Archive for April, 2010

Busy finishing site model…

Posted in Interesting Encounters on April 27, 2010 by vincentloy

Now only I realized that I seldom update my blog here already, especially for this month….there are many reasons behind it:

1 – too many assignments to be completed, these assignments are queuing for me to complete.

2 – always return home very late, does not even have enough time to rest (sleep).

3 – my online connection always disconnect…due to some unknown technical problems. (this time is lucky that I am able to online and wrote this post…haha)

4 – I am like lack of ideas of what to write on…any nice issues on architecture for me to write on? You may suggest…or anything else that is interesting…?…

5 – I am anticipating for the opening of Shanghai World Expo by May 2010…so that I can write many interesting posts on it beginning next month…I am planning to visit it too…would be a nice experience for me!

….All these reasons above stated clearly that I wished to update my blog frequently, but there are many constraints…anyway, it is not abandoned….will promise to make this blog more happening and lively beginning from next month….and when I am a bit free….architecture students seldom have much free time….be considerate…Thank you…

Ahh….just finish our group part in making topography of a giant site model featuring Kuching Waterfront, Sarawak, the site that we have went to last week, which we need to design our own cafe along the waterfront…a nice and interesting project…which requires a lot of effort from us….making the topography seems easy, but it took a lot of time and energy too…have used up few days fully for just the topography of the site model….

haha…see the last picture? of course we don’t allow non-related people to cross the boundary and go touch and play with the model which is our hard works…so we created a lot of ‘WARNING’ signs along the way to the model in the classroom….the whole site model is done in our class or so-called studio…we made so much rubbish in the studio due to completion of this model…we even stay up late till midnight in the studio (in our own gang) with no body outside at all….finally, our part is done…very tired lately…did not get enough rest….

Site visit to Kuching, Sarawak (16 till 20/4/2010)

Posted in Interesting Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2010 by vincentloy

Long time not around in this blog, not updating it because that I have went to Kuching for our site visit for the assignment 2 in design module, which is to design a cafe at the Kuching Waterfront. The site visit was actually from 16th till 19th of April, 2010. However, we in a group/gang of friends, decided to extend one more day, for more fun and more analysis on the site.

In the very early morning of 16th April 2010 (Friday), when the sun has not rises yet, I am already waken up, with no use of alarm, at around 5am. Anticipating for a nice and smooth site visit, I rushed to check on things I have put into luggage and in another backpack bag. Everything is fine…let’s go to KLIA Transit station to go to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. It is a 1 hour 30 minutes flight approximately to reach Kuching International Airport (KIA)from KLIA.

Had the first sight of Kuching, sitting in the taxi driving us to the dedicated hotel, Harbour View Hotel. Looking through the city; roads, people, buildings, sky, etc….makes me ponder on what is going to come to me at Kuching…reached the three-star hotel and got a rest before going out to waterfront for the first time…the waterfront is very long, extending over 1km for only Phase 1 which had been completed in 1990s, as well as around 700m of Phase 2 which had only recently opened.

We were a bit confused and blur on why they use this kind of designs of pavillions, pathways, railings, etc into the waterfront. A bit too colourful, they mix up few colours together under one roof for each pavillion…does it look nice? maybe it is up to satisfaction of people of 1980s and 1990s who like colourful stuff to feel like more vibrant and lively. Okay…accept that statement, no matter true of false. Haha…

The waterfront began from a famous cafe, designed like a traditional tribe house, which is called as Khatulistiwa Cafe. The interior is quite dim and nice with those cultural decorations. However, the food served there is very bad, tasteless, and took very long time to prepare eventhough there is not much people in there….the price also ‘lovely’ – too expensive.

Then, the flow is from a more narrow pathway to wider pathway as people going forward to feel the expansion of space and freedom to the nature. The cultural motives on the pathways and on the squares or pavillions are outstanding, each representing a specific tribe or ethnic, like Iban, Chinese, Malay, Melanau, Penan, etc. There are also some sculptures displayed there. Besides that, there is a fountain with a modern hornbill steel sculpture built, in remembrance of filled-up Kuching River (which does not exist anymore now) that previously flows from inland to the larger Sarawak River.

The craftmanship in Phase 2 is so poor until the point, that we think that the Phase 2 is done in hurry to save budget. Besides that, the architects responsible for Phase 1 are not the same with Phase 2. Hence, there is a slight difference between these two phases as noticed by normal people, except for us, which we, as architecture students (more professional- haha) detected many differences. Conclusion is that Phase 2 is very badly done, which is built, and replacing the historical Wet Market area.

