Hexham Colorful Village: Final Design


After All the process we went through, Finally, this final design created. The first thing we did when thinking of the design of this neighborhood was determining the appropriate area for cohousing, social housing and private housing. After some discussion, we decided to create co-housing on the west side of the site because the surface of this part is relatively flat and also this area get a lot of sunlight. Then, the social and private housing placed in the eastern side. We do not distinguish the specific area for social and private housing because we think those two things could be combined without having to be separated.


Then, we started to think about how to connect these two zones. Our initial idea was to encourage every inhabitant of this neighborhood to walk more than using vehicles. Therefore, to connect those two zones we create a pedestrian road from east to west and south to north, with the center of activity in the open space of the co-housing. We want to make the area of co-housing become the main area of neighborhood.

Another thing that must be considered is how to make an exciting journey for the occupants. The thing we do is make the U-shaped layout to housing Group which is in the middle of a residential area so that public areas can be formed on the inside of that housing group. There are three pieces of public space in the form of small park that can be used by the residents to do anything. In addition, we also provide some different “pockets of activity” for the inhabitants in order to make the trip became more interesting. That “Pockets” will be outdoor exercise area, playground area and bench with colorful flower around it.


We also intentionally do not provide parking space in the unit as a way to encourage residents to walk inside the neighborhood. However, we understand that the parking area is an important thing. Therefore, we provide some parking spots which is scattered inside the neighborhood where the spots are connected properly and within the distance that can still be tolerated,

Finally, colorful village is a big dream. In this design, we expect an lively and vibrant area can be formed so that the Elderly people which inhabit in this area do not feel lonely anymore. Not only of colorful buildings, but also from some design which I described earlier.

Colorful Village Project – Study Cases


After all the site analysis completed, the design process will begin. The Selection of some study cases which meets the requirements is one of the process. Study cases are expected to help the designer to develop an empty land that has been given into a complete housing neighborhood design.

In this study cases, we observe two important things that we think are useful for further design process. The first is the layout of the housing group itself and the corner of the housing group that often become a problem if not thought out carefully.

The Staiths, Gateshead


Source : http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk

From the case the study above, the thing that attract my attention is about how they create a layout for the housing group. The way chosen by the designer is y arranging few houses become a U-shape as shown above because here is no unit in its southern part. By doing this way, there are two things that can happen.

1. Each unit of this grouping can get the same light intensity because sunlight will be more to come from the south. Thus, the use of the heater will be reduced and the room becomes not too humid.

2. There is an empty land in that area of ‘U’ grouping which can be used as an open public space. The place can not only be used by residents, but also by the people that are around.

Pilot Project, Guatemala

PrintSource : http://pilotprojects.adu2020.org

For this case study from Guatemala, the interesting thing to be noted is about the way they design a linear housing. In this case, they do not  normal linier housing, but they shift each unit in the grouping to one side as illustrated above.

In this way, every unit in that housing linear housing can get the same light intensity. In contrast to the usual conventional linier housing that the front row unit are the only unit which can get full sunlight.

Brownhills, West Midlands

 PrintSource : https://brownhillsbob.files.wordpress.com

Lastly, designing each corner of a housing group is not an easy thing. Sometimes, we need a special strategy for that part if we does not want to get any problems later on.

From the case study in the West Midlands, the strategy they do to every corner of the housing group is making the unit into an access and service area. A gate that can be used by every person to access the backyard of any units.

rom all of those study cases that have been described above, help us to improve our design to the next stage.After this, we get into the actual design. From the concept to the final design. I will try to describe in my next post. However, I have to wait because there is still a possibility of changes. After the final design accepted by the tutor, I will share it here for the discussion that helps us to make a better final design.


CABE (n.d) Staiths South Bank – Gateshead [online] Available at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110118095356/http://www.cabe.org.uk/case-studies/staiths-south-bank? photos=true&viewing=4437 [ACCESSED 25th March 2015]

ADU 2020 Pilot Projects (n.d) Social Housing As A Response Towards Worthy Housing [online] Available at: http://pilotprojects.adu2020.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/TWH_FINAL_PROPOSAL1.jpg [Accessed 25th March 2015]

Brownhills Bob (2012) New Homes Planned for Brownhills [online] Available at: https://brownhillsbob.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/iooiu1.png  [Accessed 25th March 2015]

The Ways To Design a House In Sloping Site


One of the challenges we have to face when designing a housing on the site in Hexham is the condition of the site which is not flat. Site is a hill that starts from the northern site near the main road and goes up to the south. Therefore, we try to figure out how to design a house on the sloping site.

