PHILADELPHIA CHINATOWN CULTUREAL AND ACTIVITY CENTER FOR ELDERLY
Modern China has gone throught a series of redevelopments that transformed China into a socialized, modernized, and industrialized country. As China’s appearances modernized and globalized, its own identities started to vanish and people’s lifestyle changed drastically. Many cities are adopting the international look as a standard appearance in modern China. As a result, many of the local cultural heritages have disappeared and been forgotten over the century. Beijing, the capital of China and the role model for the rest of Chinese cities, is now facing a severe identity crisis and sense of disconnection of the community.
Imperial City, also known as “Huang Cheng” in Chinese, often refers to the inner and outer city of Beijing. The Imperial City of Beijing was officially completed when the outer city was walled in 1553. The Inner City is a section of Beijing left from the Ming and Qing dynasties. This includes a collection of gardens, shrines, and other service areas between the Forbidden City and the Inner City of ancient Beijing which was surrounded by walls and accessed through archways and gateways. Beijing is more than 2000 years old and has served as the capital of China for 700 years. Its overall city planning, the distribution of space, and spatial quality gave Beijing its unique style. The layout also gave Beijing a reasonable and orderly street system. With thousands of years of transformation and cultural development, Beijing has become one of the oldest and culturally rich cities in the world. While this city is known for its tradition, the fast paced and modern global culture is quickly transforming the city, both in attitude and in aesthetics.
DESIGN ISSUES & ATTITUDES
Sense of nature
Sense of community and belonging
Clearly define the interior space while carefully considering wayfinding to ensure the layout is conductive to the activities occuring within.
STATEMENT OF INTENT
China’s growing economy and modern redevelopment have causes the city’s appearance and people’s lifestyles to change greatly. Beijing was considered a first class city based on its historical and iconic layout and city elements. Unfortunately, the majority of ancient Beijing WAS removed for modern development. Today’s Beijing is filled with contemporary buildings; its cultural identity is forever buried underneath it. Because of this modern redevelopment local residents are forced to move out of their homes, full of family history and a closely bonded local community, to high-rises. With the relocation, people not only have lost their family history, but also face communication barriers with the relocation. Due to inconvenient transportation, lack of community support, and busy lifestyles, many elderly people suffer from loneness and are disconnected with society.
The proposed facility provides a comfortable space for active elderly people to interact with each other. The facility will be a center for activities, lessons, lounging and gathering.
Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation PCDC
PCDC is a grassroots, non-profit, community-based organization. Our mission is to preserve, protect, and promote Chinatown as a viable ethnic, residential, and business community.
The mission statement of Chinatown Elder Cultural and Activity Center is to provide a venue enhancing the quality of life of people aged 55 and above residing at the Chinatown area. Our desire is to promote, sponsor, coordinate programs and activities that are culturally, intellectually, physically, and socially stimulating on spending time in a comfortable and safe environment.
Inspirational Diagram: "Chinese" layout
Image above: 1st floor gallery space/ courtyard
Image above: Activity room
Image above: 4th floor/public library