CHAPTER are essential component for the urbanites to

CHAPTER One
INTRODUCTION

1.1             
Research Background

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Being no exception, Malaysia is experiencing the
urban sprawl phenomenon which is confronting the global urban world today. Consequently,
urban and social modernization has caused population increase and architectural
densification. Expansion of buildings, reduction of streets, and degeneration
of urban plazas has started to diminish the space for public activity, which as
a result has led to the loss of quality of the city.  

Most of the public sees open spaces as empty
spaces between buildings such as streets, plazas, and parks that only provide
movement pathways and outdoor activities. A study of transitional, or
intermediary spaces, will provide an analogy for the understanding and creation
of in-between space as dynamic public spaces that are essential component for
the urbanites to form a city fabric and its character. These spaces are often considered
as green nucleus in the city. Therefore, this study is to explore the condition
of the city’s public space to respond to the knowledge of the design of quality
transitional spaces in current scenario.

1.2             
Problem Statement

It is commonly known that most of the big cities
in the world are experiencing urbanisation with the growing number of concrete
jungle. Rapid development results in rapid growth in population and number of
high rise buildings. Urban problems such as architectural densification,
traffic problems and lack of green space has led to both direct and indirect
impacts on the quality of life as a whole.

The design character of urban green spaces is an
important element in encouraging variety of activities for urban society
(Rasidi et al., 2012). Montgomery (1998) also explains that the essential elements
that make an urban place successful must include the quality of the physical
space, the sensory experience and activity. Hence, the exploration of
transitional space between the interior and exterior architecture is essential
to understand the relation of social public space in urban life to improve
social interaction.

Align with the growing numbers of buildings that
is currently booming in Malaysia, the need of 
maintaining the quality of existing urban public spaces or creating in-between
spaces are essential to ensure those spaces are fully utilized. Detailed
investigation on public space design should be carried out in order to fully
utilize the transitional spaces between buildings are not abandoned as wasted
space. This research will investigate the concept and characteristics of
transitional spaces especially in urban environment.

1.3             
Aim and Objectives

The intention of transitional spaces is to
provide a break from two spaces or two activities. The aim of this research is
to understand the characteristics, to discover potentialities and to explore
the qualities of public open space as transitional spaces that are beneficial
spaces in cities. The interest and objectives in this research derives from a
desire:

i)                   
To understand the concept and characteristics of
transitional spaces

ii)                 
To identify the architectural elements that
define the role and quality of transitional spaces

iii)               
To discover the quality of public open spaces as
transitional space in an urban environment in Kuala Lumpur

 

1.4             
Research Questions

i)                   
What is the concept and characteristics of
transitional spaces especially in urban context?

ii)                 
What are the architectural elements that define
the role and quality of transitional spaces?

iii)               
How is the quality of public open spaces as
transitional space in an urban environment in Malaysia?

 

1.5             
Significance of Study

 

Transition spaces
interconnect spaces by linking or separating different types of space. In urban
context, transition spaces should create a sense of movement that will create
more social engagement opportunities.

The scope of the
research is to explore the architectural elements that define the role and
quality of transitional spaces. The research will be a comparative study by
choosing case studies chosen based on their distinct design characteristic that
reflects to the design elements of transitional spaces and located in a dense
populated urban area. The aim of this study is to be able to provide an
architectural description of the topic for designers to explore the ways for
improving the architectural space quality of in-between spaces by exploring case
studies that has already exist.

CHAPTER Two
LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1             
Introduction

Space is the key
element in architecture and discussions about space is a complex subject.
Spatial relation is one of the most vital part in architectural design,
affecting quality of the living environment. Most big cities experiencing
urbanisation and existing buildings are often lacking certain functions that
are currently needed for quality living environment since they have been designed
in the past. Urban sprawl has turned architecture into a series of urban
problems, such as architectural densification, traffic problems and lack of
green space. Thus, transitional space can be considered as a necessary part of
urban components that have significant influence on human dimension; whether on
the behaviour or the activity of user.

2.1.1       
Understanding Urban Space

According to Kristic et al. (2013), variations
of spatial layers in the architectural structure of a building can create
particular spatial relations and an architectural space that can be defined as
both an inner space or as an outer space, or can be called as ‘in-between
space”. In architectural context, transitional space is a minor space between

 

2.2             
Transitional Space

According to Kristic et al. (2013), variations
of spatial layers in the architectural structure of a building can create
particular spatial relations and an architectural space that can be defined as
both an inner space or as an outer space, or can be called as ‘in-between
space”. In architectural context, transitional space is a minor space between
the interior and exterior space, which is a medium area for the building and
the natural environment. It is a space of experience between the inner and the
outer worlds; an intermediate or a third space. The effect of it is to merge
the two opposite space and blur the boundary of them, and make the building and
environment a continuous space.

2.2.1       
Concept and theories of transitional space

The idea of ‘in between’ is a concept proposed by Kisho Kurokawa in
his book ‘The Philosophy of Symbiosis’ which explains how such space exists
between the exterior and interior space that takes the effect of transiting the
separated area, and promote the continuity of the whole public space.

 

11.1 The theory from Kisho Kurokawa

 

2.2.2       
Transitional space in traditional buildings

In Japanese traditional resident, transitional
space is also essential. Kurokawa believed that the gray space could create a
lot of possibilities. This gray space can be known as transitional spaces.They
have a particular name for this area, “engawa”. Traditional Japan tenants
prefer to stay here for dinner, leisure, enjoying the environment of the
courtyards, resting, even sleeping. The engawa possesses its own meaning as a
third type of space, an intermediary space, in addition to interior and
exterior space.

