While Hong Kong is well known for the complex network of large-scale infrastructural projects that make the functioning of the city possible, the studio looked into the material conditions of everyday infrastructure: streets, sidewalks, footpaths, alleys and walkways. While the street is the site of countless social exchanges, events and happenings, the studio looked specifically at the accumulation of small and large-scale design decisions that together condition our experience of moving through the city. These decisions can either result in a street that is open to diverse, unexpected forms of appropriation or closes off such possibilities.
As a site of constant negotiation, the street becomes ever more important as cities around the world begin to question the late 20th century prioritization of vehicular traffic over other ways of occupying urban space. These questions are, for Hong Kong, ever more challenging due to the extreme diversity of the street: in spatial and programmatic terms.
Key questions: What role can typology play in ordering our understanding of the street as an everyday infrastructure? What role is there for architecture within the complex, negotiated decisions (political, economic, planning, etc.) that determine the street as an element of urban experience? How does the street work as a technical, structural, environmental and social infrastructure for the functioning of the city? What do we mean by street in the context of Hong Kong, where limits between publicly accessible and privately delimited spaces are ambiguous and where programmatic distinctions (between, for example, plaza, sidewalk, park, etc.) also call into question the nature and extent of the street? How do we consider the scalar and spatial diversity of streets in Hong Kong; is a street distinct from a highway, a footpath or an elevated walkway? How do vertical surfaces that delimit the space of the street act to qualify it?
Chan Shu Man Amanda and Choi Chung Hei Vincent used an analysis of code to develop new street front typologies for the Tai Hang neighbourhood
Cheung Hoi Ching Minia and Soo Kwan Yau April redesigned a traffic island after studying the appropriation of small scale infrastructural elements.
Cheung Ngai Yan Sherry and Li Sue Chen cut into a Kowloon tower podium to create connections between this upper ground and an interior.
Shivangi Das and Coral Munot looked at the movements of water, people and traffic in Causeway Bay to propose new curb typologies.
Szeto Wai Ching Regina and Wong Ka Lam Katherine remodeled the slopes of Central and its stairs.
University of Hong Kong // Department of Architecture // BAAS4_Fall 2018