AA Inter 3


(Un)Built Reference – Earlier Posts for Latest Work by jocelynarnold
March 5, 2014, 2:41 am
Filed under: 2013-14, Jocelyn | Tags:

(Un)Built Reference – Earlier Posts for Latest Work

We have seen the effects of squatted settlements and a lack individual properties and communal spaces caused by the Khmer Rouge in 1974. The chapel is a good example.

In the way of data, much of my site doesn’t exist (at least to the authorities). The boundaries of homes are blurred and its streets are not officially mapped. In the midst of a real estate boom and grey property laws, families will be forced to relocate. It is a non place. How can one enter nowhere?

This social condition can begin to be resolved using the ancient typology of the Four City Gates (originally a device of cardinal orientation). The examples shown above are the four original city gates of London, whose roles changed with time. They began as a threshold between the city and the outside. When the city expanded past the outer walls, this role became redundant. They then became cultural monuments that were part of a cardinal infrastructure because they were located North, East South and West.

Using this kind of typological precedent, the community can begin to re-establish and orientate itself. But on a scale much smaller than the entire city, people do not orientate themselves using North, East, South and West. The community orientates itself with signs and symbols established through time based rituals and cyclical histories. And so the location of these Four Gates draw upon site conditions (environmental, political etc.) specific to its inhabitants. These are: the monsoon season (see the Lotus Gate below), the re-appropriation of the chapel, the Tonle Sap river and its history of the Khmer Rouge.

The gates are a type of dedicated collective space, only operational through environmental cycles and the aggregate inhabitation by the community. The gates are not only cardinal devices, but by critiquing the social climate they become a threshold between two parallel worlds.

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