Monday, March 29, 2010

Chendol Adventures in Penang 2009

When in Penang, we like to stay at the friendly, value-for-money Mingood Hotel on Argyll Street (off Penang Road) - there are many favourite eating spots nearby. For breakfast, the bus stop roti place is good for roti-bakar with soft-boiled eggs or Indian roti topped with curry. 
We took part in the Penang International Bridge Marathon - Eng Hooi, Sam, Sarah, Joyce and I ran the half marathon while Sean and Sara did the 10K. Our run started at 430 a.m.and finished around 7 a.m.. - my time to improve for next year - 2hr 31mins

In the smoky afternoon light, some people sat in the shade of a covered market enjoying coffee and conversation while others like the old Malay man sit momentarily lost in their thoughts.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Working with students

These happy shiny people are interns from UPM (a local University)- with their boundless energy; they were involved in formulation of the brief, gathering information from the client....
....initial concept drawings, model-making and presentation of the design solution to the client.
Quick sketches to help the students with model making.
The model demonstrates the design solution in a clear manner; the provision of maximum floor space within a dramatic sweeping form.
We decided that the roof should be pleated with slits in between the folds to allow natural light to enter the building.
...and the slits continue down the side of building; visually the folds emphasise the building's radiating form.

Although this project has not proceeded beyond this point, it is still a success - as the students have gone through an important architectural process...and added to their project portfolio.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

an afternoon along Padungan Road

On Azy's invite, we spent part of Saturday afternoon drawing Chinese shop houses along Padungan Road; one of the older streets al Kuching. It is a precinct of the 'shop-house' - a double storey combination of the 'shop' on the ground floor with the 'house' on the upper floor. All the shop fronts are linked by '5-foot-way' or a street corridor, ideal for keeping up the tropical sun and shelter from afternoon rain-storms. This is a common feature on colonial South East Asia.
More interestingly, (as Victor pointed out) are the near extinct concrete spiral stairs at the rear of the shops - they serve as fire escapes, the spiral configuration is presumably to save space. Adopted at a time when the Fire Department accepted them. This particular one leads to an illegal roof top extension - from the looks of it, it is someone's roof top nursery or kitchen garden as some of the kitchens are on the top floor.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The funnel

The sketches prepared over the weekend are used to discuss design ideas and work load with colleagues on Monday. The design sometimes change when better solutions are brought forward; the idea then get developed into a technical drawing, 3D sketch or model.
These framing diagrams were prepared by my colleague, Tao for discussion and coordination with the contractor on site. As you can see, it does not always have to be a CAD drawing nor a hard-line section - so long as it is clear and to scale, it can be understood.
The hardwood frame will later be lined with plywood of differing thickness; laid at a slant to reflect the rakish angle of the entrance porch or 'the trumpet' as it is refered to on site by the workers.
I prefer to call it the 'funnel' because its purpose is to suck people into the building.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

sketching out your week

Sometimes during the weekends, to put in order the tasks for the weeks ahead - I sketch them out, starting with the most immediate and working my way through them. The sketches are done in minutes; quickly and simple capturing the particular aspect of the project or design task.
The sketches are accompanied by notes jotted down to remind myself of things to do or follow up with colleagues, contractors or clients. When it is all down in pen on paper, the week ahead becomes clearer and I feel more prepared to achieve something substantial.

Monday, March 1, 2010

kuching sketchcrawl

the sketchbooks of the people who took part; architecture students, their tutor, a practcising architect (me) and his children. ... the sketches contained inside; the different styles are as distinct as the different choice of sketchbooks.
The Kuching Sketchcrawlers at the Waterfront; sitting together yet momentarily lost in their own world.
Azie organised a sketch crawl over the long weekend; and we spent a few happy hours in the centre of Kuching, along the Main Bazzar. Judging from the response from those who joined, there will be more sketching expeditions in the future.