Before talking about the ways to overcome a site that is not flat, the figure below tries to explain the situations which is possible to be faced when making a home on the site. There are 4  possibilities i.e. down slope, up slope, side slope and rolling slope. All these possibilities are clearly explained in the image below.

TYPE OF CONDITIONAll people that work in any field certainly understand that a home should be made as flat as possible. Therefore, before starting the construction process, the contractors and designers have to think about what they should do with the sloping site. Perhaps, for the architects, this is a basic knowledges that already known by them, but this information may be useful to other colleagues who are not from architecture. Those ways are cut, fill and cut & fill.


CUTCut is a way of leveling the land where a house / building will be constructed by cutting the area of the land. Furthermore, to prevent the soil in the landslide, a retaining wall have to made in order to hold back the soil.


FILLThe opposite of the cut, fill is a way to level the land by filling the area with concrete or other materials. It is like creating a new platform in order to flatten the surface of the area so that a house can be built.



CUT & FILLCut & Fill is a combination of those two ways mentioned above. if we want to apply this way, we have to cut some area of the land and add it on the other side.

These 3 ways would have a different impact. All depends on site conditions, the concept of design and budget owned by the owner. When we talk about the price, “Fill” will cost higher than the 2 other because “Fill” needs more extra material. However, “Fill” could be the best option if the designer wants the house is in a higher position than the ground in order to get a view. This kind of thing can happen in other ways as well. Therefore, designers should think seriously before deciding which way that want to be used so that the selected method is good for all parties.



First In Architecture (2015) Tips for building on a sloped terrain [online] Available at: http://www.firstinarchitecture.co.uk/tips-for-building-on-a-sloped-terrain/  [Accessed 1st March 2015]

Home Building (n.d) how to build on sloping site  [online] Available at: http://www.homebuilding.co.uk/advice/beginners/plots/build-sloping-site  [Accessed 1st March 2015]

Albermarle (n.d) The neighborhood model: building block for the development area [online] Available at: https://www.albemarle.org/upload/images/forms_center/departments/community_development/forms/Neighborhood_Model/Neighborhood_Model_Design_Approch_for_Principle11.pdfv  [Accessed 1st March 2015]

Tweed Shire Council, n.d. Together Forward, Australia

The Summary Of Designing Neighbourhoods For Social Interaction: The Case Of Cohousing


The relationship between design of every residential unit and residents’ behavior is the things which have to be considered in every neighbourhood. In many investigations, it is showed that the formal and informal interaction between design, personal and social factors can give an impact to residents’ behavior. Therefore, cohousing is one of the good example to solve these questions. This type of housing will encourage the community inside the neighbourhood to do some social interaction. It is better than living further apart. However, building the relationship through physical objects are deal with the functional things such as sharing pathways, communal spaces and less private space. Those things can encourage people to engage in social interaction. Actually, there are many other factors affect the social interaction such as personal factors, social factors, the time period and the community.


Source : http://www.cohousing.org

Cohousing is one type of housing which contain of some private dwellings and many community facility. The forms of the cohousing are private units, semi-private space, indoor and outdoor communal space. The aim of building cohousing is encouraging a ‘collaborative’ lifestyle and independence between residents. Cohousing is more popular than any other housing, There is no social hierarchy and shared economic systems. Moreover, according to objectives and design strategies, cohousing indicates the characteristics of new urbanism. Cohousing has the same social objectives like building community, encouraging interaction and creating convivial spaces. This type of housing also set the environmental objectives for its neighbourhood such as lower resource consumption and the reduction in the ownership and use of private vehicles. On the other hand, the strategies of design are similar with the common housing.


Source : http://livewellcohousing.ca

There are some design principles for cohousing. First, we need to set up the principle of indoor and outdoor communal facilities; Second, we need to design a good visible road into all communal spaces; Third, we do not allow car to get in community; Forth, we need to focus on gradual transitions between public and private space; Fifth, we need to consider rules of semi-private outdoor spaces close to private units for socializing (buffer zones); Sixth, we need to build access points on shared walkways; Seventh, the size of tendency for private dwellings are smaller than usual unit size (with limited kitchen and laundry facilities provided);Last, cohousing will encourage every resident to use communal spaces more than the private unit. For instance, cohousing will build communal kitchen/dining areas, laundry, gym, workshop/hobby room, guest bedrooms, entertainment room, garden and storage space.

