier Deshaus, Barozzi Veiga and Valerio Ogliati informed this project. 

Could you give us a brief description of your project ‘The Market Monument’? 

The proposal intends to be a concentrated city intensifying the uses of the traditional city whilst becoming an alternative infrastructure to the ground conditions created by many contemporary developments.

It proposes an alternative way of living in the city via introducing a new sheltered street market ground condition and establishing an elevated activated horizontal datum of pleasure, culture, creative work and living which closely relates to the London urban fabric.

The juxtaposition of its form and shapes, are abstracted dimensions extracted from London’s streetscape and historical monuments within the city, giving rise to a new identifiable figure which aspires to become a self-referring silhouette.[1]

The proposal is a hypothesis on the idea of a city of the future whereby working and living is in the same place and as a result there will be greater need for informal personal contact. The living and working functions are complemented with a wide range of spaces for leisure, culture, sport and education, all stacked one upon the other, connecting different spheres of life.

For this reason, the project is conceived of as a large building that contains the energy of a city and stands as a solitary element: a social condenser on the edge of Edgware Road; a new market for North London.

Your project looks to explore the opportunities of live-work units, why do you feel this is an important hypothesis to explore? 

 

I believe this is crucial in exploring the ways people work, live and play in the city, as over 55% of people live in cities or urban densities. This figure will continue to rise in the coming decades to around 68% according to the Population Division report from the United Nations (UN).

I feel there is a need now for us to rethink the way we utilize highly precious and expensive real estate for the modern contemporary needs of peoples. Which then also poses the question of "public spaces" and how they can be better utilized for the needs of future generations.  

 

The images your produce have a very atmospheric nature, could you give readers an insight in to your drawing process? 

 

The drawing process for this project is quite simplistic and fundamentally systematic. 

In order to best represent the design in terms of its form and structure, I had opted for a monochromatic approach to let the form and spatial unique complexities speak for themselves and breathe within the drawing. And in order for the drawing to really capture the moments of how the proposal is activated in an urban context, I animated the drawing with activity and "movement". 

There is a varied representation of styles with your project from black and white line drawings to model explorations is there a particular reason why these were chosen? 

 

I explored the project through a variety of processes and mediums to study different aspects of the design. I believe that drawing, model making, sketching, collage, photography, etc. all go hand in hand in the design process. From exploring scale, texture, materiality, representation, spatiality and more.   

 

You describe the architecture as “abstracted dimensions extracted from London’s streetscape and historical monuments within the city” what buildings or architecture in London had a particular impact on your design? 

 

From the modern-day skyscrapers in the city of London in contrast to the former spires which dominated London's skyline.  

 

What do you feel you have learnt by undertaking this project? 

 

I have learned that there is a lacking in truly public arenas in cities now. Most of these "public" plazas in city squares are mostly privately owned. 

There is no such thing as the public's public place. These privately owned public spaces have certain rules and regulations when using them and legislatively belong to private owners who can determine its state. I also learned that gentrification in urban environments is eroding public markets and moving them into commercial spaces, this totally reduces the opportunity for chance meetings and does not promote diverse organic interactions between groups of people which a city thrives on! 

If you could offer one piece of advice to those architecture students reading this interview what would it be? 

 

Take the opportunity to explore your project through all sorts of mediums and test them repeatedly until you are quite truly exhausted and spent. 

That way, you know you have got what you like and want, that works. 

Also, do not forget to live a life outside of school to have enough stimuli to engage your senses to inspire your works and motivate your being!

Cherish your schooling days, absorb as much from everyone and everywhere and keep going! Enjoy.

 

 

Where can people find out more about your work? 

 

Currently, I do not have a webpage but You can follow me on instagram @stanthj_arch to find out more.  

 

Finally, if you could go back in time and give one piece of advice to a younger Stanley who was just starting out in his architectural studies, what would it be? 

 

Don't be precious with my work. Keep trying new things, new angles, new perspectives, new scales, new materials, new colours, etc. 

Learn as many tools possible to aid in your production.

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