Fountain of the liquid stone   
New Hindu Urban scared space     
Pottinger Street, Hongkong    
Verasu Saetae     
    
   http://cuinda.com/    
 2013     
  
International Program in design and Architecture     
Chulalongkorn University     














- Entrance at Queen Central Road HongKong -

-The condition of the Pottinger Street in 2013-
- Urban fabric and atmosphere of the street -

Hindu deity hierarchy diagram
- Hindu Artifacts / Dress-code / Rituals / Festival / Architecture Typology diagram -
- Hindu Maha Khumbh Mela Festival, Major event on the Royal Bathing day diagram - 

Plan of the Street- reveal how Water of Ganges River is unloaded at the base station.

Isometric drawing- revealing the industrial romanticism with full of spiritual and cultural value to the Hindu believers.


Section through Holi festival, one of the active day of the Pottinger Street.

through the street, passing water reservoir, and pipes 

street cleaning nozzles- will operate every morning to clean the dirty street after parties from its upper street, Lan kwai fong.
a collection of artefacts and their spiritual value.



Manifesto :
  
Water, 
the driving force in nature,
a source of life, 
a source of myth,
a foundation of human life
and inseparable from faith

Water in Hinduism is a significant ritual medium. It has a power to purify one’s soul. By bathing at the sacred river, lake or ocean, one lifetime‘s sin could be omitted. It also has a power to unite people together. In Kumbh Mela, the largest human gathering on earth, more than 30 million people gather here every 12 years to take a dip at Ganges River, Indian River of life.

Water, in an urban environment, flows through city’s infrastructure in various shapes and logics to the city inhabitants. Pipe system is equivalent to blood vessel that keeps the city alive; fire hydrant is an object to ensure the city’s fire safety, water bottle has been manufactured to ensure a cities’ water supply. With these types of containers, people can access to more natural or pure water sources around the world. Water becomes a valuable resource and is expensive.

Architecture has performed its role in both spiritual and practical purposes. In religious, architecture is an embodiment of God through its massive and highly ornate structure. In Hinduism, believers are speaking to architecture, and non-believers are overwhelmed by this unique experience. In pragmatic world, architecture and its inhabitants are served through network of pipe infrastructure providing support to all kind of necessities.

Fountain of the Liquid stone has brought architecture to life; it is breathing, groaning, sweating, shivering, singing, chanting, praying, greeting and talking to you. It is a drinking fountain, a street cleaning machine, a heat and cold generator and most importantly a space for Hindu spiritual practice.


PART 1: Project location

At the heart of Hong Kong city, the fountain of the Liquid stone lays along a slope of Pottinger Street also known as the stone slab street. The entrance starts at Queen Central Road, which is the busiest pedestrian area- intersecting with other sub-streets, namely Stanley Street and Wellington Street. 

At noon the street is full of businessmen and women wearing suits; they walk fast. Street vendors make this area a unique characteristic place with adapted container shops, which fit perfectly to the slope of the street. The shops are selling miscellaneous and various stuff, from clothes, shoes, bags, watches, newspaper, ribbons, and bows, smoothie to Chinese talismans, fancy wigs, costumes and masquerade masks.  

At night, when the shops are closed, the atmosphere of the street is completely flipped. Shops are pushed back; street lights turned on. It becomes calm and empty space. 


PART 2: Hinduism

Belief 
Hinduism is the oldest living religion in the world. It goes back at least 5000 years; it has no single founder, doctrine, scripture and no definite starting date. 

Hindu people believe in the eternal soul, the cycle of birth and death, Law of Karma and God. Once the soul committed bad karma, the soul will degrade and transform to lower spices: land animal, bird, reptiles, insect, plant and aquatic. The ultimate goals of all Hindu are to achieve Moksha, the liberation from birth and death. There are many paths for ones to achieve the salvation and reunion with their God: path of action, path of wisdom, path of devotion and path of mediation.

There are 33 million Deities in Hinduism; the Tritunitr are the highest god, Brahma, the creator of the world, Vishnu, the preserver, source of all things, Vishnu sleeps floating on the shoreless cosmic ocean and we are the stuff of his dreaming. Shiva, the supreme soul, the destroyer, the king of dancers, his dancing keep the cosmic in motion of destruction and creation. There many temples in India dedicated to Lord Shiva.