In conclusion, the key design factors of cohousing are density; layout; public and private spaces; the quality, type and functionality of communal spaces. However. It will be hard to rank the effect of those factor in terms of social interaction because of the complexity of inter-relationship between social, personal, design variables and opportunities.

References :

Williams, JO, 2005. Designing Neighbourhoods for Social Intercation: The Case of Cohousing, Routledge Publishers

The Cohousing Association Of The United States (n.d) [online] Available at: http://www.cohousing.org/what_is_cohousing  [Accessed 10 February 2015]

LiveWell Cohousing (n.d) [online] Available at: http://livewellcohousing.ca/discover-cohousing/  [Accessed 10 February 2015]

Hexham : The Sun Light Analysis


Hexham is a market town located in the south of Tyne River. Here is the location of the site which will we be designed for co-housing project in this second semester. When I visited there, I was amazed with the view in the north of this site. That view is so beautiful. Site is a hill so from the main road towards the forest in the south will be uphill. Site also directly adjacent to the residential areas in the west and south forests.

To design a residential area, we have to think about the factors required by the area. The sun is an important factor that must be considered in the design process. Initially, I had the assumption that the forests in south of this site can be a barrier of the sunlight to get into the site. Therefore, I do simple research on the position of the sun. In doing this simple study, I was assisted by two websites that can identify the position and altitude of the sun. I will write the link of the website at the end of this blog.

Sun Position-02

Slide1Picture above is an illustration of the data about the sun position and altitude that I get. In this picture, I assume that the height of the tree in the south of the site is approximately 20 meters. From the picture, we can see that the best time to get the sunlight is in the summer and fall. In that seasons, the site can get the sunlight all day. Unlike the spring and winter. In the spring, the site is still possible to get the sunlight in the daytime, but the shadow produced by the forest behind will cover most of the site’s area. While in winter, it is almost impossible the site can get the sunlight because the sun altitude is so low and also the trees.


In other diagram, it shows about how the shadows can be formed at the site. I used a similar method to the first diagram. I made two objects which are assumed as house and the barrier as high as 20 meters behind. From the diagram, we know the position of the sun and the direction of the shadow which can be formed. Although the intensity of sunlight in the summer and fall maximum, but we also have to think about the shadow that can be formed by other objects. It will require further study because it involves a lot of more complex things in the design process. It certainly should be done so that each unit can get enough sun intensity in order to create a comfortable area to live.

References :



The Cheonggyecheon River Restoration Project: The Restoration of Environmental, Social & Economic in Seoul


The Cheonggyecheon river is a historic river that divides Seoul into 2 parts. River stretches from north to south with 23 tributaries spread almost all over Seoul. To overcome some of the problems that previously occurred there, one of them is flooding caused by deforestation, Cheonggyecheon Stream finally decided to be covered and made into arterial roads also the elevated highway in 1961.

However, 4 Decades after the construction of this road, seoul experienced severe traffic congestion. In addition, the air quality of Seoul is also bad that due to increased air pollution caused by the increase in the number of vehicles from day to day. It is already very disturbing residents of Seoul. In terms of technique, The Korean Society of Civil Engineering also find some damage on conventional roads and elevated highway that would endanger the user if left but the costs are very high to be fixed.


Source : http://greatecology.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Cheonggyecheon-Stream-Before-After1.jpg

Finally, after a long debate and the voting results showed that nearly all citizens of Seoul approves this restoration, the project began. Lee Myung-Bak, Seoul’s mayor at the time was the person in charge of this project. He had promised this restoration in his campaign. Without waiting for a long time, Lee immediately began the project in July 2003 and was completed in October 2005.

Cheonggyecheon River is divided into three parts, namely urban, urban-natural, and natural landscaping. Urban area is the area of the river that is often used for various festivals with 2 main attractions, namely the ‘Spring Tower’ and Candlelight Fountain. While urban-natural is a transition area. And the last one is natural landscaping which is an area for a variety of plants and animals to live. This area is also expected to be a place of interaction between nature and humans. Within this project, two pieces of historical bridges, the Gwanggyo and the Supyogyo also restored.


