Friday, July 21

Teddy Cruz & Trans-Border Urbanism

Don't miss Teddy Cruz, who we wrote about back in March, talking about his observations on trans-border urbanism on Architecture Radio.

"Inspired by his studio's location at the border between San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico, Cruz's work explores the uniqueness of this bicultural territory. Cruz's work integrates research, theory, and design production to create architecture, interiors, furniture, installations, public art, and landscape interventions. Over the past decade, Cruz has demonstrated a commitment to finding architectural and urban planning solutions for global political and social problems that proliferate in international border zones. Taking his theoretical frame of reference as a starting point, Cruz has pursued investigations that stimulate an unconventional practice addressing the future of "divided" cities and the larger phenomenon of border zones." [Architecture Radio]

Teddy talks about the issues of trans-border urbanism with clarity, insight, and humor. This lecture is a great primer for anyone interested in the subject.

More Information:
Teddy Cruz on Architecture Radio
Border Postcard: Chronicles from the Edge by Teddy Cruz
Cruz Finding New Solutions for Border Living, Architectural Record
Urban Acupuncture, Residential Architect

Related Posts:

Growing Securtiy, or ... Park as Wall
Friday Photography Border Film Project
Friday Photography Sprawl
Shantytowns as New Sub/ Urban Ideal

Friday Photography | Shanghai's Shikumen

Ted Kane has an interesting gallery at Polar Inertia documenting a soon to be extinct urban housing typology, the Shikumen.

You could think of each Shikumen development like a large city block, the streets around it support pedestrian, bicycle, and auto circulation. From this vantage point, the structure presents itself as a solid mass with openings facing the street usually programmed for commerce. [img: Ted Kane]

"Sometimes referred to as a Lilong development, the Shikumen is a uniquely Shanghai typology that formed during a period of rapid urbanization and increased westernization, resulting in a hybrid of the British row house with the Chinese traditional courtyard house." [Polar Inertia]

Narrow pedestrian alleys, like the one above, organize the solid mass into smaller "blocks". [img: Ted Kane]

The Shikumen are falling victim to raised property values and the Chinese government's desire to stimulate economic growth. Residents are being bought out and relocated into monolithic residential towers similar to ones featured on BLYGAD a couple of weeks ago. Demolished Shikumen are being replaced with western style high-rise commercial developments and condominium towers.

Each alley is lined with residences, much like the British Row House. The name Shikumen is derived by the stone gate entries seen above. Each stone gate leads to a residential courtyard and then to a corresponding residence. [img: Ted Kane]

Compare Ted's photograph above of a delapidated, soon to be demolished, Shikumen pedestrian lane to the similar shot below of a recently renovated Shikumen development.

[img: Wikipedia]

More information:
Lilong Housing, A Traditional Settlement Form, an architectural thesis by Qian Guan
Shikumen, Wikipedia Article
Shanghai, Wikipedia Article (extended information on Shikumen about halfway down)

Related Posts:
Friday Photography 100 x 100
Friday Photography China