Urban Planning and Architectural Design

Time:2023-07-21 Hit:

Each city has its own characteristics and is different from its neighboring cities. Through architecture and urban design, all living environments express some of the most important aspects of their development process. Terrain, climate, access to different building materials, and even evolving political, social, and economic conditions, as well as technological advancements (which are also standards for measuring cultural progress), are all reflected in the form and function of our buildings.

In history, some towns grew by bridges, while others developed from military bases, educational and academic centers, or religious centers. Some of them were planned, but most were not. With the process of industrialization, new centers quickly developed near raw materials or power resources. In the end, the trade center and capital of an industrial power emerged. But no matter what the reason for the city's initial survival was, and how it affected its initial form and architecture, other functions still rapidly developed. When ancient industries decline and give way to new industries, the prosperity and vitality of cities depend on the quality and quantity of interactions between various planned or unplanned activities, especially the speed of response to environmental changes.

In the past century, most buildings were built with local materials, and their form adapted to both social needs and climate. Only the most important buildings are designed by architects or construction experts, who often use imported and more durable materials. With the development of large-scale information exchange in recent years, all of these have changed. The design, methods, and materials of architecture are becoming increasingly internationalized and standardized, and they are changing more with the direction of fashion rather than their effectiveness.

Just as the expected functions of a building are (or should be) reflected in its design, the form and characteristics of a city are also reflected in its economic and social structure. When we change, transform, or update buildings to better meet new needs different from the past, we must acknowledge that to ensure the prosperity of a community for a period of time, a person's living environment - a village, town, or city - must constantly adapt to the new situation by changing themselves. Especially now, as long as the manufacturer's vision or financial situation is met, industry can be established almost anywhere.

Protection of Architecture and Urban Design

A city, especially an ancient metropolis, is a treasure trove of ideas and artworks, including architecture, space, and various places. They express the needs of evolution, the current situation, and the fashion of the builder's era. For the benefit of society, we should make reasonable use of this resource. But this is never easy to achieve, because there is always debate about what is' chivalrous brain '. In the development of towns, the situation often becomes complex due to the emotional attachment to old buildings. The money used for building structures and infrastructure maintenance could have been used to provide new housing, new social, commercial, and industrial housing, and new service facilities for society, which is an objective but often overlooked burden. But the current situation requires that future needs must be met. What kind of development can best adapt to future needs must be tested and evaluated.

The first challenge faced when formulating the future development strategy for a long-standing urban area is to determine which principles (if any) should be followed, consciously preserving existing buildings and the entire area; At what cost and to what extent, this retention can adapt to the needs of development and change.

For individual buildings or groups of buildings, it is often their appearance, architectural value, or historical significance that determine their protection (or preservation). This is often explained as maintaining the status quo. But a national building protected by the government will inevitably become a target of prestige. This reputation is a terrifying powerful anesthetic that paralyzes people when considering artistry. If the inherent charm and value of a building as a work of art or cultural relic can match this reputation, then it can be protected. Too many people want to preserve the ancient buildings they see as the best. But the beauty of architecture we believe is not something that can be proven by logic. It can also be said that the desire to protect is unreasonable, especially when the building to be protected cannot have additional economic uses.

In the past, architectural practices with a contemporary style met the needs of the times, although important buildings were built as if they were meant to last forever. In 1936, in London, it was discovered that, except for a few recognized examples of historical value, most of the others were updated within 30 years and rebuilt within 60 years. Now, in this era dominated by protection, there is always constant pressure to preserve industrial and commercial buildings far beyond this architectural era. This is very expensive. It may not be a requirement for new uses and new technological service facilities, but rather for its materials, volume, and characteristics to resonate with people, and the scale and proportion of space suitable for today's era. Isn't this better than designing a space behind yesterday's expensive facade to serve tomorrow?

Nowadays, the work of saving ancient buildings, no matter how they are done, rarely considers their actual conditions, and sometimes they only represent an architectural era that is remembered for its lack of uniqueness. This will limit the ability of future generations to demonstrate their design or appreciation, which is risky. But providing opportunities for new great architecture and urban design also requires taking risks. No matter how much protection is provided, a design cannot change from bad to good. Fifty years ago, if there were current regulations and opinions, many architectural works now considered masterpieces would not have been able to be built. Because they cannot, and we can appreciate the best works of some of the most imaginative designers in the past. If the generation of decisions can adapt to the changing world situation like architecture, there will be more valuable modern architecture. Investing more time in approving a development application may not necessarily result in better architectural or urban design. It may prevent a disaster, but if officials miss the right investment opportunity due to their lack of urban design vision, it may also lead to the loss of an opportunity.

Architects care about a building in a specific space, but rarely about its neighbors. Urban design considers spaces defined, penetrated, or interrupted by architecture. Although perhaps these buildings were only designed for viewing from a few selective perspectives. The key to urban design lies in the continuous view of the scene, and its quality depends on the relationships between spaces, their defined methods, contours, volumes, scales, colors, and the materials of the surrounding environment, such as architecture or plants. The impression a spatial form gives to bystanders largely depends on the speed of movement it travels through. A good design considers the situation when it is experienced; The best design can meet all standards. A pedestrian walking through a town square has time to enjoy various textures and images: the division of the building surface, the paving and plants that define the space, the overlapping of light and shadow, and the flying of fallen leaves. This appreciation, whether present or not, is influenced by the relationship between the scale of architecture or space and human scale. Because we all evaluate scale and age based on their relationship with human height and length of life. This in turn affects our response to the surrounding environment, such as whether we feel crowded or comfortable in streets or squares.

Protection includes the rational use of resources, which is the most important aspect in urban design. As a result of a century of technological and commercial development, urban centers have always been under pressure to adapt to more uses and populations. However, many urban centers have a complex characteristic that is easily disrupted by growing transportation and reconstruction. Replacing all old things to meet new requirements can waste resources and be expensive: it can effectively destroy a region or even the entire city. Not meeting today's needs and not predicting tomorrow's needs may lead to economic and cultural self destruction. We must break the balance somewhere. How to do it? The answer may lie between a city and a community; Either their characteristics are worth protecting, or they are an ancient and beloved form: once again, are they ideas or works of art. What to build, when and where to rebuild or completely modify, what to keep, and how to do it is a matter of judgment. When practicing this judgment, one should briefly refer to the experience of other places.

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