The Samsara of Building No.42 on Dirty Street is a visual narrative about the development of a residential building in Beijing China in the past decade through 4 architectural axonometric drawings. The drawing series is created by Drawing Architecture Studio for the 7th Bi-City Biennale Urbanism\Architecture held in Shenzhen China from December 15 2017 to March 17 2018.
Building No.42 is a 6-floor building located in San Li Tun, the most famous and trendy shopping area in Beijing. The nickname of “Dirty Street” for the street where the building sits came in part from the poor city appearance of the neighborhood, and partially from the lively subcultural activities fostered in the building over the years.
The first drawing is about Building No.42 in 2008. In that year, Taikoo Li, the most fashionable shopping center at San Li Tun opened. As the building is located in the middle of the South and North Wings of Taikoo Li, it started its commercial transformation as well. The windows and balconies of the apartments on the first and second floors were broken down and turned into facades for bars, restaurants, DVD shops, nail salons, tattoo studios, and etc. Each commercial venue became a small and independent unit as Fumihiko Maki defined in his “Group Form” theory and altogether they completed the building itself as a case study of ever-changing group form. In the first drawing, the spaces and activities inside those small commercial units are presented in detail as an explosive isometric drawing. The form of black and white line drawing is exploited to keep a calm and objective attribute for the documentation.
The second drawing depicts Building No.42 in summer 2016. By then, its commercial activities had expanded to higher floors. A hair salon was even opened at the top of the building. It seemed that the whole building was going to be a sleepless city with each corner becoming recreation facility. But like a forecast warning, a blue billboard was put next to the electric line pole on the ground, saying the government of Beijing was going to crack down the action of “first-floor-homes-turned-businesses”. This full-color drawing illustrates the prosperous night scenes at San Li Tun. There are two viewpoints in this piece: if looking downward, the viewers will see all kinds of shops and human activities for a night life. If looking upward, they will see shining stars with a jolly happy atmosphere from heaven to earth. During the night, it was very dark on the middle floors of Building No.42. They were used as dorms for the staff from the shops downstairs. The staff worked at bars during the noisy night. When it got quiet during the day, they came back to the dorm to rest. Without involvement of any outer force, this building established a sustainable eco system without too big contradiction.
The third drawing depicts the event on April 24, 2017. On that day the government started a total renovation for Building No.42. The facades of the commercial units on the first and second floors were demolished. And as a synchronous operation, the windows and balconies of the original residential building were restored. The creation of this drawing is inspired by the works by Lebbeus Woods and it explores the aesthetics of violence in architectural drawing. It is filled with broken walls, rubbles, and debris. But there are also the strength of construction inside the damage and insistence from the business people against the crackdown. Such contradictory and tensions resulted from all of these pushed Building No. 42 to its most dramatic moment.
The fourth drawing shows how the renovated Building No.42 looks around 8 months after the crackdown day. The building is refurbished with new flower beds, new fences for air conditioners, and new windows. It has nothing to do with “dirty” and has become a brand-new, clean and tidy residence. The drawing is featured with a utopian vision as the structure of Building No.42 is cut open into a hallow diamond shape and the scenes from the distance are shown through the building in the middle of the canvas. Behind Building No.42, there are old residential areas and some new luxurious housings even farther. In the most distance, there are stores selling Bentley and Mercedes. They simply represent the dreams from most people for this metropolis: decent housing and decent cars. Everyone in this city is trying their best to run towards the new era.
The story of Building No. 42 on Dirty Street over the past 10 years shows how two powers fight with each other in urban development. One is the bottom-up civil power by average people. The other is the top-down administrative power by the government. Taking architectural drawing as a critical craft and with vivid drawing language, Drawing Architecture Studio represents the process of such a battle and examines the relationship between man and city in the Samsara of Building No.42 on Dirty Street and hopes to stimulate further discussions regarding urban development.
李涵 / 胡妍 / 张欣桐
潘超 / 孟海港 / 王洪跃 / 金鼎 / 谢婧昕 / 刘扬慧 / 林盛
杨昊然 / 常祯 / 宋柯 / 柏筱玥 / 张村吉 / 康雪 / 陈栋 / 时晨龙 / 路一平 / 李梦一 / 刘琪 / 孔秋实 / 李亚先 / 李思锐 / 金鑫 / 任庆国 / 冯小敏 / 初登辉 / 周梦 / 高小琳 / 罗典
刘力源 / 赵晨璋 / 黄唐子 / 叶子辰 / 苑瑞哲 / 王俊凯 / 郎颖晨 / 邱晓翰
Li Han / Hu Yan / Zhang Xintong
Pan Chao / Meng Haigang / Wang Hongyue / Jin Ding / Xie Jingxin / Liu Yanghui / Lin Sheng
Yang Haoran / Chang Zhen / Song Ke / Bai Xiaoyue / Zhang Cunji / Kang Xue / Chen Dong / Shi Chenlong / Lu Yiping / Li Mengyi / Liu Qi / Kong Qiushi / Li Yaxian / Li Sirui / Jin Xin / Ren Qingguo / Feng Xiaomin / Chu Denghui / Zhou Meng / Gao Xiaolin / Luo Dian
Liu Liyuan / Zhao Chenzhang / Huang Tangzi / Ye Zichen / Yuan Ruizhe / Wang Junkai / Lang Yingchen / Qiu Xiaohan
Photography Drawing Architecture Studio