You are on page 1of 27

THEORIES OF ARCHITECTURE & URBANISM [ARC61303]

PROJECT 2 :
COMPARITIVE ANALYSIS ESSAY
NAME :
Angela Wee Kah Man
ID :
0322970
TUTOR :
MR.PRINCE
Contents
1 Introduction
1.1 Project Introduction 3
1.2 Case Study Introduction 4
1.3 Local Site Study Introduction 5-6

2 Analysis
2.1 Architectural, Urban Form and Social 7-9

2.2 Nodes and Contact Points 10 - 13

2.3 Nodes Type and Type Of Social Activities 14 - 25

3 Conclusion 26

4 References 27
1.1 Project Introduction

Humans are like particles, the denser a populated area is, the more we come into
contact with each other, be it actively or passively.Urban streets in Asia can vary
drastically from activities, to people, and to architecture of surrounding buildings.
However, there are apparent similarities that can be seen through patterns of social
activities and in factors that affect the degree of intensities of social contact points. In
this essay, comparison and analysis will be conducted based on two well-known street
areas in urban settings, located in two different Asian countries.

1. Upper Lascar Row, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong


2. South Klang, Malaysia

Using urban context as a frame of reference, this essay aims to pinpoint resembling
and contrasting features of both sites through elements that make up todays bustling
streets and cities. Social interaction, foot traffic density, activities, typologies and
human culture all play a part in the formation of the unique urban form of a street yet
also define and differentiate types of streets from one another
1.2 Case Study Introduction

Lascar Row is the combined name of two streets between Hollywood Road and
Queen's Road Central in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. The streets are Upper Lascar Row
and Lower Lascar Row. "Lascar Row" usually refers to the former, since most of
Lower Lascar Row was redesigned for vehicular traffic and renamed Lok Ku Road.
With many antique shops, Lascar Row is a popular tourist destination.
Upper Lascar Row is a narrow alley in Mid-Levels which runs parallel to
Hollywood Road on the north side. The straight alley measures over almost 200 m,
and there was an Indian police dormitory in the street. In Chinese, it is common to use
摩囉 ("Moors") to refer to South Asians from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri
Lanka. This reflects the pre-European colonial role of Muslim South Asian trading
connections with southern China. The S61 and S62 historic blocks of the former
Whitfield Barracks at Kowloon Park in Tsim Sha Tsui are known as the Moors
Soldiers Barracks. Hollywood Road and Upper Lascar Row's antiques shops have
copper mirrors, electric fans, jade gems, watches, ancient coins, Qing dynasty vases,
stamps, newspapers and calendars and so far so on. This unique characteristic and
richness in historical background attract lots who people to visit hence it become one
of the tourist destination
1.3 Local Site Study Introduction

Klang or Kelang, officially Royal Town of Klang, is a royal town and former
capital of the state of Selangor, Malaysia. It is located within the Klang District. It
was the civil capital of Selangor in an earlier era prior to the emergence of Kuala
Lumpur and the current capital, Shah Alam. Port Klang, which is located in the Klang
District, is the 13th busiest transshipment port and the 16th busiest container port in
the world.
Since 2008, more residential and commercial areas as well as government offices
are being developed in Klang South. Hence, this area tends to be busier and becomes
the centre of social and recreational activities after office hours and during the
weekends. For the 200 meters radius of site that we are studying, it is mainly focus on
commercial activities. A lot of business, restaurant, food stalls and vendors are found
here in the 200 meter radius site. But this is triggered by the rapid growth of new and
modern townships such as Bandar Botanic, Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Taman Sentosa
Perdana, Taman Sri Andalas, Taman Bayu Perdana, Glenmarie Cove, Kota Bayuemas
etc. all located outside Klang..
Hence making Klang no longer plays host to the city’s busiest market,
Today, it is still buzzing with activities as it is now one of the main hubs for public
transports with the KTM station. The area is dominated by foreign workers which
make up a high ratio of the working class. Business from Little India is slowly invade
to the north parth of South Klang, making it one of the most Indian influenced area in
Klang. New buildings have been erected around such as medium rise office and bank
buildings, creating the integration of colonial and modern designs that make the
streets of Klang so unique.
2 Comparative Analysis

2.1 Architectural, Urban Form and Social

‘A city district in its simplest sense is an area of homogeneous character, recognized


by clues which are continuous throughout the district and discontinuous elsewhere’
(Lynch, pg 103, The Image of The City).