In Hinduism, God can be male or female; the female gods are representing as ‘divine couples’. Each of Trimutri has a consort: Brahma’s consort, Saravatri, is the Goddess of learning and the arts, Vishnu’s partner, Laskshmi,is  the Goddess of fortune and Shiva’s wife, Shakti also known as Paravati,Durga or Kali, is the Mother earth. Ganesha, the elephant-headed, the son of Shiva and Paravati, is risking his life to defend the honor of his mother. Hindu people believe in avatars and incarnation of God in a human form, Vishnu has 10 forms: two of them are Rama and Krishna. 

Festival and Rituals
Many of the Hindu practices, rituals and festivals are related with water and gathering of people. 

Lingam worship
Lingam, rounded cylindrical image, the symbol of Lord Shiva. It usually made of stone, wood earth crystal or precious gem. To start the Lingam worship the bell will be rang and the stone will be washed with Ganges water, milk and yogurt while the devotees chanting the mantra, uttering” om namah shivaya”. After this the Lingam will smeared with sandalwood paste and decked with flowers. This will make a Lingam cool. Finally, ringing of bells or blowing of conch indicates the end of the worship.
Ganesha Chaurchi or Ganesha birthday
This festival held in early September, it will last for 10 days. On the last day, there will be a farewell procession in which the statue of Lord Ganesha is carried by the devotees to the heavenly adobe, in the river.

Holi Festival
It is the festival of colors which occurred across India; it celebrates the triumph of good over evil and welcome the season of spring. People will spray and applying colored water and powders on friends and family.

Maha Khumb mela 2013
The commitment of the devotees to the physical contact with scared water is so strong that it had brought more than 30 million Hindu together on 10 February 2013, to take a royal dip in the most scared spot on earth at Allahabad in Northern India, which occurred every 12 years.
It is the largest human gathering on in the world; 30 times more than the pilgrims to Mecca. The pilgrims are here to bathe in scared river, Ganges River, which will remove one’s life-time sins. A temporary site is constructed for this festival: temporary tents, sanitary, electricity and 14 of temporary iron pantoon bridges crossing the river. 
The festival has brought millions of holy men together; they dedicated themselves to the religious, using path of action. There are many types of holymen, namely: Preist, Yogi, Saudhu, Nagas sadhu. The Sudhu will wear orange robe, which signified fire. Nagas sadhu is naked a sadhu who smears their bodies with ash and have long dreads hair. 

The Sadhu daily practice is involve chanting mantra, fire offering, practice self-discipline, self-torture practice such as sleeping upside down, take a vow of silence, surrendering a hand by holding it up all the time. Some believe that smoking marijuana will aid their enlightenment.

Royal Bathing day
The evening before the main bathing day, Hundreds of Naga Sadhus gather before going in for a procession to take a holy dip in the Ganges. They perform all kind of feats, to show off their warrior skills, with their weapons, which include sticks, tridents, swords and spears.
At 3 Am, they will start to form a line to march across to Sangam, the scared spot, convergence of the Ganges and Yamuna River. They chant along the way “All glory to mother Ganges”
When the sun rises, the Nagas sudhu will lead the ceremony; they will take a bathe first for several hour. They will take a dip, chanting mantra, praying, mediating. Some will carry godly weapons with them. After the holy men are done, other pilgrims can join the ritual. After one take bath in the most scared spot, all their life time‘s sins will be forgiven. 

Religious Commitment

Kalapani taboo
Forbidden Indian people travel across the sea, as one crossing the ocean, he will loss his castle status and it will end one’s reincarnation cycle as the travelers were cut off from the regenerating water of Ganges. 
In 1901, a Hindu devotee, Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II, who needed to travel cross the sea to England, had ordered to build a pair of largest sterling silver vessels to carry water of Ganges River for his personal uses during the trip. Each water urn has a capacity of 4000 Liter, weight 345 kilograms and stand at 1.6 meter height. They took 2 year to make and used a total of 14,000 silver coins. It is the largest single solid piece of silver on earth. The reason for this is to avoid the punishment of the kalapani taboo by crossing the river.

