The history of Sitiawan started with a pioneer group led by Christian missionaries as part of a large ‘population transplant’ to bring in rice farmers from Foochow, China, into then Malaya. It was a thriving settlement for industrious migrants from Foochow.They were predominantly from the district of Kutien in Fuzhou, China. However, in recent years, intense development on routes connecting Lumut, Seri Manjung and Sitiawan have brought prosperity and pollution to what was once a relatively quiet town. With urbanization, Sitiawan encounter a series of issues, such as abandoned lots, unused lands, less connectivity and annual celebration.
Reminiscence of Blacksmith Unity is located Pasir Panjang, Sitiawan, Perak, in Malaysia, a small town in Manjung district, which portray themselves as a testimony of diversity representativeness, culture difference and its own residential culture. The design objectives involve site synergies, programmatic strategies (exploring on different methodologies of representation of the characterization of the local context), urban strategies (masterplan proposal) and the design intervention.
Site Synergies – 6 elements were represented in collage expressing the intangible aspects of Sitiawan. Through the site synergies of sentiment conflicts, canaan & contrivance, societal aspects, articulated tectonics, it came to an realization that when the 5 elements co-exist together, it was being celebrated through the event of “Double Ninth Day” which will be celebrated by the people on every 9th of September as a celebration to commemorate the “Golden Time” back then in Sitiawan.
Programmatic Strategies – Due to the site issues, the proposed strategies of my programme dissection comes from the idea of having Sitiawan to remain as a well preserved living fossils likes a living museum of memorial to trace back the missionary bloods stepping into Sitiawan. The targeted users will be directed towards the locals, devotees, farmers and tourists.
Why commemoration of events could only be celebrated in a day? What if commemoration of events could become part of the living culture of the locals, wouldn’t it be great?
My programmatic strategies were showcased in the form of dissection of layers and collocation. On the bigger picture, you could notice that commemoration of events happening on the path of the train tracks from the first layer to the last layer, multiple layers could be seen translating on the past and present, the shadow casting along with the multiple layers effect create an effect of time. Therefore, when 3 of the layers coexist together, the abandoned lands become possible interventions, commemoration of events becomes a lifestyle, and the programs formulated from the Double Ninth Day.
Urban strategies - The proposed strategies are distributed into two, “Static versus Non-static”, and “Encapsulation versus Decapsulation”. Static which translates on the static events (golden time in 1910s -1920s, World War II ; Non-static which translates on the current developments. Encapsulation – If a memorial being encapsulated in a building, it stays in the building, what if we decapsulate the memorial in commemorating the events by having the whole masterplan of Sitiawan becomes a memorial? With the urban strategies, reconnection and revitalization could be achieved.
Reminiscence of Blacksmith Unity comes from the idea of the important elements “Head, Axe, Hoe” (which can be seen in the site synergy collage) which first brought by the Foochow upon reclaiming the land itself. The design intervention aims to preserving the village’s unique local characteristic and reconnect the community which involves different kind of generations and culture by commemorating the glorifying days back then in Sitiawan through the programmes proposed.
Reminiscence of Blacksmith Unity and the proposed master plan will serve as a generator of recalling the memory and events, reconnect man with nature, village, and city. The vision for blacksmith workshop (core programme) is structured around a context specific approach. This strategy starts with an understanding of the existing site conditions, the urban fabric and the pasir panjang river which then becomes a datum for site organizations. Blacksmiths workshop, School of Hardknocks and the Fishery Market are meant to be in a form of branding, a form of character to the entirety of Sitiawan which not only caters for 90% of the people but in a form of elements that allow them to prosper.
Location : Pasir Panjang, Sitiawan, Perak, Malaysia
Site area : 15.6 acres
Total gross floor area : 3152m²
Number of floor : 5 floors.
Supervised by Mr Bakhtiar Amir.