Cycling and walking is the things promoted by this river. In addition, the government also introduced Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to Seoul community which its facilities and infrastructure had started since March 2003. This bus can be used easily by the people of Seoul by using a card. Naturally, this bus will be also integrated with other transportation like subway. The government also reduced the number of parking places that makes people difficult when they bring their private vehicles to the city center. All of this done by the government to attract people to use public transportation so that the use private vehicles can be reduced in number.

The total length of the restored area is 5.84 km with an area of approximately 1,000 acres. This whole area has been turned into a green belt that very beneficial for all citizens of Seoul in every aspect. Restoration spent over US $ 367 million with the social cost worth $ 1.900 million. But after all the construction complete, seoul expect to get social benefits equivalent to $ 3,500 millions.


Source : http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/12155043.jpg

From several sources, it is said that the the restoration of Cheonggyecheon river gave a great effect on environmental aspects, social and economic. In environmental terms, the Cheonggyecheon stream can prevent flooding in Seoul with estimates to 200 years ahead. Increasing biodiversity that had been lost to 639% starting from 2003 when the construction began to 2008 when the construction completed. Plant species increased from 62 to 308, fish species from 4 to 25, aquatic invertebrate species from 5 to 53, and insect species from 15 to 192, Mammals from 2 to 4, and amphibians from 4 to 8. Reduce the heat of the city to 5.9 degrees Celsius and increase the wind velocity in the river corridor to 7.8%. Reduce air pollution by 35% also noise pollution. Restoration also reduces the use of fuel because 170,000 cars had stopped to use every day.


Source : http://www.korea.net/NewsFocus/Society/view?articleId=115318

In social terms, this restoration improve the quality of life for the citizens of Seoul. In the presence of Cheonggyecheon river, Seoul residents have a public space and green space that can be used to socialize among residents. With two historic bridges that were restored, the lantern festival and bridge stepping on Supyogyo Bridge could be held back, of course along with several other festivals conducted around the river. Restoration is also contributing to the increase in the number of bus riders to 15.1% and the subway to 3.3% in the period of 5 years between 2003-2008. Become a new tourist attraction that brings 64,000 visitors daily. Also, Nature, historical sites, and the Cheonggyecheon Museum become a valuable source of knowledge for the citizens of Seoul.

tumblr_mml07bTqqy1ql3r9do1_1280Source: http://36.media.tumblr.com/0a7f8afd138989b4b69e11f6d77d4367/tumblr_mml07bTqqy1ql3r9do1_1280.jpg

From an economic perspective, the increase in business up to 3.5% within 1.2 km of the Cheonggyecheon corridor. Price of property within 50 meters of the river also increased up to 30-50% which led to single-family house that used to be there has been turned into a high-rise residential, commercial-retail, and mixed units.

However, from the all the remarkable results from the restoration of Cheonggyecheon stream, the criticism is certainly still there. The first criticism comes from their who have impairments in visual and mobility. According to them, the design from the restoration is not thinking about their needs so they are difficult to access this place. Other critics talk about the ecology from the the river which considered fake and costly. This is due to the water in the Cheonggyecheon river water pumped from the rivers and groundwater reserves around so that the river still able to flow throughout the year. With this activity, it can be Seoul will run out of their ground water reserves in the future and imagine the money that  spent to turn the pumps in a long time. On the other hand, local residents will not be able to buy property along the river again because of the increase in the price of property that occurred.

Of all the criticism, there is one criticism that attract my attention. This criticism comes of the merchants who sell around the river in the past. Before of restoration, the area was famous for its retailing shop. However, after the of restoration done, some of the stores must be willing to close due to there shop was on track of restoration. Although their stores were not on track of restoration, after the restoration completed, the merchants was no longer able to pay the rent which was so high after the price of property increase. This project affected approximately 6000 of merchants scattered around the area of the river.


All merchants represented by Cheonggyecheon Merchant’s Commercial Rights Protection Committee (CMRPC) did large protest to Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) which reached 220,000 protesters. Finally, SMG promised to give a solution in the form of providing a place to do business called “Garden Give” and giving a sum of money as compensation. However, in fact, after the Garden Give completed, the venue could only hold 40% of total number of merchants and only 28% of them could buy the place because of the high prices due to the increased of the land price. Of course, the rental price was also high. Therefore, many merchants were not able to rent there while the compensation money given by the government was not in accordance with their needs. Finally, some of merchants decided to move to the other side of the city or quit the business.

