• Market Monument

    london ENGLAND

    University College London, Bartlett School of Architecture, Royal College of Art

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
    Stanley Tan HANJIE: 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. [1]

    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. New developments do not need to only mean extracting maximum financial opportunity from a site (i.e. towers of generic individualism with hyper-controlled ground conditions). The juxtaposition of its form and shapes are abstracted\ dimensions extracted from London’s streetscapes and historical references and monuments within the city (church spires, industrial chimneys, and Georgian terraces), giving rise to a new identifiable figure which aspires to become a self-referring silhouette.

    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 a 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.

    [1] The “Compact City” of Atlanpole, Nantes by Hans Kollhoff (1988)

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    STH: Hans Kolhoff’s Compact City of course and the spatial idea of the “social condenser” as described in OMA’s book Content, a social condenser is described as; “Programmatic layering upon vacant terrain to encourage dynamic coexistence of activities and to generate through their interference, unprecedented events.”
    Additionally, I was inspired by post-modern architecture that was and is, both monumental and iconic. And also by fictional urban-scapes depicted in contemporary films and manga comics. I was further impressed by the architectural style employed by the movement in executing their representations in drawing, imagery, and making.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    STH: I was reading The Architecture of Happiness and Bernd and Hilla Becher
    Typologies of Industrial Buildings.
    I was listening to a range of artists such as Oh Wonder, Dan Layus, Kaleo, Sam Rui, The Tallest Man on Earth and Cigarettes After Sex.
    I was watching American Gods, Game of Thrones and documentaries on Brutalism.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    STH: SCDA Architects, Pascal Flammer, Studio KO, Clemens Gritl, Jack Oliva-Rendler, David Umemoto, Penda Architects.

    Additional Credits/Links:
    Instagram: @stanthj_arch

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