How can architecture embody and empathize with what is being lost and desired as one moves across the globe? The rural Chinese restaurant has played an integral role in the lives of many immigrants for over a hundred years in Canada. The spoken stories of these families are often celebrated as a monolithic narrative of how hard work and perseverance will lead to success. However, personal anecdotes of these families often allude to immense hardships and sacrifices. This dichotomy between objective measures of success against the silent lived experience erases the unspoken desires, hopes, and dreams of these family members throughout history that could never be vocalized nor manifested as a product of time, cultural norms, and the need to assimilate.
This project reimagines an alternate history of one rural Chinese restaurant- the Golden Turtle Restaurant, a mere sliver of the many possible lost cultures, traditions, and imaginations that have graced these restaurant histories through time. This alternate history follows three different generations of families where the building becomes a multigenerational assemblage built from the hardships, longings, and dreams of its inhabitants and asks how architecture can respond to and reflect migrant bodies and rituals.
2005: Vegetable Drying Shed