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Soul of Kuala Lumpur City Centre - Bridging the Homeless and the Elites (PAM-DBKL Architectural Ideas Competition 2014) - PAM Award

PAM-DBKL Architectural Ideas Competition 2014 - In Designing Temporary Shelters for the KL Homeless

Soul of Kuala Lumpur City Centre (sKLCC)
Bridging the Homeless and the Elites

Soul of Kuala Lumpur City Centre (sKLCC) challenges the brief of homelessness in the current city context by bridging homelessness, and culture of city living into one composition that is in view very crucial for architecture today. The potential architecture of dwelling challenges existing city infrastructure that is underused and they are designed as one habitual entity, together with a whole of 20 living individuals. Out of the creative combination of expansion, foldability, high mobility, transformability, and alteration-ability, architecture has potential to develop both souls of a homeless individual, and the city that often loses its sense of place.

Capsule living has been long existed in Japan, especially in the context of Tokyo city culture

serving people who have to travel to city from suburb to work for long hours till midnight. It then defines the Tokyo city culture into interesting architecture, despite being the renowned master creator of the miniature. We shall ask, what can be created to resolve the current work-life issue of Malaysian who travels a few hundred kilometers daily and away from home to work back and forth? How does architecture response to the quality of life? How then does it define the city culture? 

Homelessness in this context is defined by a few circumstances:-

1. One who has had to stay up at work in the city away from home and cannot afford to spend a night over at the city to continue to work in the next day

2. One who suffers from disaster and lost his home

Fundamentally speaking, homeless people may suffer losses in hope, most of the time they are in pieces, and these people need to live in a beautiful house, a beautiful place in the city context.

We then ask, what is the most strategic place in the city? Where is the most well-connected place with infrastructure and amenities in the city? What is the potential place of job opportunity in the city? Where is a place filled with high daily human traffic flow for social exchange and interaction, that the homeless and the city elites can mutually influencing each other? – bbKLCC elevated pedestrian walkway that potentially becomes a spine of culture, soul of the city!

In capturing temporality where homeless individual and city elites co-exist to give each other hope, sKLCC is modelled into 5 programs, XL,L,M,S,XS.

XL – foldable main structural frame
L – flexible envelope
M – smaller and flexible envelope
S – small spaces
XS – planter

Sum up all together, the architecture resembles a program city that gives endless configuration! Life of homeless people is conceived as a spatially diverse continuum, that it encroaches into the public amenities, existing infrastructure, urban spaces to encounter event and spatial opportunity.

In bbKLCC, this is a place where homeless meet with the city elites. 

With the foldability and mobility of the main frame, capsule is able to be sent up to bbKLCC elevated pedestrian walkway and being anchored to the truss structure with post tension cable. XL on one hand supporting capsule load, on the other hand, a different unit can be manipulated into urban public hanging cabana, viewing deck, hammock etc. L is assembled into a 2 bed bedroom with a reading desk. Translucent breeze way envelop offers privacy at the same time ventilation to the dweller, most importantly a view out, and view towards pedestrian, the everyday life of the city. This is where multilevel interaction happens, and indirect hope giving in forms of influence and contemplation occur. Through the pedestrian walkway, elites would view encounter supporting spaces in informative manner over subject of homeless, beverage, reading material, donation station formed by M, S, XS. A view over the homelessness plus the information in 1 to 1 scale experience offers elite a new way of connecting with the homeless people. While the homeless individual would get to glance over the busy city life, contemplate, and gain inspiration again. Not to mention the strategic location that offers direct connection to job opportunity, amenities, convenience, food and all necessaries.

In the weekend, all L, M, are converted into weekend market, capturing city local essence, and inspires with local entrepreneurship through architecture potentiality! 

All structures that cater to transform can be easily dissembled and assembled again, thus offering creativity to intensify life on pedestrian walkway level to intensify walkway usage in social, cultural and even in economical aspects.

working models