The other places we have seen and visitted are the Cat Moument, Dewan Undangan Negeri, Astana, Tua Pek Kong Temple, Chinese History Museum, Ethnology Museum, Art Museum, Textile Museum, Craft Council, India Street, Gambier Street, Main Bazaar Street, Carpenter Street (ChinaTown of Kuching), Semengoh Rehabilitation Center (to see orang utans), Sarawak Cultural Village (to learn more on cultures and lifestyles of tribes in Sarawak) which is the most interesting one.

Famous food sold in Kuching, Sarawak is of course, the kuih lapis (layered cake), which is some kind of play of art on different layers of cake in one piece. Another one is kolo mee, which I have tried several times, and I still felt that the sarawak mee prepared in Peninsular Malaysia is more delicious (even other food too). Sarawak Laksa is not bad also, as well as seafood, because Sarawak is bordered by South China Sea.

The group I am doing for the site analysis is on culture category, which is a very important aspect in design. However, it is sometimes very hard to understand it, since it is sometimes too abstract, and hard to be known. Furthermore, there are many more works we should do, and we have to analyse deeper, unlike other groups, which only responsible in gathering simple data without analysing deep into it. We have did a lot in group works until we have almost forgotten our own individual part. The Kuching International Airport, which looks like a smaller replica of KLIA:

Very tired after returning back home from Kuching, with some souvenirs bought for my family and of course, myself. Haha….out of four nights, three nights I began to only sleep at around 3 to 4 am (midnight), that’s crazy! Furthermore, we have to walk many times around the waterfront area to do the site analysis. Haven’t even finish my part…ooh…this week and next week have to rush for postcards (which I have no ideas and these postcards will lead to our own design ideas), large site model (around 8m in length), boards and binded report for group works.

I thought this week should be mid semester break for us. It seems to be time for more works to us!!! We seriously need rest and of course, holiday! The hot sunny weather these few days caused us to have sun burn and our skin turned darker already….like roasted! Anyway, it is still fun with all of our friends and even celebrating a surprise birthday to a friend too! However, we still love this kind of site visit, it makes us to learn more things, get more experience, and feel more things (hope you get what I mean…haha)…

Landmark architecture

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2010 by vincentloy

There comes a new category of architecture, which can be considered as the highest once, because landmark architecture is those which are famous, and stand out proudly among others. Only famous architects, designers, or artists were able to create such things, that amaze people and easily recognizable around the world.

‘Landmark’ can be defined in many ways; Marker, sight, attraction, sign, pointer, milestone, breakthrough, momentous, revolutionary, innovative, ground-breaking, radical, pioneering historic, significant, icon, image, symbol, logo, representation, famous, popular, celebrated, eminent, recognized, well-known, renowned, prominent. Landmarks are usually easily-noticed and remembered, which are distinguished from the others. The outstanding appearance makes the presence greatly visible.

The factors affecting lamdmark are:

Scale – height, total area?

Design – outstanding?

Location – revealed, view not blocked?

Function – significance, contribution?

Landscape – surrounding area?

Public and People – popular, great advertising, usually visited?

The landmarks range from ancient to modern structures, and inclusive of nature too, which is God-creation.

There can be many types of man-made landmarks:

Buildings (skyscrapers or low-rises, in complex)

– Skyscrapers – Burj Khalifa, Taipei 101, Petronas Twin Towers, Bank of China Tower.

– Low-rises – Pantheon, Parthenon, St. Peter Basilica, Sydney Opera House, White House, United States Capitol Building.

– Complex – Forbidden City, Louvre, Las Vegas Strip (group of hotels and casinos).

Telecommunication/observation towers – Eiffel Tower, CN Tower, Oriental Pearl Tower, Guangzhou TV Tower.

Monuments and walls (arch, obelisk, etc) – Great Wall of China, Gateway Arch, Arch de Triomphe, Washington Monument.

Sculptures and statues – Statue of Liberty, Statue of Christ, the Redeemer, Lincoln Statue, Hollywood Sign.

Stadiums and arenas – Beijing National Stadium, Beijing National Aquatics Center, Wembley Stadium, O2 Arena, Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Square (public areas, etc) – Tiananmen Square, Red Square, Trafalgar Square, New York Times Square.

Bridges and tunnels – Golden Gate Bridge, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Seikan Tunnel.

Dams – Hoover Dam, Nurek Dam, Bakun Dam.

Ferris wheels – Singapore Flyers, London Eye, Eye on Malaysia.

‘Centers’ – Hong Kong International Conference and Exhibition Center, Kuala Lumpur International Convention Center, Shanghai International Convention Center.