Street view from Hollywood Road Street view from Upper Lascar Row

Urban forms along Upper Lascar Row, running north-west through the district of
Seung Wan, and bounded by Hollywood Road and Lok Ku Road in Hong Kong.
There is a complete mixture of design from pre-European colonial style buildings and
shophouses as it is known for colonial role of Muslim South Asian trading
connections with southern China back in the days.Also the more recent modern built
up forms of composite buildings that reflects Hong Kong as an crowded city.This
typology contains a heterogeneous mix of people, functions, private, communal and
public spaces that produces an unprecedented social dynamism Similarly to Little
India in Klang, Upper Lasca Row contain a high density of vendor activity orienting
focus around business activities. Masjid India Klang would be the prominent religious
landmark in the area, situated just beside the main road before getting into this area.
Jan Gehl stated ‘First life, then space, then buildings – the other way around never
works.’

Street view from Jalan Raya Timur Sreet view from Jalan Stesen 1

Urban forms and the built up typologies around South Klang are similar in terms of
design, height and functionality which is mostly commercial building. The merging of
colonial style shophouses similar to the shophouses in Penang and Melaka are able to
show that Klang was also once a Chinese economic hubs. Modern medium rise banks
and hotels located are also started to be seen in between the shophouses as people
renovated to suit the functionality. These building can be seen along Jalan Dato
Hamzah and Jalan Besar. The most well known Little India in Klang with nice
decoration and colourful finisher of the building accent the fact that the area is
dominated not only by commercial activities and is a hub for tourists but also cultural
aspect. Religious landmarks such as Masjid India Klang located in close proximity of
Little India and are allocated for the working class during and after working hours.

Life and culture are what makes a place, a place. The biggest difference between
culture in both the studied city areas would have to be the presence of residential area.
Due to the composite building in Hong Kong, Upper Lascar Row is located in the
middle of mix used district, hence able to attract not only tourists but also people from
different category which occasionally encourages contacts. While in South Klang,
districts are well defined. As the studied area is a commercial area, hence its only
visited by people with specific objective.Due to the recent expanding business trade
across Little India, Klang is dominated by foreign workers that have altered the
culture and identity of the place itself. An increasing number of foreign restaurants
and shops have popped up and due to the fact that the site is one of the main
transportation hubs, it has become a significant place for foreign workers mostly from
India and Sri Lanka.
2.2 Nodes and Contact Points
‘Cultures and climates differ all over the world, but people are the same. They’ll
gather in public if you give them a good place to do it.’(Jan Gehl, 2005)

Nodes and contact points around Jalan Besar are formed based strongly on landmarks
such as the Masjid India Klang, vendor streets such as Litle India, transportation hub
and most importantly their significance characteristic of Klang that is rich in food
culture. Although nowadays Klang act as an transit like town, a high level of
interaction and movement of people still occurs as this place acts to bond hierarchical
nodes in Klang.(KTM Station, Jalan Besar, Little India) via easy accessibility through
busy vehicular and pedestrian road access from one city to another city. The strategic
location of Klang that sits in the middle of few urban city bring challenges like high
density traffic which is further heightened by pedestrian crossings.

Nodes Around Jalan Besar, Klang Landmarks Around Jalan Besar, Klang
Types of Paths
While for the case study on Upper Lascar Row, the nodes and contact points are
formed based strongly on junctions, alleys and also vendor street as it is one of the
historical business street through out years.Surrounded by most of the high rise
buildings, Upper Lascar Road is a narrow street that is connected to Hollywood Road
and Lok Ku Road by few little small alleys and staircase. These small alleys and
staircases act as an alternative entrance into Upper Lascar Road hence encourage
human interaction and also the occurred of different types of social activities that
bond hierarchical nodes in that area.

