TSANG, Chun Hei | The Chinese University of Hong Kong
As the millennium old chinese saying goes “民以食為天”, which roughly translates to that people view food as important as the sky goes to show how the issue of food is portrayed with utmost importance within the chinese culture. Much like anywhere else in the world chinese people the act of enjoying a meal is not only a means of survival, but also a strong bonding agent between different members of the society.
Indeed this has an impact on the public spaces in chinese cities across the globe from Singapore,Taiwan and mainland China that their cities have what would be “food streets”, a linear street dedicated to a range of different hawkers stalls and restaurants alike. Taking examples from the “night markets” (夜市) of Taiwan to the “walking streets” (步行街) in the mainland, this project seeks to recreate an interpretation of such street form as applied to the Cochrane lane sit out area.
The project proposes on recycling of 3 transformed standard size containers to be used as hawker stalls which provides food alternating along the street. Whilst the existing sit out area is upgraded by creating curvilinear contours for the sit out areas to improve sociability of the space as it overlaps the user’s sight-lines and facilitate (and potentially trigger) conversations and interaction whilst enjoying their meals. The spaces are further diversified by introducing green belts where the soft surfaces further enriches the activities taken as people may choose to lie down (“lizarding”) or have a picnic in the middle of central.
During the day the street may serve the white collar workers for a fast and cheap lunch in the notoriously expensive central, whereas at night it may turn into a night market for people to unwind and socialise after a day of hard work. On Sundays our domestic workers may chat away their stress for the week around the curvilinear steps.
To conclude, this project aims to introduce food as an important element of Chinese culture to the street level, whilst altering the contours and level differences of the inclined streetscape to promote and facilitate the very fundamental Chinese way of socializing through eating.