Documentation in progress Architecture

A Spontaneous Urban Oasis

Natural urbanism – allowing spontaneous natural growth to shape human space and experience

Academic YearY3S1
TutorJunko Tamura (Dr)
GroupmatesSoh Ming Lun


Using CHORA’s EOTM process (erasure, origination, transformation and migration), the project sets out to map changes in the urban landscape. A site is selected, and a scenario is developed for that particular site.

Our selected site for this project is the former Victoria Street Wholesale Centre, which was demolished in 2010 and plot of land left vacant. Flocks of pigeons eventually took “ownership” of the land, harassing the pedestrians that take a shortcut through the plot.

Between building demolition and new development exists a space that lays dormant and underused. In this temporal phase, ‘forces of nature’ reclaim the land, with spontaneous sprouting of vegetation and arrival of animals. However, such reclamation does not go uncontested, as humans periodically invade and pass through nature‘s new domain, creating tension between humans and nature.

Our prototype deals with this dormant, underused green spaces in the city, celebrating the spontaneous activity arising from the untameable ‘forces of nature’ and man’s instinctive use of land. This temporary prototype will be executed in phases: using artificial means to initiate a regeneration process with the insertion of timber columns and planting of trees. The spontaneous growth/death of trees and vegetation becomes the order that organizes the arrangement of roof structures, creating pockets of public spaces that provide opportunities for spontaneous human activity. When time comes for new developments, the prototype is then removed and the trees are harvested as material for furniture, food, fibers, etc.

Spontaneity of the natural world thus shapes human space and experience, overriding humanity’ attempts in creating their own sense of order.

Documentation in progress.

Download the report for a brief overview.