Nodes Around Upper Lascar Row, Hong Kong


2.3 Nodes Type and Type Of Social Activities
Architecture has been defined in terms of one activity, and that activity is adding to
the world.’ (Koolhas, July 1996, Interviewed in Wire)

1. Entrance Junction - T Junction at Jalan Raya Timur

Entrance Junction at Upper Lascar Row

Upper Lascar Road is a famously known for being an antique street market bounded
by 2 different main streets which is Hollywood Road and Lok Ku Road. These two
roads are connected by several ladder streets and also small alleys that create
entrances into Upper Lascar Row hence the entrances are intersection of Ladder Street,
alleys and Upper Lascar Row. But the differences of this main entrance junction to
Upper Lascar Row are this entrance is located at one end of these connected ladder
street, which has a lager scale compare to others entrances. Besides that, this main
entrance junction is the nearest to one of the bus station along the Hollywood Road
hence making it the main entrance to Upper Lascar Row.Therefore, a passive contact
is shown when pedestrian movement at the main entrance to cross Ladder Street
welcoming the in and out flow of tourist and locals. This junction not only serve as
the entrance to Upper Lascar Row, but also as a short cut for pedestrian to travel from
Hollywood Road to Lok Ku Road which is the necassary activities for the pedestrian.
While for pedestrian that choose to sit on the stairs to rest and socialize or stand and
have smoke breaks, this ladder street entrance also provide optional activities which
at the same times encourages social activities such as initiating conversation between
pedestrians while they are resting or smoking.
Junction at Jalan Raya Timur and Jalan Besar

Jalan Besar is one of the main road that lined by 2 row of shophouses including
restaurants, retails and office buildings in South Klang and ended with a KTM station
at the end of a junction. Just like the entrance junction before the Upper Lascar Row,
this junction is also a junction that act as one of the exit and entrance to Jalan Besar.
Other than that, it also has a similarity of having a transport hubs near to the junction
which is the oldest KTM station in Klang.
Hence it is mainly used for necessary activities as people cross it to get from one
place to another or to get to the KTM station at the end of the junction. It is quite
unfortunate that with a high density of people, passive social interactions seem to
exist more than active social interactions. In Urbanism as a Way of Life, the author,
Louis Wirth talks about how secondary contacts are prominent in the city life
. He stated that‘ Our acquaintances tend to stand in a relationship of utility to us...’
(pg 192). And also, not to forget that there actually a restaurant at the corner of the
shophouses just next to the junction. Hence is an optional activities for people to stop
and grab there meals along their journey.Having said that there are a number of
workers that like to hang around the restaurant and talk to one another meaning
optional and social activities do occur but more likely for the workers who use it
compared to locals.Passive social activity intensities are high during the day as there
is a constant flow of people passing through the junction especially during peak hours.
Although these two junction are differ in term of scale, but they serve the same
purpose as an entrances. Both junctions are medium intensity contact points but it
seems that activity bends towards the necessary category for example passing and
crossing to get from one point to another are focused more to the sites at the Junction
at Jalan Raya Timur and Jalan Besar whereas more active social activity and
optional activity in entrance junction due to the scale of street and presence of street
furniture.
2. Man Mo Dimsum - Chongkok Kopitiam

Man Mo Dimsum

Man Mo Dimsum is a famous restaurant serving European and local fusion


dishes.It is nestled among the antique and curios stalls on Upper Lascar Row.Named
after the famous neighboring temple, Man Mo Dim Sum serves delicate bites inspired
by Chinese cooking methods and infused with European flavours and ingredients,
resulting in a contemporary, playful form of dim sum that will please both the
traditionalist and the novel-seeking foodie. Due to its unique culinary style, Man Mo
is very well known not only by the tourist and also the locals. Most of the people who
has visited Upper Lascar Row are mainly there because Man Mo Dimsum.Hence
making it a well known meeting point for good food . Besides that, it modern
architecture that is different from the others old shophouse provides a different
ambience that are able to attract more youngster.
Being one of the restaurant in Upper Lascar Road, the necessary activity for Man
Mo Dimsum will of course be a place for commencing business.Other than that, Man
Mo Dimsum provide different chance of contact including business owners meeting
new customer, friends and close friends arrive and spend time together to dine and
explore the street hence at the same time encourage social activity such as customers
initiate conversation with the owner, with one another and also people along Upper
Lascar Row. Hence the stalls infront of the restaurant are able to provide optional
activity that will cause people to stop by to shop and initiate conversation before
entering or leaving the restaurant.
Chong Kok Kopitiam

