Hong Kong has world class infrastructure from bridges to subway. They generate great connections and great amenities but often there are left over land that are too small and too irregular to do anything with it. In this opportunity, we worked with a 130m2 site to try to generate a music school that is 200m2 in size. The site is triangular surrounded by bridges with offset constraints. The underground has a large water pipe that render half of the site to be undevelopable.
These constraints led us innovate in three aspects.
Unlike a typical building, we didn’t calculate the efficiency of the building plan by excluding the core and stair. Instead, we treat the stair as part of the important flow of this center. Visitors have the option to move up and down the museum to complete a journey of the center. With transparency, the space saving scissor stair will become an iconic architecture facing the public street and bridges
The noise coming from the road, bus stop and bridges are close to 96db. It is just loud enough to not allow the teaching and appreciation of music. We use the stair as the main isolation barrier to separate the music room from the source of noise. The remaining windows are equipped with double class windows to allow better noise reduction.
Each floor has only 50m2 to play with. The tiny footprint is not much but allow one class to conduct music. With four levels in total, there are four classes that can take place at the same time. The ground floor is designed with folding wall to allow people from the ground floor to spill out into the garden. The event management becomes more flexible if they have a large music festival.
How can this be implemented in other sites with constraints?
We believe many urban cities are filled with these leftover spaces. The key to make these places viable is to make sure the management and business is viable to allow the continuation and daily maintenance. We believe the initial funding to build this structure is important, but the design must be practical and flexible to allow a low operational cost. With these in minds, I think we can convert many of these leftover spaces into meaningful community projects.
Team: Vicky Chan, Andy Cheung, Sam Chan, Nicole Chiew, Subhiksha Bhoovarahan
Our proposal addresses a conceptual retreat for ten people in an urban setting. During the 2020 pandemic, loss of smell or taste were common among recovered patients and not everyone can afford to travel to the countryside for a getaway. Penta Retreat situated in the heart of London is made for people to rejuvenate their senses and minds. The pentagon looks out to the city with five distinctive simulations – sound of nature, smell of plants, taste of herbs, view of the cityscape and touch of raw materials. The ten units are formed around a semi-opened sensory garden that allows for a different microclimate and ecosystem. Occupants can enjoy various sensations throughout their stay. The choice to set up a countryside-like retreat in the urban center is to make sure the retreat is made inclusive and accessible to everyone from different income and physical conditions. With off-the-grid design, every city should be able to find spaces for people to getaway.
The pentagonal geometry in both section and plan is ideal to explore 3d fabrication technique with SterlingOSB Zero boards. Different joinery systems are required to turn the OSB into different load bearing elements including skylight structure, walls, roofs, and floors. With the aim to reduce construction wastage, the pentagon with faceted surfaces take advantage of the flat OSB. All the exterior portion is covered with metal cladding and glass to provide waterproofing, but the boards are exposed for the interior to create a sense of warmth and rawness. The construction is modular to reduce on-site carbon footprint. Each dwelling unit and skylight will beprefabricated in a factory with CNC machines. The completed module and prefab concrete foundation will be transported to the site for a one-week assembly. With the addition of solar panels and waterless toilets, the project wants to be constructed with minimal impact to the infrastructure and aims to be the off-the-grid.
SterlingOSB Zero with zero-added formaldehyde respects the environment, construction worker’s health and occupant’s wellbeing. Its rawness with warm color also adds another layer of rejuvenation to the entire retreat. Ten occupants can choose to isolate in their rooms or interact in the sensory garden and outdoors. The garden can alternatively be accessed directly from the outside or from each dwelling unit. Watching rainwater going through the oculus onto the central pool is both meditative and functional. This distinctive ecosystem will give people an illusion that they have retreated from the city.
Team: Alvaro Arranz, AIA, Vicky Chan, AIA, Sam Chan, Andy Cheung, Subhiksha Bhoovarahan
We spent 2 weeks to study the phenomenon of e-sport and tournament of video games. We came up with a set of rules to guide the exterior and interior design of an e-sport stadium.
Exterior – Architecture + Landscape:
E-sport can last a lot longer than real sport. Some e-games can go on for days. The landscape can become rest stations for the players and spectators. Landscape is no longer treated as a buffer zone like a park but rather an important feature to sustain a healthy e-game.
Drone racing is often considered part of the e-sport. Landscape can have racing track for people of all ages and also remote-controlled device of all sizes.
E-sport can be done with different number of players. Unlike a soccer game, flexibility is needed to accommodate a 1-on-1 game or a 100-on-100 game. Architecture must allow immediate expansion for additional seating and game playing area.
VR, AR and MR tools are important around the architecture and landscape to provide mixed reality that can bring people in and out of the virtual world.
The E-Stadium is meant to be multi-purpose. During off seasons, space will be used for team practice and training. The event space also serves promotional events such as new game and product announcements.
Interior – Stage Design + Game Design:
Players in video games are different than players in real sports. They may not enjoy the cheering from their fans. The ability to isolate players and teams are important.
Players will form teams of various size. They can battle each other with whatever number of players the game required. The seating needs to have ability to rearrange and light up to identify teams and groups.
Spectators will be allowed to join the games. Unlike real sports, the spectators in e-sport can help to influence the result with their digital input. Stadium no longer separate spectators and performers. It is truly about their interactions.
Gamers are obsessed with their status. Stage design with the concept of levitation can help to separate the winners from losers.