Sir Ove arup prize for structures 2015
UNIVERSITY OF HK | CRITIC: DYLAN BAKER RICE | SPRING 2015
Within Beijing the Hutongs symbolizes the country’s rich cultural heritage under the pressures of modernization. Modern face of preservation sees these houses giving way to high-end commercials, focuses on the individual unit and drives away existing residents in favour of wealthier tourists and residents. The Hutongs are emblematic of the erasure of culture as the country struggles with how to preserve its built heritage and provide additional housing for the burgeoning migrants. Instead of turning into the auspices of polarized dogmas- the ‘image’ and the ‘authenticity’, which merely focus on the visuality and ‘untouched’ notion, this proposal serves as a critical engagement with extant environment, confronting ‘preservation’ through transformation and translation, passing on the true values of Hutong living.
EXTRACTION | COURTYARD TYPOLOGY
Current mode of preservation erases collective memories and homes, barely retains the outer-shell without extending the connotation. The vast comparison of the traditional and rebuilt Hutongs represents the superficiality and failure of translating from the old to new, which motivates the proposal aiming at a more sophisticated translation.
MORPHING FAN | STUDY MODELS
Through the exploration of the fanning form, studies of solid-void relationships, the manipulation of maximizing exposure (i.e. outdoor living spaces) is facilitated by the resulting form. Adjacent fannings facing each other creates interaction plus enclosed terraces- a new form of courtyard, consisting of enclosed yet outdoor spaces; private yet public.
SYSTEMS | EXPLODED AXONOMETRIC
The entire design forms a close relation to structural and facade systems, from the macroscopic to microscopic scale. Respecting the site context, the residential complex integrates surrounding neighbourhood programmatically as well as spatially.
OPEN GROUND | OPEN TERRACE
The ground serves an important precursor of the entire complex, by introducing private and public activities across the strip. The open ground provide a concentration point for gathering- a fundamental function of courtyard. At both ends, fanning levels are exposed. They create open balconies which open to the views of the river and nearby Hutongs.
Variation of unit types are generated by the local site context as well as the Hutong's transformation of living style - outdoor shared living. This drives the unit differentiation through the control of privacy yet maintains open space for interactions among neighbours.
There are established hierarchies within the structure, envelope, circulation and adaptable systems. From large to small scales, the systems develop comprehensive details that supports the residential complex.