There are many types of natural landmarks too:

Canyon – Grand Canyon.

Volcanic cliff  – Seongsan Sunrise Peak.

Rocks and stones (man made and natural) – Stonehenge, Dragon Rock.

Bay, beach – Gold Coast Beach.

Forest, natural park – Yellowstone National Park.

Undersea (marine), underground – Great Barrier Reef, Guilin Underground Cave.

Hill, mountain, cave – Niah Cave, Mount Fuji, Mount Everest.

River, sea, stream, valley, falls – Nile River, Niagara Falls, Yellow River, Red Sea, Bermuda Golden Triangle.

desert – Sahara Desert.

Islands (man made or natural) – Penang Island, Palm Islands, World Islands.

The pictures above are not of my own and obtained from internet. These images are just in thumbnail sizes. For more details on each examples given here, you may search for yourself. Maybe you might wish to take a visit to these places some days.

It’s Easter at West (for Christians), and Qing Ming at East (for Chinese)

Posted in Interesting Encounters with tags , , , , , on April 4, 2010 by vincentloy

First of all, wishing every Christians Happy Easter Day!!! Basically, I do not know much on this special day because I have never celebrate it before, since I’m not a Christian. Anyway, Christians in Malaysia (my country) do not celebrate much on it too.

For Easter Day, there is only one special thing for me, which is to play the special event in Runescape, a free online multiplayer adventurous game. Whenever there is a festival going on, the game will create interesting special event for players to complete and get rewarded with special items. Hence, I did it this year again successfully eventhough there are many assignments waiting for me to complete! Haha…

             

In the East, for the Chinese, Qing Ming Festival comes back! What is it? It is a Chinese ghost festival which we will pay homage to the ancestors or the deceased by cleaning, praying and offering paper stuff to be burnt at the graves.

               

(Picture above from http://www.squidoo.com/tomb-sweeping-day)

As usual, I went for the festival this year. First of all, we went to the Hokkien Cemetery at Cheras to visit my late grandpa. Ohh…my grandpa was quite handsome as seen from his adult picture. It is very difficult to climb down on the steep hill to reach my grandpa’s grave. It is so sunny and quite a chaotic traffic jams in there. Next, we went to visit my late mom, at Nirvana Memorial Park, Semenyih. This is a very huge and famous memorial park built in great feng shui. The feng shui of the area can be felt in the surrounding intensely. Long time didn’t visit my late mom’s grave already…missing my mom so much…it’s been almost three years that she had left us…touching my mom’s picture which is taken during her trip to Fuzhou, China…too sad that I did not accompany her for the trip….I will miss you forever!

Today woke up at 8am for jogging with my dad at Taman Tasik Permaisuri, then breakfast, then proceed to my grandma’s house, then began our Qing Ming Festival, then lunch, then traffic jams….finally, returned home by around 4pm…8 hours gone…very tired, will be consuming another 8 hours of the day before going to sleep…eventhough there are assignments for me to complete, but for tonight, I seriously and desperately need sleep…tomorrow, got class again….

A new header for month of April…check it out above!

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2010 by vincentloy

Since there is no big or any international event happening in the month of April, hence I glanced through my pictures collection, and decided to choose this picture, taken by myself, for the header of the month of this blog.

This is a night view over Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. Ranked as the world 8th best skyline by DiSerio, expert in analysing skylines around the world, this city is truely amazing. With population of only around 2 million, there are so many highrises built and under-construction in the city, a city that never sleeps.

The two most significant and visible structures as can be seen from the header are the famous Petronas Twin Towers (452m in height, former world tallest buildings, current world tallest twin buildings) and the iconic Kuala Lumpur Tower (421m in height, sixth tallest telecommunication tower). These are the skyscrapers that enhance the cityscape of KL.

I live in KL, hence I can see KL skyline almost everyday. I’m not bored looking at the same thing again, as I’m very interested in viewing skyline, from top of hill, on the highway, above a building, or any other preferred locations. I like to see buildings clustered together in a city area to form a great skyline, like KL. Eventhough KL is not a dense city, but it allows buildings to stand out and to be seen, and not be blocked by other buildings in view.

So, let us appreciate the view of the skyline of KL for the month of April, there are many other fantastic skylines of cities around the world, like Hong Kong, Chicago, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Toronto, Shenzhen, Seoul, Seattle, Dubai, etc…but I wished to stress more on my home city of course, Kuala Lumpur.

For next month, May, there is one big global event will be going on, the Shanghai 2010 World Expo…I’m going to make a header for month of May based on that…let us wait and see what will appear next on the header of my blog here..