THE HIGHWAY-CRUISE BLOCK - Capitalizing the Infinitely Urban Wasted Space
On app like Google Earth, we observed that big area of land in a heavily motorized-dependent city like Klang Valley are used on building multi-lane highways. The city is suffering from lacking of space for housing in the city center while big portion of lands are reserved for massive highways. The main idea for the scheme is to build mass affordable housing on the space above our existing highways. The horizontality and infinite nature of the space allow for free horizontal structural expansion with less constrain of gravity. Without the need for land acquisition, big part of the cost could be used into building better quality house.
We choose a stretch of the Subang Airport Highway, a major highway in the dense Petaling Jaya area where housing demand and price is sky-high. Integrated with the mass transit train station, the housing fulfilling urban dwellers’ desire to live centrally and integrated to the city’s main lifeline.
On the block sectional relationship, the 8-lanes highway occupies the ground, the next tier is the mass transit station platform. There is a 1-storey carpark floor providing 1 carpark per unit. 5 big courtyards are carved out from the S-shape residential blocks arrangement. There are where big communal gardens, sport facilities and children playgrounds are located. Communal prayer spaces and landscape are on the blocks’ roof.
The fast-moving vehicle from the highway generate energy through moving mini wind turbines installed at the flanks of the highway enough to power the running of common facilities. Trees area planted along with the wind turbines acting to diffuse the noise from the vehicle. Polluted air from the highway below are brought up through a tunnel with wet scrubbers filter that eliminate pollutants and subsequently clean air is released out to the podium facility area. The units design consists of 765sqft (2 bed), 975sqft (3 bed) and 1108sqft (4 bed), based on a 4m square grids. Interior bedroom comes with movable partitions that allow user to extend the living space when the bedroom is not in used during daytime.
The scheme addresses the Malaysian social crime issue through passive surveillance by the collective act of its resident and the public, units are clustered in a series of big low-rise courtyards that encourage communication and visual connectivity. The low-rise configuration allows for more intimate public spaces mimicking a kampung setting. In the courtyard we provide the platform to allow for weekly ‘pasar malam‘ to sprung up, controlled access from the lrt commuter keep a certain level of public-ness at the main courtyard area. Malaysian urban street form is brought to the upper level, an urban ‘skystreet’ pierces through the residential block at level 6 where one can find community gathering places and row of convenient shops.