Business also did not run as expected for those who could afford to rent in Garden Give. The changes and rearrangements of the city around the area  makes it difficult to reach by car. Thoughts on the number of pedestrians who could be a potential buyer was also not proven. It is because every pedestrian who goes there has a cultural purposes when their visit the area after the restoration, rather than commercial. Cultural promotions conducted by the government succeeded in growing economical Dynamism in the city, but not to the traditional commercial activities which had previously occupied the site. Now. Is it the real economic restoration?

From all of this explanation, we can see that any change will never satisfy all the parties. Certainly there are those who feel the great loss of those changes. Like a happiness on the suffering of others. It all depends of which side we see. Indeed, it is good if a change provide benefits to all the parties without exception. However, if these changes would be detrimental to some, but the positive impact is so great for many people, would we still carry out these changes? What do you think?

Indoor Urban Agriculture: One way to have an extensive food growing in the city.



Food is a basic need of every human being that must be fulfilled every day. Therefore, food production must continue to increase in number from day to day to meet all of these great needs. In 2050, the World Health Organization estimates, there will be 9 billion people on Earth where 70 percent of the amount will be living in urban areas. With this much amount, whether the food needs will be met if we only rely on conventional agriculture where mostly located in the suburbs? The need for food in 2050 according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is 3 billion tones where food availability now approximately 2.1 billion tones. So, we had to increase approximately 1 billion tones to meet the needs of the food.

Indoor urban agriculture is not a new thing in the world. However, some companies have managed to prove that through the indoor urban agriculture, they also have helped provide food in the country. By using the abandoned buildings where widely spread all over the city, they start this activity, even become a very big business.

As we know, the indoor urban agriculture is not a process of growing plants in a natural way in the whole system. Some tools should still be used so that they can create a habitat which is so similar to the original. Therefore, the advantages and disadvantages do exist. That thing I will try to explain one by one later. I will also try to give some examples of companies which have managed to do indoor urban agriculture.


Source : http://agritecture.com/post/46358574420/farmed-here-images

Almost all the companies engaged in this field using hydroponics and aquaponics to grow these plants. Hydroponics is a method of farming without using the soil as a growing medium, but using mineral nutrient fluid. Similar to hydroponics, but aquaponics  can not necessarily be used after all growing media available and vitamins given. In aquaponics method, we have to wait about 1 month so that the protein in the water is already well developed. In addition, they also use artificial light instead of the sun which can not get from the the room.


From several articles, mentioned that the first advantage of the indoor urban agriculture is the farmers do not have to be afraid of unavailability of the land for planting. Many of them use the abandoned buildings where scattered throughout the city. Second, because it is in the room, growers are not afraid with the state of the weather, climate or natural disasters so that they can plant any time and under any circumstances. Third, from several crops that have been passed, the results obtained from the indoor urban agriculture proved more. As said by Mark Thomann, chief executive officer of FarmedHere, “We can grow 200 percent more food per square foot than traditional agriculture, and without the use of chemical fertilizers.”

But, beside all these advantages there are still disadvantages generated by indoor urban agriculture. First, indoor urban agriculture requires modern technologies to create a suitable habitat for the plant. As a simple example, they need a light which is on within several hours to replace the function of the sun in conventional agriculture. In addition to the best LED which suit with this function is still under study, we can imagine how much energy and money will be spent on these lights. Although several studies have been successful in increasing the presentation of the efficiency, but still this has not been maximum. Second, not all plants can be grown indoors. Some of the plant grown in the room now is basically an outdoor plant. Therefore, J. Michael Gould, director of Texas A & M’s AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas said that the breeding programs need to begin to breed plants for indoor environments.




FarmedHere is the Largest Indoor aquaphonic vertical farm in the United State. Started their business by using an abandon warehouse, now FarmedHere has become a big business. As mentioned previously, FarmedHere also using hydroponics and aquaponics to grow crops. Some plants which planted by FarmedHere are baby leaf lettuces are, mustard greens, mild Brassica greens, basil, mint and Arugula.

There’s something interesting from an aquaponics method used by FarmedHere. They use a closed-loop method aquaponic system. The process from this system is the tilapia (a type of fish) are kept in a large tank to produce waste. Water containing waste from the tilapia is supplied to the planting medium. Those Water is excellent as growing media because it contains a lot of protein. From there, the plants will help to filter the water. The clean water filtered by the plants will be flowed back to the tilapia’s tank and so on.



