Pearly Pei Li LimMalaysiaSync-nergy: Supportive Housing For Vernacular Longevity
Synergically energizing the vernacular to be in sync with modern lifestyle.
Agitation occurs with exploration of the hidden dimension of the inner courtyard within the grounds of Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple – a site prescribed under the Cultural Enclave Overlay within George Town World Heritage Site. The courtyard houses a temple and lay hidden surrounded by a gate-house, an opera stage and nine shophouses.
In this scheme, conventional ideas to abide to Heritage Laws to simply conserve and preserve this heritage sanctum and its surrounding buildings are challenged. Vernacular is seen as a catalyst for a new housing typology through variability and scalability while remaining contextually in sync with modern lifestyle.
This new urban vernacular supports the notion for a community built multigenerational supportive housing while looking into ways to transform the existing built environment into a sustainable environment, socially and environmentally. This alternative living arrangement targets seniors in need of camaraderie and young families in need of help to care for their young children. The program enhances the human dimension through a housing synergy in sync with the lifestyle of its residents.
The site is re-imagined with the introduction of new structures in multiple configurations. A new form looms over the courtyard, above the opera stage, creating a multi layered space for shared recreational and cultural amenities without disrupting the courtyard configuration on the ground level. Not only does the overall scheme provide spaces for dwelling, it also infuses social connectivity while ensuring that the vernacular becomes a conduit for inclusive, bold and pragmatic solution to housing issues.
Surrounded by affiliated clan associations and other hidden sanctums, what if this approach becomes a precursor for a new housing agenda? Wouldn’t then vernacular be a springboard from which others can adapt?