19 Feb 2010

juxtaposition on old buildings

Why juxtaposition

1. introduction on why juxtaposition

The current issues on historic conservation is a vital part in preserving architectural heritage. The choice between preserving the architectural heritage and going into a new and modern level has been a very important issues in areas that has cultural and important histories to preserve. The problems conccur to the efforts on combining between the new and the old on a very limited areas and boundries.

Historic preservation in terms of trying to preserve something on a long range of time, so that it doesn’t changes on values and can be passed on to the next generation. This historic preservation is limited to the areas of works on just preservation and conservation.

There are many methods that could be carried out for buildings with significant values in architectural heritages, but what of those old buildings, that has a little amount for value, but has been building place an has won the hearts on an urban scape.

According to Lynch in Tiesdell et al (1996), an environment which is not allowed to have changes would invite its own destruction. Physical changes is permitted in conservating historical part of a city, but in a relevant level and by doing an indepth studies. Therefore the physical intervention in a revitalization program would be a part of the history of the object or the area itself.

Changes are still permited in a specific circumstances, and in this case changes are very much suggested when it involves in place marketing that is trying to changes the image of one thing into a more vibrant one.

“ Architectural heritage is not just a reminder of history but it is a need for development to accommodate inset functions like holidays and tourism -it is important to create meaningful spaces by recognition of the particularities and the genius loci (Norberg-Sculz, 1980) that shapes built environment- and it is used as amodel for heritage development. “

in norberg schulz statement, we could emphasizes that architectural heritage is not only about preservation and restoration or reconstruction, but architect could adapt to the historical structures and bring out the potentials as a cultural and economical commodity. And also that preserving architectural heritage or adapting the architectural heritage and combining it with new structures holds the same argument.

2. methods on architectural conservation

There ara a few ways according to The Burra Charter ways on handling conservation of an architectural heritage which are :

· Preservation means maintaining the fabric of a place in its existing state and retarding deterioration.

· Restoration means returning the existing fabric of a place to a known earlier state by removing accretions or by reassembling existing components without the introduction of new material.

· Reconstruction means returning a place to a known earlier state and is distinguished from restoration by the introduction of new material into the fabric.

· Adaptation means modifying a place to suit the existing use or a proposed use.

Conservation means all the processes of looking after a place so as to retain its cultural significance. But buildings that has no cultural significance and has build a place with fabrics that has decayed often being demolished. Old buildings and old structures has a lot of potential that can be used for new purposes without disrespecting its existings.

In general, the character of architecture is related with the façade of a building, that is deeply connected to the rythem of horizontal and vertical allignments, the solid void pattern and the use of material and texture for the building. On doing a physical intervention on a historical building or an old architectural object there are three option which is :

1. Contextual uniformity, dengan menyelaraskan langgam bangunan sekitar.creating architectural uniformity.

2. Contextual continuity, pendekatan yang berada di jalur tengah antara dua kutub pendekatan yang mengusulkan pembangunan kontras, yang bisa mengakibatkan konteks koherensi arsitektural, dan dengan pendekatan desain yang membuat imitasi atau pun peniruan total dalam kontreks waktu tertentu. An approach that is in between that urges to build in contrast that could buil a contextual coherence in architecture, an approach to copy or imitate the existing building.

3. Contextual juxtaposition, pendekatan yang bersifat radikal (kontras). Isu dari pendekatan contextual juxtaposition pada dasarnya berangkat dari gagasan pendekatan Modernis dan mencoba untuk berkonfrontasi dengan sebuah lingkungan. A more radical approach comes from a modernist point of view and tried to confront with its environment.

The contextual juxtaposition needs contextual approach to respons on the desain intervention and a characteristic environment as stated by architect Richard Rogers (1988) : a harmonious order can result from the juxtaposition
of buildings of different epochs, each one being the expression of its
own time.

Contextual juxtaposition is the right way for underused old buildings to regain or creat new spatial by adding new structure, construction, material, style, texture, color in it. By doing so and adding changes it will not only defined the new building bult also assert the old ones as well. By doing so also helps physical, economical and also social revitalization and could change the mind, not only to people that will use the new environment but also creates a sense of belonging and maintaining for the people that operates them.

3. how about the juxtaposition

Place marketing needs passion and vibrance, dinamics and the sustainability in economics. “good design is good business” quoted from Thomas J Watson Jr. The founder of IBM. A good design would produce a more better result in economic value and also a good business should need good plannings and design to keep in pace on the trends.

