The studio considered how territorial, regional and global forces — both material and immaterial — shape architecture’s role in the city. Students began by looking at Hong Kong Central, the financial and commercial heart of the the city.
Common / Central / Ground. We took each of these terms to be contentious; even more so when their multiple meanings are juxtaposed in relation to each other or in relation to Hong Kong.
Geography / Landscape / Infrastructure. These fields of inquiry may seem uncomfortably outside the domain of architecture. Students tested architecture’s capacity to interrogate the city using these territorial scales of thinking, reading, observing and drawing. They worked between the ambiguities that each of these categories presents as a way of ordering territory.
Economics / Politics / History. Students developed a position drawn from a specific, personal and discursive reading of the political economy that drives (or has driven) the development of Central, a political economy rooted both in the spaces of the district and in regional, transnational and global forms of exchange.
Au Chun Hung Donal and Wu Yi-en Ina considered the history of Admiralty, and the “islands” of block by block development that made the district’s ground a no-person’s land. Their proposal reclaims the street as an in-between of free play.
Alexandra Bedin measured the water body between Central and Kowloon. Her proposal develops typologies for the water’s edge that brings people in contact with the bay.
Cheung Chun Hin Alex and Yu Ka Long Keith pedestrianize the infrastructure that separates Hong Kong Park from the city. They argue that the infrastructural knot of roads and elevated paths that surround the park are the remnants of a historical past that no longer serves the needs of the city’s people.
Akshara Khaitan maps the water infrastructures of the city, looking at the relation between the reservoirs that stock water and the network of pipes and outlets that carry rain to the ocean.
Milan Ushev and Zhu Jiqi Tod study the historical development of the land in front of the HSBC Tower. Through a layering of historical plans and sections they develop a new program for the existing undeveloped (in 2017) land, proposing playing fields and public grounds that offer a provisional civic realm.
University of Hong Kong // Department of Architecture // BAAS4_Spring 2017