Requalification

Shophouse by Aleksandra Shekutkovska

When I decided to move in Bangkok I was perpetually under the impression that I am walking in Edward Ruscha’s Every building on the sunset strip. I felt strips of buildings stamped into my memory somewhere between the impressions of their poor conditions, undecided destiny and urbantropology. Bangkok urban tissue construct is fabricated in greatest number by 4 storey shop houses built during the 1960’s serving as an economic resolution for housing demands in the dawn of urbanization. City expansions, new aspirations and development have left numerous shop houses into sceneries of ghost flâneur caves, leaving no traces of what was once the urbanization zeitgeist. Abandoned and poorly maintained some of them are located in attractive areas such as transportation stops of the MRT (metro line) and BTS (sky train) waiting uncertainly for their fortune telling- if they will be rented, live to see their own space requalification or be just another developer’s desert.

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Cinematique by Aleksandra Shekutkovska

Fairly romanticized vintage cinema spaces in the city have been torn down by both the modernization of our personal lifestyles and rapid urbanization processes resulting with gentrification. Perceiving the difference in approach towards historical places in the cities in Europe and Asia, it has been a while now I have been asking myself the question and teaching the importance of preserving interfaces of different historical periods from the city’s incremental growth. Once the muscles have become weak it seems too often that everyone is keen to replace the skeleton with a new building-body. Perhaps it is always the right time for reconsidering the historical places and what they mean in constructing the identity of the city as a potential to experience the timeline carrying of a territory while in the same time acknowledging processes of reuse and requalification.

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