Just like Man Mo Dimsum, Chong Kok Kopitiam is an extremely popular breakfast
spot in Klang. It is located along Jalan Besar and just across the KTM station. Every
morning, Malaysians of all races would gather here for a plate of nasi lemak or toast
before going on with their day. Due to its delicious food that causes long queue,
Chong Kok Kopitiam will normally extend their business up to the five foot walkway
in front the shop. Besides that, traffic along Jalan Besar will also become very jam
especially in the morning not only because of the office hours but people will come
all the way just to have their breakfast in Chong Kok Kopitiam.
The strategic location which is near to the KTM station and also the extension of
business up to the pedestrian pathway eventually provide many chance of contact in
Chong Kok Kopitiam. Commencing business and having breakfast become the
necessary activity in Chong Kok Kopitiam for the locals wheareas for the optional
activity, people to or from the KTM station have the choice to either stop and have
their breakfast in Chong Kok or just passing by. These activities eventually encourage
social activities not only conversation between customers, owner but also pedestrian
that pass by.
Images Of Man Mo Dimsum (left) and Chong Kok Kopitiam (Right)

These two contact point are very similar in term of function, building typologies,
operating hours and most importantly types of activities that take part in it. The
intensity of contact that occur in both of these restaurant vary from low to high,
passive contact such as ‘hear’ and ‘see’ contact on the pedestrian along the street and
close friendships contact to people who are there purposely for food.s Although they
have serve different foods and provide different environment ambience to the people,
but their strategic location allow them to provide the same necessary activities such as
people passing by or having breakfast and also optional activities that encourages
people interactions including initiating conversation.
3. Cat Street - Little India

Cat Street in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Being one of the main nodes in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong’s Cat Street also
known as Upper Lascar Row is a busy antiques, curios, junk market and narrow alley
stretching from one end to the other end about 200 meters long .It runs parallel
together and bounded by Hollywood road and Lok Ku road. High intensity due to
frequency of use antique trading and commercializing interactions. Surrounding the
street are mostly shophouses and mix used residential buildings, with vendors fanning
out their merchandise along the street. Vendors sit at a proximity to each other,
establishing an intimate comradeship and acquaintanceship with daily customers.
Although Cat Street are not as busy or vibrant as it used to be back in the days,
but the historical characteristic has caused it become one of the tourist spot. Hence
high-intensity interaction street where necessary activities take place consistently as
people passed by the street to go to their destined locations especially crossing from
Hollywood Road to Lok Ku Road and vice versa or to shop at the variety of shops
while optional activities include people who might stop by occasionally to buy things
or watch the world goes by.Social activities happen when people visit and gather
around the street to shop or bargaining with vendors that formed passive and chance
contact.
Little India in Klang, Malaysia

The Little India enclave, located along Jalan Tengku Kelana in Klang, is the
biggest Indian-influenced street in Malaysia.Lined with shops on both sides of the
road, and with stalls spilling onto sidewalks and back alleys, visitors are well and
truly spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping.Fierce competition among traders
has resulted in lower prices for both locals and tourists, making the place a haven for
bargain hunters and lovers of street food.
Although it is located along the main road that connected from one town to
another town, but shop frontage that are connected together allow the pedestrian to
choose whether to walk on the vehicles streets which is much more dangerous or
along the shops. As Jan Gehl stated“When large spaces are to be crossed, it is usually
most comfortable to move along the edge instead of having to traverse a broad surface
or walk down the middle of the space. Movement at the edge of a space makes it
possible to experience simultaneously both the large space as well as the small details
of the street facade or the spatial boundary along which one walks.”
(Life Between Buildings Using Public Spaces)
Necessary activity that occurs in Little India include commencing of business,
workers and visitors use this path as a route to get to their destinations. These
colourful buildings, beautiful ornamented, spices and textiles and scrumptious Indian
delicacies that are vendor along both side of the roads act as an attraction that induces
optional activity and sparks curiosity among passerby. High intensity passive and
active social interactions occur due to vendor activity throughout the day .
Both these streets are extremely similar in terms of social patterns. A factor that
strongly differentiate the two would be the fact that Cat Street is bounded by two
main streets hence making it an alley between the main roads. The intimacy path
creates a more comfortable atmosphere for the people and activities are not affected
by the traffic. Hence people in Cat Street are more likely to to stay longer and have
more different contacts whereas more passive contact in Little India as the constantly
movement of people.
4. Crossing Of Hollywood Road and Square Street (Hollywood Road Streer Art)