An old buildings are often being demolished, but sometimes it

holds more value if being added new infills and being adaptif reused for a more vibrant activities to changes the brand and the images that has swallowed its old use.

Juxtaposition comes from a latin etimology “iuxta” or meaning “alongside” which could also mean alongside or next to. And juxta – position means From French juxtaposition, from Latin iuxtā (near) from Latin iungō (to join) + French position (position) from Latin pōnō (to place).

Old buildings, and architectural heritage often suffers obselence and being neglected and demolished. Old buildings in some ways has quite a unique atmosfer and place. Juxtaposition is means on putting or inserting something new that is placed near or joining the old structure. Putting something new in order to create a comparison between the new and the old. And by placing or dealing it close together should create a contrasting effect that should defined the old as something to respect and also the new that parts as a genertor to its old environment.

In the revitalization and preservation of heritage buildings requires high attention and should give “appropriate” results. Contextual juxtaposition are ways to achieve that result

4. Determining the usage of juxtaposition

In order to achive maximum results, juxtaposition should be used considering the contextual aspects and to be used very wisely under many criteria’s such as :

1. determining architectural heritage and places of cultural significance and the relevance of the conservation site

2. analizing the construction of the architectural heritage, the fabric, materials which can be maintained for new development.

3. Analizing the significance and value of the place or settings to determine the intensity of the new building

4. Methods on preserving the old building and creating or constructing the new structures so that the pair would be compatible for each other.

5. Determining the concept of the juxtaposition to put near or side by side, to place as a shade or shelter for the old building, or to join to mass into one object by contrasting both the old and the new.

5. case studies on juxtaposition on historical buildings

Case studies : an underused commercial and market area in central business district area in Palembang, South sumatera Indonesia called pasar 16 ilir Palembang.

Programmed to be one of Palembang city’s travel destinations but the market place with it’s strong historic site doesn’t give a representatif atmosfer. It has been growing deeper into a slum area because of the lack of planning and the attention to its problem. But the area stored a large potential having an existence of heritage buildings and its historic site.

The existing building holds a good structure and could still be used for further development as it still stands today serving as a lot of various commercial items. Pasar 16 ilir has been the market place situated in the heart of the city and been destined for people to search for various and low priced items. But the buildings and atmosfer is not suitable for all levels of people whereas the high criminality and no mangement of the market. It needs to be inserted new function and new building to lift up the potential of heritages buildings that are located in the market.


The successful criteria on juxtaposition

The potential and condition of pasar 16 ilir market


Preserveing and respecting the local aspect and cultural heritage.

There are potentials for heritage buildings, but there hasn’t been any real treatments, notices and consolidation of the old buildings and new ones with its surrounding environment


Using a contextual material that shows contrast between the old and the new.

The use of monotonous material that doesn’t changes the commercial environment into a more vibrant place


Atmosphere generator

Pasar 16 ilir has a historic environments that remains intact and has been a shopping destinations in the city, but have not become a trade zone for tourists


Orderly environment

The atmosphere is quite dirty and disorganized, there are a lot of crossing in circulation of vehicles and pedestrians users

Pasar 16 ilir needs to be combined with new infill and buildings, to create a more vibrant atmosphere and by adding those new building is hoped to create a strong sense of belonging by the people that are operating the place and also for the people that uses them. By doing so, the place needs to be revitalized thoroughly and completely by bringing the potential of the heritage building and inserting new ones to build a new image and creating new atmosphere, one that are more accessible to all people and generations

The design on pasar 16 ilir Palembang is intended to bring out the potential of the old building and to creat a historical atmosphere and combining it with new buildings to create a more present ambience corresponding to the current and future environment. The design is refered to some of succesfull design on juxtapositions such as the Selfridges department store in England and also clark quay area in Singapore that has undertake juxtaposition on placing something new in a historic site and also placing a shade into an underused port warehouse and changed them into a more vibrant and active trading and entertainment activities.

5. Conclusion

To summarize, these paper is to emphasize the permissibility on using juxtaposition on old buildings, structures and also architectural heritages as a method to stimulate and to increase the value of underused buildings. Juxtaposition often seemed pegged to the modernis era trying to confront between the old building or environment by presenting new ones which are more superior. But in theory both old and new needed each other to form a harmonious order by resulting a juxtaposition and expresses and defined of its own time. By so it will bring out the potential of each methods.

Solving problems in an architectural heritage setting is a very complex and very demanding task and a very long term project. But by defining an old era and combining them with new ones and by complementing each other would be good way on creating and preserving qualified environment.

copyright : muhammadfajriromdhoni / derrie81@gmail.com - february 2010


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