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Programme: Design Institute, Hong Kong
Site: Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong
Size: 30,000 sqm
Completion Date: 2007
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A FIRST STROKE

HKDI

Our proposal for the Hong Kong Design Institute at Tseung Kwan O gives form to the underlying pedagogical premise for this incubator of new ideas – the boundaries between vocational and academic education are quickly breaking down. In support of this premise, we envision a campus/public park integrating academic building(s), publicly accessible facilities provided by the HKDI, and public open spaces into a single and coherent whole; resulting in a rich amalgam of equal benefit to the academic institution and the surrounding community. A single curved block – floating above a layered green campus/public park – provides an important element of identity for the HKDI, and is the first stroke of a larger project.

SITE STRATEGY: The HKDI campus will be an indistinguishable part of the public park to be built on the eastern half of the site, and this relationship will be comprehensible the moment one exits the MTR and bus stations along King Ling Road. Within and below the park are publicly accessible facilities – the convention/exhibition centre and sports/recreational facilities – while the teaching complex floats above. The space in-between, at the ground level, includes all of the places of interaction between the academy and public, including the exhibition hall/art gallery, bookshop, and catering facilities. Therefore, we are extending and enriching an architectural possibility, brilliantly proposed by Le Corbusier at Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the visual arts, for the creation of public routes and flows through a design incubator to foster public interaction with the more cloistered world of the academy – for their mutual benefit. Moreover, the green spaces of the park move smoothly over the publicly accessible facilities below-grade, and may be reached through strategic cuts into the ground plane. The park and campus will include a pond as its central focus, and be heavily planted with a dense canopy of native trees to provide generous shaded areas – a requirement in the tropical climate of Hong Kong.

BUILDING(S): The Phase I building for the HKDI, which houses almost all of the teaching complex, gently curves from the southwest to the northeast corners of the site. The surfaces of this curving form define the spaces of the city on one side, and a quieter green space, at the heart of the campus, on the other. Each floor of the building is a simple loft space of appropriate height, with access from a corridor running along the inner curve. Larger spaces are typically at the ends of the building, with the smaller, and more enclosed, spaces grouped around the central core. The floor plates are relatively large, resulting in the desirable placement of several programmatic groupings (fully accommodated) on each floor – fostering interaction, exchange, collaboration and ease of communication. It is a certainty that change will occur in programs offered at the HKDI, and the utilization of simple loft spaces makes future adjustments as easy as possible (in line with changes in the school’s programs). Along the same lines, the facades are modular panels of glass and stone, which also allows changes in their opacity/transparency and in accord with the changing requirements inside the building. We are illustrating a Phase II building footprint and a new recreational building in the public park, thereby demonstrating the potential compatibility of future construction with the Phase I project, and the promise of a coherent campus/park project serving the needs of HKDI and the community alike.

SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT: The HKDI building(s) and landscape will incorporate best practices in relationship to developing structures built with meaningful sustainable strategies and reduced impact on the environment. Placing the largest public facilities below a substantial green roof with the goal of reducing energy consumption, the placement of large areas of photo-voltaic panels on the Phase I building roof to move towards energy independence, and the use of passive park elements – including the pond and the planting of trees – will substantially further the development of a zero-impact project. Many more specific design elements will be developed in Stage II, including the performance of the building’s envelope and energy recovery systems. It is our view that no public building should undertaken today without setting the standard for environmental responsibility.
A FIRST STROKE

HKDI

Our proposal for the Hong Kong Design Institute at Tseung Kwan O gives form to the underlying pedagogical premise for this incubator of new ideas – the boundaries between vocational and academic education are quickly breaking down. In support of this premise, we envision a campus/public park integrating academic building(s), publicly accessible facilities provided by the HKDI, and public open spaces into a single and coherent whole; resulting in a rich amalgam of equal benefit to the academic institution and the surrounding community. A single curved block – floating above a layered green campus/public park – provides an important element of identity for the HKDI, and is the first stroke of a larger project.

SITE STRATEGY: The HKDI campus will be an indistinguishable part of the public park to be built on the eastern half of the site, and this relationship will be comprehensible the moment one exits the MTR and bus stations along King Ling Road. Within and below the park are publicly accessible facilities – the convention/exhibition centre and sports/recreational facilities – while the teaching complex floats above. The space in-between, at the ground level, includes all of the places of interaction between the academy and public, including the exhibition hall/art gallery, bookshop, and catering facilities. Therefore, we are extending and enriching an architectural possibility, brilliantly proposed by Le Corbusier at Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the visual arts, for the creation of public routes and flows through a design incubator to foster public interaction with the more cloistered world of the academy – for their mutual benefit. Moreover, the green spaces of the park move smoothly over the publicly accessible facilities below-grade, and may be reached through strategic cuts into the ground plane. The park and campus will include a pond as its central focus, and be heavily planted with a dense canopy of native trees to provide generous shaded areas – a requirement in the tropical climate of Hong Kong.

BUILDING(S): The Phase I building for the HKDI, which houses almost all of the teaching complex, gently curves from the southwest to the northeast corners of the site. The surfaces of this curving form define the spaces of the city on one side, and a quieter green space, at the heart of the campus, on the other. Each floor of the building is a simple loft space of appropriate height, with access from a corridor running along the inner curve. Larger spaces are typically at the ends of the building, with the smaller, and more enclosed, spaces grouped around the central core. The floor plates are relatively large, resulting in the desirable placement of several programmatic groupings (fully accommodated) on each floor – fostering interaction, exchange, collaboration and ease of communication. It is a certainty that change will occur in programs offered at the HKDI, and the utilization of simple loft spaces makes future adjustments as easy as possible (in line with changes in the school’s programs). Along the same lines, the facades are modular panels of glass and stone, which also allows changes in their opacity/transparency and in accord with the changing requirements inside the building. We are illustrating a Phase II building footprint and a new recreational building in the public park, thereby demonstrating the potential compatibility of future construction with the Phase I project, and the promise of a coherent campus/park project serving the needs of HKDI and the community alike.

SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT: The HKDI building(s) and landscape will incorporate best practices in relationship to developing structures built with meaningful sustainable strategies and reduced impact on the environment. Placing the largest public facilities below a substantial green roof with the goal of reducing energy consumption, the placement of large areas of photo-voltaic panels on the Phase I building roof to move towards energy independence, and the use of passive park elements – including the pond and the planting of trees – will substantially further the development of a zero-impact project. Many more specific design elements will be developed in Stage II, including the performance of the building’s envelope and energy recovery systems. It is our view that no public building should undertaken today without setting the standard for environmental responsibility.