Street art along Ladder Street that connects Hollywood Road and Square Street

Hollywood Road is a place to discover new street artworks. The artworks on the
crossing of Hollywood Road and Square Street has became one of the most iconic
street art along Hollywood road and now making it gentrifying a hipster area. Various
street artists from local and international circles are invited to take over many of the
walls in this neighbourhood and beautify them. This ladder street that connect
Hollywood Road and Square Street is bound to catch people’s attention giving the
space a unique identity.
Hence high intensity of passive contact can be found here compared to other
ladder street as this ladder street become most of the pedestrian choice due to its
unique and attractive artworks. Crossing from one road to another through this ladder
street become the necessary activity for the pedestrian.Whereas for optional activity,
pedestrian can choose to stop and appreciate these amazing street arts or even stop
and sit on the stairs to initiate conservation during their free time. These activities
occasionally encourages social activities as this ladder street are not just an pathway
but eventually turning into and open spaces for the public.
Street art along alley that connects Jalan Tengku Diaudin and Jalan Dato Hamzah

Similar to street art in Hollywood Road, there are also few street arts found in
Klang by the locals along the alley that connects one road to another. In contrast, this
alley has a smaller scale compare to the ladder street in Hollywood Road. Moreover
the street arts along this alley are not as iconic as the street arts in Hollywood that are
painted by famous street artist, but they are painted mostly by volunteered students.
Hence it is not well known and attractive enough to attract pedestrian. Most
importantly, although these ladder streets and alleys are located in between building,
but alleys in here are seldom used by the pedestrian to travel from one place to
another as they consider narrow alleys are quite dangerous.Hence painting in the alley
do not really appreciate by the people compared to Hong Kong.
Therefore, the alley has low intensity of passive contact. It is only used by the
workers and locals that know the exact destination of where they are going, acting as
an alternative short cut. Hence, this alley become the necessary activities for the
locals. Low chance of optional activity will take place in this alley as locals who pass
through this alley as an short cut are used to it, they seldom stop to appreciate the
streets art.
Both these streets are similar in terms of function and intention, street arts are
introduced these streets in order to create and bring out the characteristic of the places.
But the end results of these two places vary from its social patterns. Street arts along
ladder street that connects Hollywood Road and Square Street are able to encourage
more passive contact as well as close friendship relationship as the street arts there are
magnificence enough to attract pedestrian. Besides that, stairs provide seating spaces
for the pedestrian that are wishing to stop. Whereas street art along narrow alley that
connects Jalan Tengku Diaudin and Jalan Dato Hamzah could not really attract
pedestrian as they are less in quantity as well as quality compare to street arts in
Hollywood Street. Other than that, safety issue also one of the factor that causes
pedestrian especially tourist and outsider to not use alleys as an travel path causing
low intensity of passive contact.
3. Conclusion

The cultural experience in both of this place are highly attractive. People gather
around to taste their food, experience the old architecture and social activities that
shad been there for a long times as they are really rich in cultural background. As
conclusion, it can be seen that people behave differently according to architecture and
design choices. A building or even a space, when we designed and have all external
factors taken into account, can create the desired contact points and draw in crowd,
hence making it a place. It must be understood that people generally respond
aggressively towards the difference in physical environment quality, and one mistake
that brings down this quality can and will drive them away. From the analysis, we
have learned that there is, indeed, a strong relationship between environment quality
and the rate of occurrence of outdoor activities are both correlated.
4. References
Gehl, J. (1987).
Life between buildings: Using public space
. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold

Gibbons, A. (2016, November 01). Kevin Lynch: The Image of the City. Retrieved
November 27, 2017, from
http://writingcities.com/2016/11/01/kevin-lynch-image-city/