Architecture students explore social and cultural possibilities in the built environment through fresh eyes
Final year Master of Architecture students from the University of Hong Kong recently showcased their final year projects at the annual Degree Show 2009- 10, where these thesis projects were also reviewed by Preston Scott Cohen, professor and chair of the department of architecture, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; and Robert Levit, director and master of the urban design programme at the University of Toronto School of Architecture. From master planning of themed communities to creating functional public and living spaces and the rediscovery of old districts, around 70 projects represented the students’
visions of the built environment and their understandings of architects’ responsibilities.
Demonstrating strong concern for the social and cultural environment, the works tackle contemporary issues in architecture and urban spaces with a unique approach.
URBAN ECO MACHINE By Fu Kin Fai, Gordon
Aiming to link cultural and environmental issues and to create a more socially – engaging environmental design, Gordon Fu’s project focuses on innovative ecological building systems. As applied to Lee Tung Street in Wanchai, the proposed programme includes formal and informal market spaces, offices, residential, retail and restaurant space, with the incorporation of sustainable strategies through structural and material choices, use of natural ventilation and the reduction of electricity consumption through architectural day lighting systems.
Nocturnal Urbanism By Fung Ka Chun (馮家俊)
This project intends to manipulate light in order to reinforce existing public domains which are being undermined, and to trigger new public event opportunities. Fung Ka Chung designed five lighting systems for the area under the Canal Road flyover in Wanchai to explore the possibilities of urban nightlife: in Zone 1, light tubes with contrasting colour temperature are mounted on beams for pedestrians to experience changes in ambience.
Zone 2 is an area teeming with dynamic human activity, with bus stations, a pocket park, shops and restaurants. Here, existing light sources in the area are captured and manipulated through a paving system, with gentle sloped surfaces which reflects the different lights from the surrounding environment.
In Zone 3, a grid of spotlights in red and green is mounted under the flyover to create cinematic moments for street performances to happen over the zebra crossing. In Zone 4, light appears in the form of beams and spans the space to visually increase spatial depth of the narrow, dense area. In Zone 5, light appears in the form of poles, with a grid of fiber optics imposed onto the space.