Source : https://plantingmilkwood.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/1206-aqua-1.jpg



Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 2.14.13 AM

Disasters that often occur in Japan make agricultural land does not get the crop. This inspired Shigeharu Shimamura, a Japanese plant physiologist to start indoor urban agriculture. Finally, he changed a former Sony Corporation semiconductor factory into the world’s Largest indoor farm. This Indoor Agriculture has an almost equally large with a big a football field (25,000 Square Feet).

The project began when General Electric (GE) invited him to cooperate. Shimamura said that he knew how to grow a good crop with the knowledge he has. Now, he wants to integrate science with technology in order to create a better plant. From this collaboration, GE provide  all LED lights needed by the plants. GE even do their own research in order to create an LED lamp which is necessary, but still thin enough to be easily applied on the shelves of the growing media. GE’s LED lights provide uniform light and eendure the high humidity inside


Source : http://media.tumblr.com/9dd0fd5806905b4cfa556f199a922882/tumblr_inline_n8ga0sC9Wj1qzgziy.jpg

Shimamura focuses on planting lettuce in his indoor agriculture. With this method, Shimamura claims that he can produce lettuce that contain vitamins and minerals two-and-a-half times faster than an outdoor farm. He also said that by using this method, it can cut the discarded produce from 50 percent to just 10 percent of the harvest, Compared to a conventional farm. He can get all of that by controlling temperature, humidity and irrigation properly. This farm can also cut its water usage to just 1 percent of the amount needed by the outdoor fields.



Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 2.17.13 AM

Big box Farm. An indoor agriculture business owned by Jordan Motzkin, 22 years in New York. He won a sum of money from the National Science Foundation and the College of the Atlantic for his startup, Big Box Farms.

Motzkin dream is to plant millions of organic lettuce and basil. He will start this business from an old Brooklyn warehouse. Motzkin cooperate with Philips Electronics to provide the latest LED lighting technology which has not even been marketed to the public. Motzkin claimed that the new technology can increase the percentage of energy efficiency from 40% to 60%. All of these operations will be done by Motzkin through in their iPhone Application – from indoor climate control and LED lighting to Hydroponics.


Source : http://www.bigboxfarms.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/BBF_Rotate_011.png

Basically, each indoor method or outdoor method has its own advantages and disadvantages. Until now, it has not been established which the best method to use. However, for me, given the need of the food is increasing from day to day, it would be better if these two methods can cooperate with each other and meet the needs of the food rather than constantly looking for which one is better.

The Role Of Sittable Space For Public Space In The City


I got the idea to write this when I read an article entitled ‘The Design Of Space’ written by William H. Whyte. This paper is not the study of the article because I do not have the capability to do that. This paper is more like a reflection of myself when I read and try to understand the contents of the text.

In the article, Whyte confirms that a public space will be used by citizens when the sittable space provided in it. When I read this, I immediately imagin what I will be looking for when coming into a public space. Certainly a place to sit and engage in activities that I want like reading a book or chatting with friends. Sittable space like the main support to carry out the activities we wanted to do in a public space. Without sittable space, we can not do other activities. We may not be able to survive to stand up and read in a long period of time. This Sittable space can be benches, stairs or grass.


Source : https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8284/7503857212_662be82403_m.jpg

Whyte also describes sittable and circulation space are inseparable. Both of these will mutually support each other. I agree with this. Just imagine if this space sittable made separately the the main circulation of pedestrians in the public space. Maybe sittable space will be quiet because rarely passed pedestrian. For me personally, I will not want to sit in a place like that. First, because of the existence of people is the attraction of the place. The existence of these people will make a place more lively and interesting to be visited but certainly the amount which can still be tolerated. Secondly, I will feel insecure if sittable place are far from pedestrian circulation. Moreover, sittable space will be very easy to be reached if not separated with the circulation. Might be a different matter if sittable space is adjacent to a river or lake. I do not mind if the place is different from the circulation because basically, I will look for a place like this when I need serenity. So it does not matter if the place is deserted.

When sitting place meet circulation

Source : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py0bSH9tB44

However, if the public space is located in the tropics where the sun is so hot and blistering, is there anything else needed? I think, trees have an important role here. When I imagine a public space in my home country of Indonesia, I will be definitely look for sittable place covered by a shadow. I do not expect a roof because I think a better public space is an outdoor public space because we can do anything freely there. The shadow I mean here can be formed from the trees I mentioned before. Sun in tropical countries will not be friendly. It will make you uncomfortable to linger there. However, if the public space has a shadow formed by those trees, the place will be very convenient to use. According to the study, when we are under the tree, the level of stress in us can be decreased. how many levels of stress can be scaled back if we are under a tree and do the things we enjoy.