2.2.3       
Transitional space in modern buildings

* Kisho Kurokawa Saitama Museum

Kisho Kurokawa, in awareness of this suppressed
architectural characteristic, he presented his “symbiosis” theory to
explain his architectural philosophy. He applied such theory into a lot of
projects, for example the Saitama Prefectural Museum of Modern Art. The museum
is built in the center of a park, he designed the entrance intermediary space
to create a more versatile public area. This is the attempt of modernization in
orient space. This design makes the space inside and outside can get symbiotic.

2.3             
Typology of transitional space in architecture

In real life, there is a regular pattern for the
people’s choice of public area. People don’t like overcrowded environment,
either empty environment. Under the idea of symbiosis, the inner space and
outer space of the construction are both important. Shahlaei et al (2015) has
concluded the approaches to defining connection between inside and outside in
all architectural types are:

·        
Connection:

–         
 A two dimensional element in external divider
that provide sensual or physical access, like a door or window. The line of
separation is solid and the in-between is an object not a space.

–         
Limitations:
opportunity to take advantage of outside environment and this issue can
decrease qualities of living spaces.

·        
Conflation of inside and outside:

–         
The
line between inside and outside is been faded so separation between inside and
outside is defocused, for example slide away glass doors.

–         
Limitations:
requires specific climate that most parts of Iran doesn’t compete with that.
Also Iranian life style, cultural issues and emphasis on privacy and “see
without being seen” make this approach not suitable as a common solution.

·        
Creation of in-between spaces:

–         
Can
be a proper solution for achieving qualities of inside and outside at the same
time and at a same place, and to increase user’s satisfaction.

–         
Help
to overcome low-quality living spaces crisis in some architectural type.

 

 

 

 

 

2.3.1       

zRole and quality

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.3.2       
Design elements

Transitional spaces play a crucial role that
covers the relationship between human behaviour and properties of urban places.

2.3.2.1  As
part of the function

2.3.2.2  As
part of the landscape

2.3.2.3  As
buffer zone between buildings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.4             
Case study

2.4.1       
As part of function

2.4.1.1   KL Sentral, Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur Sentral
(KL Sentral) or Sentral Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s largest transit hub. It is a
transit-oriented development that houses the main railway station of Kuala
Lumpur, and seamlessly links all urban and suburban residential, commercial and
industrial areas. KL Sentral replaced the old Kuala Lumpur railway station as
the city’s main intercity railway station since 16 April 2001. KL Sentral is
Malaysia’s largest railway station with direct access to six rail systems and
links to major highways and is also a direct link to Kuala Lumpur International
Airport, Putrajaya (the Federal Government Administrative Centre), Cyberjaya
and key areas within the Multimedia Super Corridor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.4.2       
As part of Landscape

2.4.2.1  Sentul
Park, Kuala Lumpur

Sentul Park is a 35 acre private
gated community park located near Jalan Ipoh in Kuala Lumpur. The park is situated
amidst of the city, with KLPAC (Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre) and condominium
blocks surrounding it. Some parts of the park is restricted to the residents of
the condominium, but the rest of the park is accessible where it is adjacent to
KLPAC. KLPAC is a vibrant arts hub in Malaysia with a wide range of events and
activities going on all year round in its various studios and theatres. It is
housed in an award winning building which is a fusion of a former railway
workshop and a modern glass and steel extension. Its facilities include a cafe
and a performing arts library.

2.4.3       
As buffer zone between buildings

2.4.3.1   Jalan Hang Kasturi, Kuala Lumpur

Jalan Hang Kasturi is a public open space,
located in between Central Market on one side and a row of shop houses on the
other side, which are mostly in Neo-classical structures. The area is connected
to Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock on one end and Leboh Pasar Besar on the other end. Opened
in 2011, the newly transformed, pedestrianized and covered walkway is recognised
as Kasturi Walk. Kasturi Walk is currently one of the tourist attractions in
Kuala Lumpur which offers an al fresco ambiance featuring variety of stalls selling
unique souvenirs.

 

 

Due to its location within the reach of Pasar
Seni and Masjid Jamek LRT stations as well as Puduraya Bus Terminal, Jalan Hang
Kasturi is well connected to the other parts of the city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER Three
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1             
Preamble

In this chapter, the
description of the method adopted in carrying the study systematically is
discussed. The research methodology that is used for this study is using a
qualitative approach. The relevance of using qualitative approach is to emphasize
the characteristics and quality of transitional space as social pockets in an urban
environment through descriptive case study analysis.

3.2             
Methodology

 

Data collection methods
involved in this study are literature review and exploratory case study. The
first phase of the study involves data collection on literature review, through
research and analysis of background study. The second phase will be an exploratory
case study involving site visit and observation, while the third phase will be
an analysis on both findings.

In order to establish
a solid literature review, data are gathered from previous studies through
books, online articles and journals to obtain a deeper understanding of the
concept of transitional spaces. The criteria of selection for the exploratory
case study is based on their distinct design characteristic that reflects to
the design elements of transitional spaces. Since the nature of transitional
spaces is relevant to the context of urban environment, this study will be
carried out in a dense populated urban area. Therefore, the exploratory case
study will be carried out in three different areas in a city of Kuala Lumpur to
explore the architectural elements that define the quality of transitional
spaces. Based on the literature review, the case studies are chosen based on
the design element of transitional spaces, which are transitional space as part
of the function: as part of the landscape and as a buffer zone between
buildings. Respectively, the three sites that meets the requirement are KL
Sentral, Kuala Lumpur; Sentul Park, Kuala Lumpur and Jalan Hang Kasturi, Kuala
Lumpur.