PART 3: Hong Kong

General Introduction
Estimates 40,000 Hindus live in Hong Kong, most of them are treated as low income workers. They have a domestic job: security, butler, construction workers etc. This can be witnessed in main business area of Hong Kong Island. 
Hong Kong is one of the world leading financial centers in the world. It is one of the most highly populated cities. The harbor is one of the biggest and busiest deep-water ports in the world. It is the key factor in the economic development of Hong Kong. A port handling 23.9 million of 20 foot container a year; 456000 vessels arrived in and departed from Hong Kong. The Quayside cranes, gantries, reach stackers are working synchronizing to gain the maximum profit. The faster it moves, the more money it makes.
Since Hong Kong is an island, it lacks natural lake, river, ground water and resources, so it has to import food and raw materials from the neighboring countries. It has always been difficult to provide an adequate water supply to meet the demand of a highly populated city. Thus, 70 percent of the fresh water is imported from Dongjiang River in Guangdong province in mainland China. More than 70 percent of Honking’s water is used by industry, service and manufacturing. Therefore, drinking water is one of the valuable resources that keep the city function. However, Hong Kong is still lacking public drinkable water sources. Water infrastructure in the urban environment is relying on pipe system as a main actor to transport water to the residence.
Since 1998 Hong Kong has adopted full scaled use of Polyethylene pipe in water supply system and banned the use of Galvanized Iron Pipes, Asbestos Cement Pipes because they are prone to corrosion and poisoning. However, this requirement does not apply to pipes and fittings installed prior to 23 December 1995 nor to minor repairs to such plumbing works.
    
Street Cleaning
Hong Kong‘s nightlife is one of the major attraction of Hong Kong. As the project is next to Hong Kong major night life attraction, namely Lan Kwai Fong, which has many nightclubs and bars nearby. On Friday and Saturday‘s nights, the street will be full of tourists and foreigners. The party would continue up to 5 am in the morning. It left behind many trashes, alcohol, broken glasses, and drinkers’ vomits on the street. Every Sunday‘s morning, the street will be washed and cleaned with high pressure nozzles, water trucks and mobs.

PART 4: Fountain of the Liquid stone
Fountain of the Liquid stone is a place for Hindu spiritual space and urban public space. The project speculates on architecture as a religious commutative device that could convey the experience to both believers and non-believers. The aim of the project is to explore the notion of physical contact with water, both in Hinduism and urbanized city like Hong Kong. Inspired by the Hindu rituals and festival, the fountain of the liquid stone has designed to perform those ceremonies in an outdoor urban environment. 

The project offers a public drinking fountain, a street cleaning device, a heat and cold generator and a space for Hindu spiritual means. The design begins by integrating water infrastructure system, water reservoir and pipe, with Hindu‘s artifacts and ornaments. Fountain of the Liquid stone has 4 main layers of pipe lines running along the project; each line contains different types of water. 

The first level is the drinking water pipes: containing natural spring water, mineral water and sparkling bottled water. Each type of water will run in its own pipe cycle and has its own loop. The second layer is the rain water pipe; this pipe is connected to the street washing nozzles which are installed every 6 meters along the project. It will operate daily as the ceremony is performed. The third level is the spiritual water pipes; these pipes carry water from Ganges River, milk and yogurt that will use to perform Lingam worship, washing a lingam ceremony, every morning. Those pipes will be placed above the 3 meters height stone lingam at the top of the street. As the ceremony begins, the street will be washed and cleaned automatically. The last layer is the temperature pipes; these pipes could radiate heat during winter and could cool down the space in summer. It would reduce stress to the people passing by, and create controllable experiential atmosphere.

The water tower station, based at existing construction site on Queen Central road, will be the controlling hub of the project. The trailers and trucks will unload their water here. The water will be stored in typical water reservoirs that connected to beautiful ornamented copper pipes which then will be pumped to the four public drinking fountains along the street. 

The design of fountains is inspired from the Hindu artifacts which are used to worship Hindu Gods. These objects have significance meaning and pronounce a specific way to interact with water. Above each drinking fountain there will be a special designing sub-water reservoir to reduce the pressure of the water before distributing it.
In the near future, the project would eventually become a hub, containing various types of water, which any water brands could rent to advertise their brand or Hong Kong administration would consider accommodate and facilitate Hong Kong people by providing a free pubic Evian drinking fountain for instance. It will be a new method of delivering drinking water to Hong Kong residence. 

The Pottinger street is becoming smaller every day, from the expansion of objects and goods from the street vendors. As it is the nature of the business to expand and grow, the shops will being to integrate their structure with the pipe as more and more pipes are being installed. 

This new urban performative structure is now slowly emerging with the local people as the Hindu community in Hong Kong is becoming more acknowledged. Hindu rituals, beliefs and festivals are being introduced to the public. The fountain would eventually become tehe center of Hindu community in Hong Kong for any spiritual practices. It will be full of energy and faith during the major Hindu festival.