Transformation of Old Building to New Building

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4.1 Transformation of Old Building to New Building

For the transformation of the old building to the new building, mean transform is an idea front loaded with responsibility – although the architect may not typically be involved with a building demolition, but once the building’s after life being determined by the plan and section provided by architects and engineer, thus they will have the responsibility of the building’s after. Method of demolition for building transformation as desired, either through a backhoe and wrecking ball or through dismantling, architects and engineers must responsible for the decision making. No matter what process being done, all decision making make by architects and engineers must aware of the sequence of their decision making and to responsible for it.

Due to some of the buildings being abandoned so long, the stipulation of the building will get worst and safety concern may need consideration. To avoid uncertain happen, transformation of the old building is involved, it brings fresh spirit and activities into it, at the same time, and it also kept the building from demolition. Old buildings/New Forms can give comfortable fashion, where the artistry of architecture can simultaneously exist with historic preservation confines, real or supposed. A successful architect and engineer to give successful at the old building, it hasn't only required well-conceived in new design but also well-considered in old pattern. It is risky to do transformation of old buildings because old building had its own historical value, its own specific demands and not one can predict after transformation.

There is some technique on how to restore old buildings to the new building. First, to keep the whole building as previous image; second, maintain external image, modify the interior layout to prepare it more comfortable; Third, matching the fabric to use for restoring termite-infected timber, but to retain and restored all original and traditional decoration feature such as painting, carving, elaborate wood carvings.

Usually, there will be three questions will be asked on old building transformation:

  1. What and which part of existing should be kept?
  2. What changes should be made of?
  3. What is the cost and benefits associated after renovation?

The success of transformation on old building is depending on the implementation of the policy by local agency. Proper building code should need to clearly state in building code, otherwise, the building may destroy or reconstruct for apartments or markets by financial encouragement in term of subsidies, grants, and tax policies.

According to Le Corbusier’s philosophy that new era should make its own identity of architecture. Forward progress is good in his believing. “If a man does not move forward, he will bankrupt.”(Ver ne Architecture, p 101). He feels that clean break from the past is necessary in the modernism, by virtually starting with a blank slate.

Some other theory from Le Corbusier’s that architecture relates to fixed world-social clubs. From Ver ne Architecture:

Architecture is a thing of art, a phenomenon of the emotions, lying outside questions of construction and beyond them. The purpose of construction is to make things hold together; of architecture to move us. Architectural emotion exists when the work rings within us in tune with a universe whose laws, we obey, recognize and respect. When certain harmonies have been attained, the work captures us. Architecture is a matter of “harmonies,” it is a “pure creation of the spirit.” (Versune Architecture, p 23)

He understands and further study of the past Western architecture, using Greek, Roman and other periods amplify his argument on a new architecture. He enjoys looking through the process and forming his fundamental idea.

4.2 Organization and Different Activities of Space

For those old buildings maintain its use as residential, the spatial arrangement is not a great deal unlike. Meanwhile, old building transfer into commercial, space will transform as well. A common observation is verandah, where becomes spaces of architecture significant as they complement the spacious semi-open into the use of social mapping. Patio in Penang as an example where previously was early period commercial building, then transform the façade and space into modern design with retaining its original construction and sort image. Steel structures have been added in into the building structure to hold the additional load of the building.

To reduce the conflict of the transformation of old space into new space on lifestyle, equality of compromising between traditional and new should be balanced to fulfil the modern lifestyle while still maintain the traditional value and habits.

There are few successful old buildings turn into new building around in Malaysia. One of the examples is Cheong FattTze Mansion (Blue Mansion) were located in Penang, Malaysia. The house originally was an office and home for Cheong FattTze. That is two storey modern mansions with courtyard inside is constructed for traditional Chinese home. The building material is imported from Scotland. Business meeting, administrative of the Vice-consul Generalship and formal greeting of guest will be held at the centre hall of the mansions. Rear part of the mansion is the place for family members as well as a prayer room.

After building being transformation, most of the space functions still remain, but, the overall purpose of the building being transformed into another usage like commerce and tourism. Besides, at the front of the mansion where previously were servants quarters built which have converted into restaurants and bars. Besides, courtyard being served as a public space of activities likes exhibitions, tours, concerts, weddings, and other. The annexes gave been transformed into 16 unique themes apartments with nineteenth century style decoration and are open to rent.

In the construction stage, constructing with add in minimal modern intervention such as waterproofing due to they want to retain the total integrity of the mansion with the application of traditional methods. In the philosophy of “treading lightly and touching softly,” the restoration proceeds with following:

  1. Restrain Repair – repair only as necessary part
  2. Replication the old – using only traditional methods and materials
  3. Reuse and recycle – little was discarded, particularly in the timber and tiles
  4. Practically and attention to details
  5. Research and consulting – work with particular consultants and craftsmen artisans

4.3 Degrees of Transformation of Old Buildings/New Buildings

The transformation of a building is inevitable as they are dynamic and ever changing, however, such transformation varies according to the owner requirements; their comfort; duration of living; and above all the tenure security. There are four categories of old building transformation, such as slight adjustment, addition and division, total conversion, and reconstruction.

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