City of Health
Author: Von X. Chua
Function: New elevated public ground and residential
Site location: Abbey Wood, London, England
Institution: Architectural Association School of Architecture, London
Contacts: http://vonxchua.co.uk/, LinkedIn: https:uk.linkedin.com/in/vonchua
City and date of birth: Kuala Lumpur, 1/3/1990
Tutors: Andrew Yau and Jonas Lundberg (AA Diploma 16)
As highly dense communities emerge, human population faces issues of health as the population’s mortality rate, respiratory health, mental health and also the rate of spread of infectious disease becomes more severe and less controllable. A healthy population forms the backbone to a future world that develops progressively. In the future, I believe it is the collective act of people in the ways we lead our lives that can achieve a regenerative living.
By 2050, the opportunity to lead a regenerative living lies on people’s fundamental ways of living. Contrary to the focus on health policies for a healthy life, I believe our day-to-day living condition and lifestyle choices made are even more important to lead a healthy life. Encouragement of travel by walking, encouragement of community living on the elevated public park landscape, and encouragement of the use of natural sunlight and ventilation in the way we conduct our lives, lifestyle changes like leading a package-free life and car-free life will change the way we perceive our normal way of life.
The proposal of living in an untapped resource – air space above existing urban densities provides a new ground to allow for design that maximises nature’s resources – natural sunlight, natural ventilation, through porosity, orientation, thermal curation, courtyard design and atrium design – we let nature do the work in the most optimised way to lead a healthy lifestyle. At the same time, reducing and even eliminating the need for today’s heavily relied on engineered systems which has a high demand on energy. Three-dimensional curation of vaults are used to curate the spaces on the elevated ground, encouraging free flow of space for the people, light and air to travel freely.
My vision of the City of Health is focused on providing a platform for healthy living through lifestyle changes like encouraging physical activities in our daily routines, and providing good solar exposure and fresh air through courtyard, atrium and vault design for a healthy community to potentially improve the severity of lifestyle-related diseases we face today. This will potentially reduce public spending on healthcare through the improvement of the diseases. Leading up to year 2050, the new elevated grounds will re-introduce the loss public space of living in a highly densed city, bringing increased population of London to the East with welcoming public spaces accessible to all people – one that is purpose-built and is not just a leftover space during the planning of the city. By 2050, I envision the new elevated grounds will produve a platform for a wide City (or Cities) of Health to cultivate a healthy life through changing our fundamental ways of living.