Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

place-making Related Abstracts

4 Place-Making Theory behind Claremont Court

Authors: Sandra Costa-Santos, Nadia Bertolino, Stephen Hicks, Vanessa May, Camilla Lewis

Abstract:

This paper aims to elaborate the architectural theory on place-making that supported Claremont Court housing scheme (Edinburgh, United Kingdom). Claremont Court (1959-62) is a large post-war mixed development housing scheme designed by Basil Spence, which included ‘place-making’ as one of its founding principles. Although some stylistic readings of the housing scheme have been published, the theory on place-making that allegedly ruled the design has yet to be clarified. The architecture allows us to mark or make a place within space in order to dwell. Under the framework of contemporary philosophical theories of place, this paper aims to explore the relationship between place and dwelling through a cross-disciplinary reading of Claremont Court, with a view to develop an architectural theory on place-making. Since dwelling represents the way we are immersed in our world in an existential manner, this theme is not just relevant for architecture but also for philosophy and sociology. The research in this work is interpretive-historic in nature. It examines documentary evidence of the original architectural design, together with relevant literature in sociology, history, and architecture, through the lens of theories of place. First, the paper explores how the dwelling types originally included in Claremont Court supported ideas of dwelling or meanings of home. Then, it traces shared space and social ties in order to study the symbolic boundaries that allow the creation of a collective identity or sense of belonging. Finally, the relation between the housing scheme and the supporting theory is identified. The findings of this research reveal Scottish architect Basil Spence’s exploration of the meaning of home, as he changed his approach to the mass housing while acting as President of the Royal Incorporation of British Architects (1958-60). When the British Government was engaged in various ambitious building programmes, he sought to drive architecture to a wider socio-political debate as president of the RIBA, hence moving towards a more ambitious and innovative socio-architectural approach. Rather than trying to address the ‘genius loci’ with an architectural proposition, as has been stated, the research shows that the place-making theory behind the housing scheme was supported by notions of community-based on shared space and dispositions. The design of the housing scheme was steered by a desire to foster social relations and collective identities, rather than by the idea of keeping the spirit of the place. This research is part of a cross-disciplinary project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The findings present Claremont Court as a signifier of Basil Spence’s attempt to address the post-war political debate on housing in United Kingdom. They highlight the architect’s theoretical agenda and challenge current purely stylistic readings of Claremont Court as they fail to acknowledge its social relevance.

Keywords: Architectural theory, dwelling, place-making, post-war housing

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3 An Exploration of the Dimensions of Place-Making: A South African Case Study

Authors: K. Puren, W. J. Strydom

Abstract:

Place-making is viewed here as an empowering process in which people represent, improve and maintain their spatial (natural or built) environment. With the above-mentioned in mind, place-making is multi-dimensional and include a spatial dimension (including visual properties or the end product/plan), a procedural dimension during which (negotiation/discussion of ideas with all relevant stakeholders in terms of end product/plan) and a psychological dimension (inclusion of intrinsic values and meanings related to a place in the end product/plan). These three represent dimensions of place-making. The purpose of this paper is to explore these dimensions of place-making in a case study of a local community in Ikageng, Potchefstroom, North-West Province, South Africa. This case study represents an inclusive process that strives to empower a local community (forcefully relocated due to Apartheid legislation in South Africa). This case study focussed on the inclusion of participants in the decision-making process regarding their daily environment. By means of focus group discussions and a collaborative design workshop, data is generated and ultimately creates a linkage with the theoretical dimensions of place-making. This paper contributes to the field of spatial planning due to the exploration of the dimensions of place-making and the relevancy of this process on spatial planning (especially in a South African setting).

Keywords: Spatial planning, Community Engagement, place-making, planning theory

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2 Re-Envisioning Modernity: Transformations of Postwar Suburban Landscapes

Authors: Shannon Clayton

Abstract:

In an effort to explore the potential transformation of North American postwar suburbs, this M.Arch thesis actively engages in the ongoing critique of modernism from the mid 20th century to the present. Contemporary urban design practice has emerged out of the reaction to orthodox modernism. Typically, new suburban development falls into one of two strategies; an attempt to replicate pre-war fabric that never existed, or a reliance on high-density to create instant urbanism. In both cases, the critical role of architecture has been grossly undervalued. Ironically, it is the denial of suburbia’s inherent modernity that has served to prevent genuine place-making. As history demonstrates, modernism is not antithetical to architecture and place. In the postwar years, a critical discussion emerged amongst architects, which sought to evolve modernism beyond functionalism. This was demonstrated through critical discussions on image, experience, and monumentality. As well as increased interest in civic space, and investigations into mat urbanism and the megastructure. The undercurrent within these explorations was a belief that the scale and complexity of modern development could become an opportunity to create urbanism, rather than squander it. This critical discourse has continued through architectural work in the Netherlands and Denmark since the early 1990s, where an emphasis on visual variety, human scale, and public interaction has been given high priority. This thesis applies principles from this ongoing dialogue, and identifies hidden potential within existing North American suburban networks. As a result, the project re-evaluates the legacy of the master plan from a contemporary perspective.

Keywords: Urbanism, Modernism, place-making, Suburbia

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1 Scattered Places in Stories Singularity and Pattern in Geographic Information

Authors: I. Pina, M. Painho

Abstract:

Increased knowledge about the nature of place and the conditions under which space becomes place is a key factor for better urban planning and place-making. Although there is a broad consensus on the relevance of this knowledge, difficulties remain in relating the theoretical framework about place and urban management. Issues related to representation of places are among the greatest obstacles to overcome this gap. With this critical discussion, based on literature review, we intended to explore, in a common framework for geographical analysis, the potential of stories to spell out place meanings, bringing together qualitative text analysis and text mining in order to capture and represent the singularity contained in each person's life history, and the patterns of social processes that shape places. The development of this reasoning is based on the extensive geographical thought about place, and in the theoretical advances in the field of Geographic Information Science (GISc).

Keywords: Discourse Analysis, place-making, geographic information science place, stories

Procedia PDF Downloads 87