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Wing Ki Woo
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Personal to a Collective: Event / Infrastructure for Everyone
The stadium is a site of complex juxtapositions, if not contradictions.
It relates to the largest scale events in the city, but also captures the most intimate emotions of a person with his/her passion for life. It is a permanent edifice rooted staunchly to the ground, yet also supports ephemeral events lasting merely a few hours.
It is a place of joy, entertainment and celebration of the collective.
A stadium provides the space for an individual to reveal his/her emotions, the place where individuals come together and share a sense of unity and collective sentiment, and in urban scale, it gives a sense of location for people to navigate around the hectic city.
It is a place of dreams, an urban stage of performance and, essentially, a landmark of the city –
For the grandeur of its structure, the scale of activities it aggregates, for the urban transformation it has witnessed and is going to witness.
This project bases its research on the twenty large-event infrastructures with capacity over 10,000 in Greater London. While a majority of them have undergone or are undergoing transformation in the past two decades, they are also employed as a strategic tool for urban regeneration, mainly in deprived neighbourhoods or at the outskirts of the city. This new paradigm of urban development model, known as ‘Stadium-led Regeneration’, has been put forward in partnership with private businesses who have the ambition of establishing local centres of event crowd influx, which in turn creates job opportunities and tourism values for the place.
As these event infrastructures continue to expand to accommodate a larger international crowd, they are at the same time increasingly detached from the local community they originate from, both in terms of their building scale and surrounding urban design. The research by the Regeneration Committee of GLA in 2015 showed that over half of the interviewed local residents did not recognise the improvement brought by redevelopment of these stadiums; many of them were unhappy with the transport connections and the provision of social infrastructure.
Personal to a Collective: Event / Infrastructure for Everyone hence proposes to re-establish the connection between event infrastructure with the local community through a series of urban interventions that harvest the power of a crowd’s memory and emotion towards events in the urban planning of stadium neighbourhoods. By directing the event crowd to a wider area of the neighbourhood in designated routes, the local history and culture can be made visible to visitors, thus bringing more of the positive ambience of an 'event neighbourhood' to the residents.
These urban interventions operate on three scales – from the streetscape and local shops to the urban playground – between event and non-event days. They are tested out in the currently disputed development site of White Hart Lane, where Tottenham Hotspur rooted their football ground over a century ago, in an attempt to identify an alternative urban design protocol for 'event neighbourhoods'. It is also an attempt to rethink the notion of ‘security’ and ‘control’ in event crowd management, and the resilience of urban planning in providing event and social infrastructure concurrently.
School of Architecture
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With a profound interest in urban projects and public programmes, my previous projects include a public market, a library, mixed housing and an elderly care cooperative building. I believe there is as broad a range of architectural interpretations and representations of a collective yet-to-be explored as there are many possible ways in constructing a community. Through design and writing practices, I endeavour to pursue more collective-based projects that operate not only in an edifice but also an urban scale in the future.
- BA Architectural Studies, The University of Hong Kong, 2012
- Architectural trainee, DLN Architects Limited, Hong Kong, 2016-17