HONG KONG DESIGN INSTITUTE
The HKDI brief called for over 500,000 sf to house several interdisciplinary design and production departments, a museum/gallery, library, support spaces, large scale lecture spaces as well as on-site parking, bus service and subway access. The site was located in Tseung Kwan O, a new suburb of Hong Kong that is marked by large developer towers that rest on 2-3 story plinths, which have created the desired privacy, but has effectively disconnected most of this realm from the space of the urban street.
Our proposal for the design Institute is a six story building organized around an elevated garden, which is at the elevation of many of the adjacent plinths. The garden, which is rooted in the traditionally introverted Chinese scholar gardens, serves to unify the otherwise disparate program elements. The garden diagram, in both section and plan, acknowledges the desired separation from the city, while a series a connected series of broad garden terraces and ramps reconnect the elevated garden to the street.
The plinths, which is wrapped with student cafes, galleries and retail, houses the subway station and car park (the site was created by fill, which made going down difficult/prohibitive). The studio spaces, labs and museum, which needed the most privacy, are elevated above the garden. The façade of this space is defined by an array of operable fins and walls, which allow the users (from painting to digital media) to adapt each space to the required light. The end effect is intended to produce a unified, but patchwork of varying opacities to the city that respond to the unique nature of the program that it contains. The interstitial spaces between the plinth and the elevated volumes contains the more permeable, exhibition spaces, seminar rooms and lecture halls, some of which are lined with translucent fabric to moderate light and views. In section, these three unique realms of the program are linked by a series of sloping landscape planes, architectural stairs, and ramps.
*Through Previous Association: Bob was a Principal: Architect/Designer at Hobgood Architects (Architect of Record) for over 8 years.