I do have a great interest to know about how to create a good public space as the cities in my country still need a lot of public space for its citizens. Of course, Whyte did not only mention these things in his writings. There are a few things that also pointed out but is more detailed. However, I think sittable space and circulation are two essential things in that writing. These 2 things can not be separated in the design of a public space. However, the existence of trees should also be considered, especially in tropical countries. Sittable Space & circulation + trees are formulations which I get to design a public space for now. I hope I get a lot more other things in the future and share them here.

Bicycle Shape The Face Of The City

Cyklister pΠSkeppsholmsbron

Traffic jam occur more frequently in larger cities. This is what makes us no longer able to predict our travel time. Do you know that we can more predict the travel time by using bicycle than vehicle at this moment?Bike is not affected by the congestion. On the other hand, bike also environmental friendly transportation. This thing does not require fuel and no pollution to the environment. Maybe we just need to buy ‘fuel’ for our body because of tired after ride it. But we can imagine how much money savings and pollution reduction that occurs when everyone switch to bike as their transportation.

Riding a bicycle is the same as standing or walking. Because cyclists’ perspective view will not be much different as we see when standing or walking. This point of view is also influenced by the speed of cyclists which only 20 km / h. Cyclists will tend to be more aware of the changes in the city, even in detail because they pay attention to it constantly.


Source : http-//www.stockholm.net/files/biking_in_stockholm.jpg

By cycling, we also can get more information in the city compared to motorists. We may know the existence of a small shop selling interesting stuff. Alternatively, we can also find out in detail the latest events which will be held in the city. Things like this are hard to find when we use a motor vehicle.

Thus, each store no longer need to make a big and contrast color signboard on their facades. The Informations about events in the city is also not necessary to use a very large billboard and scattered all over the city which made the city into a mess. Each store will be competing to beautify the facade of their stores to attract cyclists and visit. If this is done little by little, the beautiful face of the city will be formed by itself.

Denmark is a country which the majority of the population using a bicycle as daily transportation now. Denmark in general and Copenhagen in particular, do not thereby become a friendly town for the cyclists. In the 1950s, Copenhagen is a city with a high number of vehicles. However, due to the high pollution, traffic congestion and traffic accidents, in 1960s the government decided to restore copenhagen to a city which uses the bike as primary transportation


Source (left): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaQuXBcS8ds

Source (right) : http://www.thestar.com/content/dam/thestar/news/gta/2009/05/28/bike_riding_is_bliss_in_copenhagen/bike_riding_is_bliss_incopenhagen.jpeg

From the picture above, we can see how the transformation of the city’s face in copenhagen caused by bicycle. In the past, The large signs surround the entire area of the city with the purpose of providing a very clear information to the people in a moving vehicle. Now, after the bike become a major transportation, Those signs has been lost or smaller in size. They don’t have to make that large signs anymore because by using a small sign, the cyclists are able to figure it out. These changes make the city become more beautiful and more organized.


Source : http://gehlarchitects.com/wpcontent/uploads/2014/10/danish_cycling_federation4.jpg

But, the question now is how to transform a city which using vehicles as everyday transport into a bike? I agree with statements made by Klaus Bondam, CEO of the Danish Cyclists’ Federation when he was asked by state / city which want to start using the bicycle as the main transportation in their region. He said, “Start With The Children”. Of course it would be difficult to impose something to adults. However, if we inculcate a new habit in children namely cycling, it would be a huge investment in the future. Start by providing a bicycle lane that connects the residential area with schools around. Naturally, safety and convenience are the main things that have to be considered here because it is all about their safety. In fact, at some point a special design treatment may have to be made because the main users are children. In this way, Klaus Bondam back stated that In 20-25 years’ time, you’ll have a new grown-up generation of cyclists and an extensive network of bicycle infrastructure.

http-::www.inhabitat.com:wp-content:uploads:londonbikeshare2Now, what do you think? Transport certainly have an important role in the formation of the city’s face. However, none of this would have happened if the government does not support. Government as policy makers should intervene. They must be able to provide a comfortable and safe bike lane. Together with the cyclists, the government should also increase the awareness of road users about the existence of the cyclists in the hope of motorists and cyclists can appreciate each other on the streets. And, the government must also think about programs which can increase the interest of citizens to use bike, such as bike sharing program.

