Take your time – “A slow space for Ipoh“
Take Your Time is prompted by Slow Tourism – a travel philosophy of The Slow Movement. Located in the heart of “tourist paradise” - Ipoh Old Town , it is a thesis reflecting on how technology and infrastructure has allowed “fast tourism” and extricating the experiential component from the journeys. The thesis focuses on the exploration of creating slow spaces using materiality, space and time and adopts a maze-like spatial planning which is a self -instrument of discovery, transformation and fulfillment.
Tourism has become one of the most important drivers of economic growth worldwide. Cities start to plan with a view of attracting tourists and local businesses are oriented to tourists’ attraction in a fast way. Negatively, this becomes the prime cause of extricating the “experiential” component from the journeys undertake causing disengagement and detachment from the destination. People become more fixated on the visual and aesthetic aspects of a community’s culture, facilitating a more materialistic understanding of heritage.
The thesis as a reflection of “fast tourism” provides a public “slow space” for both travellers and locals to explore. It is a hybrid programme centered around tourism and locality. Historically, mazes were used as a means for meditation and reflection using the prolonged different pathways without a programme to prolong the “time” of being in “spaces” in a maze as long as possible. “In memorable experiences of architecture, space, matter and time fuse into one singular dimension.” (Juhani Pallasmaa, 1996) Thus, the thesis adopts an unconventional maze-like open circulation planning as an attempt to create memorable slow space experiences.
Inspired by the works of Peter Zumthor who explores the tactile and sensorial qualities of spaces and materials . The thesis pays an extensive attention to the choice and use of materiality in relation with spatial experience. The natural raw material- Rammed earth which is an ancient construction technique and its ingredients available locally in Perak is carefully chosen as the main material. The thesis also explores the use of Rammed Earth in modern construction, which is rarely used in the industry.
In the hope of creating slow and meaningful spaces, tactile and sensorial qualities of spaces and materials in relation with human spatial experience shall be considered thoroughly and explored carefully in architecture, for “Architecture is not about form, the ultimate goal is to create emotional space ” (Peter Zumthor, 2006).