Pilgrimage Of Everyday Life
Tzu-Jung Huang, Chia-Wei Chang, Mu-Hwai Liou@ Feng Chia University, School of Architecture[Po-jen Cheng Studio]
The project mainly tackles water-related issues and explores the ideal prototype of an egalitarian community centre which serves for all people after the massive Nepal earthquake struck this region in 2015. By introducing the fog catcher technique, it proposes to create a multifunctional gathering place for casual interaction, knowledge sharing, rites and so on.
Situated in the absolutely picturesque landscape, the site is also enriched by the diversity of cultures and religions, endowed with supremely natural power. However, the topography, the growing population, and the lack of infrastructure result in water scarcity that needs to be addressed through architectural intervention. Water has been seen as a sacred component in Nepal in terms of religious activities and everyday life. Thus, the proposal focuses on transforming conventional community centre into “pilgrimage of everyday life”. The centre draws on locally sourced, sustainable materials but seeks to use them in innovative ways, thereby allowing the villagers to preserve their traditions and harvesting water with a sense of proud and dignity. Taking inspiration of Nepalese daily outfit, Doko, the bamboo structures are interwoven with meshes to a religiously and locally significant typology, representing and encouraging the villagers to be engaged with the construction of this iconic centre- one they can appreciate and take pride in.
Formed from waxed linen held in bamboo structures above ground floor, the fog catchers allow humid air to pass through then condense it into droplets which are transported down the funnel and then the well. Furthermore, the system is capable of generating over 1300 litres of water per day, tremendously ameliorating the inefficiency of water collection, as well as creating ever-changing landscape formed by the glistening, translucent waxed linen.
Also, the spiral structure amplifies the abundance of religious and natural power in this area, providing a place beneath it for people to worship the blue sky and celebrate the harvest of water. The plaza space can be highly flexible, used for meeting, food preparation, mediation and festive activities and so forth. The stone floor radiates out from the well with a series of bamboo columns, reinforcing the notion of community, enhancing the transition from sacredness to openness and re-integrating the stunning surroundings. The façade and exterior platforms are adorned and draped with the locals’ goods and food aroma. Thus, going to the community centre becomes a delightful and spiritual journey which one can experience personal and social transformation and celebrate the importance of local traditions, communal gatherings and Mother Earth.
What defined the language of representation of the project?
The overall representation of the project was inspired by the Nepalese fine art. The Nepalese drawings, sculptures, statues are visually impressive that amazed us and made us more curious about this mysterious nation. After getting to know about the Nepal’s religious, environmental and cultural complex, we decided to use this sort of representation skill to elaborate what we had known in Nepalese society and share it with global audience.
What role does narrative play?
The narrative plays an absolutely vital part in manifesting Nepalese society’s characteristics in a concise way. We are particularly intrigued by their daily life. It might seem a bit mundane to them, but it did raise our eyebrows when we saw their daily outfit and the way they interact with the surroundings and fauna & flora in the vicinity. Also, we want the project to be like one of Nepalese books, preserving the local traditions and promoting the fascinating culture.
What define the use of the plan and section and then the selection of views? how and to what extent has each view been framed to defined a specific moment of the project?
We think the architectural drawings are supposed to be to convey the messages to readers effectively and efficiently.
For instance, the sectional drawing and systematic drawing demonstrate how important water is in this proposal, as well as the way it works in real condition. And, the proposed community centre is not a fantasy to build; we have taken into account the practical factors of building a real replica of the community centre presented in the figures. Thus, this proposal can be described as a theoretical research and practical applications of community centres.
Every perspective drawing highlights the notion of project. We intend to make people able to visualise the activities during different periods of time, showing the intoxicating scenes in their everyday life simultaneously.
What tools did you use throughout the project? How were the images crafted?
We drew by hand in terms of rudimentary drawing. After roughly discussing about the typology of the community centre, we started using software like Rhinoceros, Grasshopper to build the 3D model. Furthermore, by using digital tools such as Grasshopper, we were able to calculate how much water the fog catcher system can generate.
The images were mainly crafted by Adobe illustrator and Rhinoceros. At final stage, we photoshopped the images a bit to add some details.
What role did the drawing play in the development of the project itself?
The drawings can be seen as a means of storytelling. We suppose they are powerful enough to act as another kind of media such as poster, letting people realise that this project is really about regenerating this devastated area and getting more attention to help the area.
Also, they drawings kept informing us about some essential elements we could utilise locally during the development of the project. We thought this building must be the centre playing a crucial role in every aspect of life, including being a recreation centre and a spiritual place. And, it will also create a sense of belonging and boost social cohesion in the foreseeable future.
What role do the silhouettes play within the images?
They are capable of giving the readers more background information about Nepalese society. Thus, people might be like us, inspired by the Nepalese culture.
Actually, the ultimate goal of this proposal is getting people aware of some issues which need to be addressed urgently. Through global collaboration, we can figure out better solutions to them.
Chia-Wei Chang @ B.ARCH undergraduate student at the Feng Chia University, School of Architecture
Mu-Hwai Liou @ B.ARCH undergraduate student at the Feng Chia University, School of Architecture
Tzu-Jung Huang @ B.ARCH undergraduate student at the Feng Chia University, School of Architecture
Advisor: Po-jen Cheng @ part-time lecturer and tutor at the Feng Chia University, School of Architecture
The project aims to rejuvenate one of the devastated communities in Pharping, as well as promote sustainable agenda. It intends to make a difference through ‘thought-provoking drawings’, getting people around the world interested in the beautiful nation which is facing pressing issues. By doing so, we believe we can combat the problems through global collaboration.