City in the Sky

A new Urban Layer for Hong Kong


Lukas Pazmandy

In a city like Hong Kong where every single space has a planned function, unprogrammed spaces and places to linger have a different meaning and value for the city and its inhabitants. One example for this kind of space are the refuge floors. They serve as fire barrier every 20-25 floors and they have been part of the evacuation plan of high-rise buildings in Hong Kong since 1996. Since those spaces have to be cleared of program there exists a horizontal layer of empty floors in many buildings throughout the city. Another space which offers such qualities is a void created by Southorn Playground in the middle of the dense urban fabric at Wan Chai.

To create the possibility to access those spaces a bridge system is implemented to connect the different refuge floors in a loop around this void not only physical, but also in a visual way to experience the existing spatial qualities. The rhythm of buildings and bridges creates a sequence parallel to streets and squares. Inside the refuge floors the slabs of ceiling and floor frame the horizontality of Hong Kong. On the bridges the verticality and canyon-like spaces between the buildings are emphasized.

>>

 

City in the Sky

A new Urban Layer for Hong Kong


Lukas Pazmandy

Because of the accessibility of new spaces via the implemented bridges new visual connections within the city are created which allow to read and understand spaces from a different perspective.

At Southorn Playground planned but also unplanned activities take place e.g. people linger, gamble, play board games, take lunch breaks, celebrate or use the sports field, the playground and the subway station. The idea is to bring those activities to the new network of connected refuge floors as well. In the network loop they have a hierarchy ranging from fixed program to implemented activities and undefined activities. The two starting points of the loop are at neuralgic locations where the new bridge system interacts and connects with existing networks and disconnected areas (MTR/subway-, street- and pedestrian network). From those points the bridge system starts to grow.

 

Advisors: Wolfgang Tschapeller