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Tropical urban precincts as socio-activity agglomerations in the microclimates of Colombo

Show simple item record Liyanage, TNKR 2011-06-28T05:10:24Z 2011-06-28T05:10:24Z
dc.description.abstract Architecture is the spatial art. The experience of a work of architecture begins from outside and progresses inside through the progression of spaces. In this process of experience, the beholder is made physically and psychologically comfortable. This aspect is central to any built form whether it is a single building, a neighbourhood or a city scape. A city scape is crucial in the provision of comfort levels as massing or congregation of building could trap heat and generate micro climatic conditions with very high urban heat islands and thereby curtail the experience of architecture from outside. Lack of an appropriate massing of buildings in Sri Lankan urban settings is a common phenomenon, which has lead to the physical and psychological discomforts of the city inhabitants. The focus of this study therefore is the exterior of cityscape and its comfort levels in the experience of architecture. It explores the way in which outdoor-life and life in between buildings contribute to activating and enhancing urban life in the context of urban micro climatic conditions. The hot and humid tropical climate gives rise to a paradoxical situation in such a way it both contributes to and constrains outdoor life. When the outside temperature is warmer often with bright sunshine it induces outdoor-life. Yet, the associated extreme humid levels make outdoor life uncomfortable. There are spatial pockets however, both designed purposefully and created by the way certain spaces are used over time, which mitigate these contradictions and enhance outdoor life and its diverse activities. These pockets are defined in this study a s urban precincts. They are highly populated and with distinct characters derived from their spatial formation, diverse activities and activity tiers, which have been identified as 'necessary', 'optional' and 'social'. A space is first occupied by an activity or a set of activities, which are 'necessary' to be performed. These include specific functions for which they are designed and intended. At the same time there are certain activities that take place within the same space, which are 'optional'. There are also certain spaces, which induce activities beyond the necessary and optional levels to encourage 'social' functions such as community gatherings, discussions and events. Such activities are closely integrated with one another and with the whole to make the space active and dynamic. This web of activities and their integration is termed in this study as 'socio-acuvity agglomerations'. For instance, a person could come to a place of worship to perform a religious function. This is the necessary function of the space. If the space is (first and foremost) thermally comfortable s/he may also opt to stay longer relaxing for some time and thereby it becomes an optional activity. If its comfort levels facilitate broader physical and * psychological comfort levels, it could also induce diverse social activities by which s/he can interact with others. When that tier of interaction is fulfilled at each level facilitating physical and psychological comforts, the place of worship becomes an urban precinct. Fusion of such activity tiers within an urban precinct and integration of urban precincts in a spatial network make cityscape comfortable, lively and dynamic. They invariably encourage socto-activity agglomerations. Deeper understanding of and responding to urban microclimatic conditions in architectural and urban spatial designs are therefore central to experience cityscape in its totality.
dc.title Tropical urban precincts as socio-activity agglomerations in the microclimates of Colombo
dc.identifier.faculty Architecture en_US MSc en_US
dc.identifier.department Department of Architecture en_US 2005
dc.identifier.accno 85465 en_US

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