a week ago, i made a trip to my grandpa’s place, a short 3 minute walk from where i currently live.
its close, but i haven’t paid a visit to his home for more than 10 years (by the way, just so we are clear, he doesn’t like visitors. o and also, i see my grandpa every night when he comes over for dinner. you know, just so there is no confusion).
its such an awkward, indescribable feeling to return to somewhere where it was once very familiar. how do you describe being physically present in a memory?
my grandpas place was a playground in my childhood. it was a playground that i was blessed to visit and frolic in, only during the short summer period of each year. it was here where a few of the deepest memories are made and engraved into my mind. “the happiest memories are those that are the most memorable”, says it all. here, i learned to ride my very first bicycle and learned to play a variety of simple, but never short of being exciting, childhood games. these games required no computer, no virtual gaming system; games that only desire a few equally adventurous and imaginative companions.
now that i’m older, it becomes apparent that the architectural structure and environment of this particular housing type, has provided the adequate space for those fond memories to be made. this particular style of government public housing, called “gong oak” (literally meaning leasing house), consists of rows and rows of residence stacked one on top of the other, surrounded by an outdoor hallway. this hallway space is then brought to life. it becomes a place where neighbors gather to gossip, and children like the was 7 year old me, ran free with our imaginative mind.
the quaint layout supplies and edifies trust. because the corridor is out in the open, it eliminates the possibility of blindspots. neighbors familiariz themselves with each other. a stranger sticks out like out like rudolph and his trademark nose (christmas similie for the holidays).
though metal gates are often installed (more of a traditional Chinese practice), many of them are left open during my visit. privacy is not overly emphasized or protected.
public spaces are shared amongst neighbors, continuing to strengthen the social aspect of public housing.
not every unit is situated at a location that provides spectacular views, as they are randomly chosen for registrants. however shared spaces like the corridors, lobby lofts, and rooftop spaces, encourage the occupancy of neighbors for daily gossip updates.
do you have husthetic places from your childhood?