A Fading Memory: Living Under the Banyan Tree

2023, D3

Most of my childhood was spent sitting by the window and watching time passing, or playing around under the giant Banyan tree. The Banyan tree has widely spread branches offering shade that provides a gathering place for people. It stood as a guardian over our community and city.

This project explores my childhood memory of the vanishing life I dream of. The building comprises a vintage camera store on the ground floor and apartments on floors 1-3. Films and photos crystallize memories, making them tangible. Within the camera shop, a central photo exhibition space—the “memory core”—beckons people to step away from life’s hustle, relishing others’ cherished moments and sparking their own.

The curving Banyan roots inspire the exterior copper-panel facade. The facade spreads out at the bottom, creating a sheltering eave for passersby. A serene courtyard with a central atrium creates a private gathering place for residents as a Banyan tree does. The recurring theme of timber rounded-corner bay windows imparts an inviting warmth, symbolizing harmony, and comfort, which is a quality delivered from my domestic experience.

For me, architects materialize personal perceptions of beauty into physical forms, enabling users to experience distinct interpretations of comfort and aesthetics from their cultural backgrounds.