Qingqui: Dwelling on Wheels
Fall 2014 – Semester III
Architecture Design Studio
Dr. Gulzar Haider
Phase I - Dwelling on Wheels
Pakistan’s current socio-political and economic conditions, combined with the unreasonable aspirations for an ‘ideal’ home have had a serious negative impact on our urban centers. The city of Lahore has undergone a massive horizontal expansion in the recent past. This expansion caters for only the affluent minority of the population, creating a housing shortage for the vast majority who cannot afford this ‘ideal’. This phenomena has left us with an unorganized mess of sprawling gated communities in the suburbs, an unsustainable number of motorized vehicles and a concrete maze of overhead bridges and underpasses needed to accommodate the need for daily commute. To help students imagine a radically different city, we asked them to design a mobile residence/workspace for a character of their choice. This space is imagined to be derived from the manipulation of a small 6’x4.5’x5’6” compartment which can be fitted on the back of a QINGQI, making it financially sustainable for a relatively large portion of our society. This hard-body compartment was thought of as a dynamic object which could be unfolded to provide enough space for the requisite functions. The project also posed a serious challenge to the students regarding the tectonic and structural integrity of the mobile dwelling.
Phase II- Transition to Permanence
The second project for Semester III was to be understood as an expansion to the narrative used within Project I while increasing the scale of the residence. The ground area provided was 576 ft2 which is compatible with the scale of housing for low to middle income groups. Through grouping these areas together in three different configurations, the students were introduced to the challenges of solar orientation, privacy and relationship to the neighbors while understanding the essential qualities of spaces within a dwelling. The Qingqi from Project I was to be considered as an essential plug-in to the dwelling, analogous to a mother kangaroo carrying her child.
This project was published as "Urban Crisis and Parasitical Expansion: Design Solution by BNU - ‘Dwelling On Wheels’" at the International City Planning and Urban Design Conference (CPUD `16), Istanbul, Turkey. Held on April 8-9, 2016, The CPUD `16 covered topics such as Planning in transformation, Cities in transformation, social changes and planning, and City plans and strategies of the past. Two other research papers by faculty members of Razia Hassan School of Architecture (RHSA) were presented in the conference.