We might choose to have the face of the city as it is today, but everyone would have a dream to have a better city especially for our next generation. Now, it’s time all the people make decisions and act together with the government. Not only protest and hope that it will change by itself. Changing the transport from the vehicle into bicycle is one attempt to make a new city. A city which is more healthy, safe, beautiful and comfortable to be lived.

Public Space In The Negative Space


Negative space is the remaining space in a city. Typically, these spaces formed due to the construction of infrastructures and buildings. For example, if a city build an elevated road, this space will be formed underneath. Many cities are using this space for variety functions. However, some of them let it abandoned, neglected, dirty and become a place of crime. Basically, this negative space has a lot of form. but, I will  focus on negative spaces that exist under the elevated road.

The issue of limited land is an issue that we often hear today. Basically, every city still needs a lot of land for variety of functions. One of that is public space. No need to be refuted anymore that public space is a basic thing that every city should have. By looking at some potentials of the negative space in their area, some city had managed to transform the space into a public space which is safe and convenient to used by every citizen.


800px-BurnsideSkateParkSource : http://or.reel-scout.com/up_images/8/1245768.jpg

Burnside skate park is a place which initiated by some skateboarders in Portland, United State. The need for a skate park at that time made them change an area under the Burnside bridge into a skate park which can be used everyday. Initially, this area was a deserted place. No one dared to go into this area at night. However, some youths tried to change the place even without the permission of the government.

Apparently, this skate park from day to day continues to grow so a community formed. Finally, the government knew about the existence of this skate park and support the changes. Now, burnside has become a famous public space. Not just for skateboarding, some events have also been carried out on the spot.


https-::bandungvariety.files.wordpress.com:2014:09:taman-filem-bdgSource : https-bandungvariety.files_.wordpress.com201409taman-filem-bdg.jpg

Ridwan Kamil, a mayor of Bandung, a city in Indonesia, determined to reactivate some neglected park. He also plans to build some new parks that one of them is Taman Film Bandung (Bandung Movie Park). The park is located under the  Pasupati bridge in that city.

In the past, this area was a untouched slum area . Site selection is based on the desires of the government of Bandung to maximize some negative spaces in Bandung. Now, the slum area had been turned into a park with an area of 1,300 square meters and can accommodate approximately 600 audience. This park will play various types of movies that can be watched for free by residents of Bandung. No special seating, all the seats are equal. Old, young, poor, rich, all levels of society can come together and watch movies which played.



Source : http-archrecord.construction.comprojectsportfolio201308imagesUnderpass-Park-PFS-Studio-2.jpg

The last example is underpasses park in Toronto, Canada. A first park under the elevated road roomates seriously developed there. Initiated by an organization called Waterfront Toronto, the Canadian government spent money of $ 9 million to revitalize an area that is under the overpasses of Adelaide Street, Eastern Avenue, and Richmond Street in the West Don Land neighborhood of Toronto.

At first, this area is the same with other areas under the elevated road. Dark and neglected. Now, it has been transformed into a public space for its citizens. Underpass Park consists of some 5 parts, namely passive wall with seating, children’s playing area, community flex space, basketball court and skate area.

Many people assume that no one wants to stay for a long time under a bridge or elevated road. According to them, the sound produced by vehicle above will never make the users convenient. However, I do not agree with this statement. When talking about the sound, in my opinion, the sound which reach the ears of the listeners has been reduced. Let us imagine the thickness of a elevated road. Does the sound of the vehicle can penetrate the thickness of those road? I don’t think so. It is not fully restrained by the way. But, only a small part that can reach our ears.

While in terms of the convenience, this is related to the design of the place. As long as the place designed appropriately, the convenience can be created. From the selection of materials, form of the seat until adequate lighting if you also want to use the place at night. In fact, by making the public space under the overpass or bridge, residents don’t need to be fear with the rain and heat of sunlight. It is because the road above will serve as the roof of the venue.

By doing this changes, city can get some positive effects. City residents get a lot of public space that can be used in hot and rainy day. Also, the crime rate could be decreased because the place that support that activity has turned into a public space which has many “eyes”. However, whether the citizens of the city will take care of it so that this place can survive for a long time and be useful for everyone?

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