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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Architectural identity in a globalized world : Harbourside Park building envelope and urban room, a case study Guzman Torres, Sylvia


This century is immersed in a new paradigm based on an economic model called globalization, which is the suppression of free trade barriers and greater level of integration between regional economies. Having this in mind, how can architecture respect the landscape, environmental, social, cultural and historic values of a place? The research includes the acceptance of globalization experiencing new possibilities, not copying the successful result of one locality. We can make use of commercial freedom and information technology to find solutions that will enrich our world with the cultural diversity. A fundamental objective of architectural composition, based on the theory and history of the locality, since "...life is lived by inhabiting and inhabiting presupposes the locality". Christian Norbert Schulz. The challenge is to mediate the impact of globalization with elements derived indirectly from the peculiarities of a particular place: Vancouver. It would have to be inspired in the range and quality of the local architecture, the tectonic of the selected place and the topography. Identity is based on distinguishing Coal Harbor's high rises for being part of Vancouver's architecture. The harmonizing, humanizing language of architecture for a place like this has to give a motive to what is willing to be interpreted. I find that the scenery is a very important fact for this project, being Vancouver a city with a very specific setting: having the ocean, mountains, trees and wind as a fundamental part of the domestic scheme that extend as far as it wants to and makes no demands. I propose that via careful study and imagination one can develop a local idiom of architectural integrity and interest that I believe all truly world-class cities or regions possess. This study of architectural identity in Vancouver Coal Harbour high rises and urban rooms are based on the study of the area, its surroundings, the views and the way people occupy the space surrounding these buildings. My intention is to bring the identity into clearer focus.

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