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CONDITION / HONG KONG


Condition

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Condition

CONDITION / HONG KONG Looking for the other Hong Kong More than a city, Hong Kong is a condition, where diverse moments of human habitation collectively generate an un-paralleled urban ecology. This project focuses on challenging preconceived notions of how we see our cities, steering away from the prescribed notions of urbanism and architecture as abstract entity, where citizen and professionals are separated by a vast gulf, rather it seeks to re-address the link between the city and human habitation. Hong Kong is a city that has always developed reactively, as a reaction to given conditions, be it political or geographically, in the process generating a unique identity that responds and adapts to situations. Conditions form the backdrop against which 7


Condition

we live our daily life; they are the fragments that generate the public/social realm. They represent both the ambiguous line between the city and its citizens and the moment where coexistence between the physical and the meta-physical realms collide. Understanding Hong Kong as a series of conditions allows students to question and the same time understand the collective DNA of habitation and start a debate that anticipates rather than assesses, accepts rather than postulates. Some of the most intense urban conditions in the planet are found in Hong Kong, “ Condition/Hong Kong� seeks to uncover the process behind how the city operates: from the invisible interconnected networks to the adjustable and adaptive systems that HK constantly generates to survive and adapt. 8


Condition

Today, as several hundred million more people are expected to move to cities in East Asia over the next 20 years as economies shift from agriculture and manufacturing to services, when the China’s Pearl River Delta has overtaken Tokyo to become the world’s largest urban area in both size and population, Hong Kong is in a strategic position both geographically and politically to examine the role of what our cities are, rather than what they might become. The book is based on “forensic” examination of the existing conditions, what we will define as the “here and now”. By looking at three broad areas of Hong Kong: Mong Kok, Wang Chai and Central, we have assembled the book. The title deliberately, is a ratio, where “CONDITION” is in a direct relationship to HONG KONG. 9


Condition

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Condition

Each student defined three spaces from each location with a series of 3 pages, i.e. Mong Kok will have three spaces, one space/ week, each space defined by three pages. The 3 pages format was very important in establishing a catalogue system, a scientific index, structured into 3 components: 3D line drawings, black & white photograph and a short text. Imagine an ornithologist handbook, where each species is catalogued according to its: habitat, colour and food. In total there were 16 students, producing a total of 144 specific conditions. Hong Kong - May, 2016. Peter W. Ferretto Associate Professor, School of Architecture The Chinese University of Hong Kong

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Conditions Mong Kok

Conditions Acclimatize Accommodate Adaptive Addition Alley Altar Announcement Apart Appropriation Balcony Blurred Borders Boundary Bounded By-product Cabinet Ceiling Collage Civilization Clouding Coexist Complexity Concentric Conjoin

Conjunction Connection Contradiction Contrast Convergence Corner Courtyard Crossroad Dai Pai Dong DĂŠjĂ Vu Demarcation Device Dichotomy Directions Discreet Divided Domain Dwelling Egalitarianism Elevated Engagement Exclusive Exploitation Exposed 13


Conditions

Extension Flow Foreground Fortress Fossil Gate Hiding Home Hook Iconic Illusion Imitation In-between Infrastructure Insertion Integration Interference Intertwine Inversion Island Isolation Juxtaposition Landfill Landmark Laputa Layer

Levels Limitation Lobby Lodged Metamorphosed Mobile Multi-functional Non-facade Nook Oasis Object Occupancy Oppress Organic Overcrowded Overlapping Overlie Overlooking Ownership Paradox Parallel Parasites Penetration Platform Pragmatic Praying 15


Conditions

Protrusion Randomness Regularity Re-inhabit Reminder Revive Roofscape Scale Screening Self-organization Shock Simplification Skylight Smoking Stage Stairspace Standstill Strata Structure Sub-ground Subsequent Superimposition Survival Survivor Taboo Takeover

Temple Temporary Thickness Threshold Trace Transaction Transformation Traverse Treehouse Underneath Underside Underused Unfolding Valley Vessels Village Wall-shopping Worship

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Shau KeiKok Wan Mong

Acclimatize Shau Kei Wan originally has a shoreline much closer to the hills before various reclamations, thus there are lots of temples in the area which worship the sea god and goddess, Hung Shing and Tin Hau. This Hung Shing Temple is probably one of the relocated temples due to the nearby road expansion construction. As the temple situates itself by the side of the hillside on the slope, and worshipers acclimatize themselves to the narrow pathway into the temple, a Chinese Banyan on the cliff also acclimates to the opened up space created above the temple, stretching its leaves and roots over the temple. Seeking for coexistence of the both, a structure is built to support the tree while maintaining the frontal view of the temple. 19


Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

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Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

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Wan Chai Mong Kok

Accommodate To accommodate every day necessities in the store, where the craftsman spends most of his time, things have to be compressed to their minimum, hanged from walls, or made to serve multi purposes. Tools and materials hang on walls to maximize the usable working space. The table in the middle serves not only as the working table, but also as a place for newspaper reading, dinning, and possibly for business discussion. Being one of the traditional Chinese stores, sparing spaces putting the spirit tablet inside the shop for regular worship is a decent act to pray for their protection and blessings. Attics are built to store equipment and other things that are seldom used, with a small trap door that can be accessed putting a ladder underneath. 23


Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Prince MongEdward Kok

Adaptive In order to maximize the amount of space for the customers, these type of small restaurants usually have small kitchens. When there are not a lot of costumers, staffs might use some tables as an extension of their kitchen. Minor works like pealing skins and wrapping wantons will be done outside of the kitchen. Sometimes when the spaces outside of the store is large enough and the space is covered, kitchen staff will work outside. The level difference between the pavement and the store is used as a bench for sitting and polystyrene boxes as containers for radish and radish skin.

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Prince MongEdward Kok

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Prince MongEdward Kok

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Mong Kok

Addition Mong Kok is an area that follows a grid urban layout. The area is characterized by a mixture of old and new multi-story buildings. Most buildings are rectangular and they form a straight edge along the gridlines. There are no verandas or balconies. While walking along the streets in Mong Kok, these buildings create a feeling as if they are 30+ meter tall walls. Bamboo frames are a very common type of structure used for construction in Hong Kong. These structures are the only element extending out of these ‘wall-like’ buildings. It provides a covered space for pedestrian and create a connection between the road and the building.

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Mong Kok

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Mong Kok

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Pok Fu Kok Lam Mong

Alley Pokfulam Village, characterized by narrow lanes and alleys, spreads along a hillside in western Hong Kong Island. The village has a relatively long history and experienced several generations. Most village houses had been replaced with brick walls and galvanized steel roofs. The village developed naturally over time, which mainly based on residents’ daily use and the sloping topography. Here, overhanging eaves, canopies, and tunnels under the second floors helped to shape shelters for passage and gathering. When wandering inside the village, the alternating bright and dark, open and enclose provides rich spatial experience.

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Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Shau KeiKok Wan Mong

Altar Take a stroll in any old street in Hong Kong, anywhere you go, mounding clouds of incense fray into the air from shrines and altars scattered everywhere. These small altars usually at floor level and they are carrying peoples’ spiritual beliefs and representing their fear of ghosts and gods. In different time of the day, it is not difficult to see people kneeling in front of the altars even on busy streets. Incense sticks almost permanently burning all day long, sometime with offerings of food, flowers, fruits or cups of tea.

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Shau Kei Wan

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Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

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Sheung Wan Mong Kok

Announcement One will be aware of the celebration that is happening whenever one passes by the old streets of Sheung Wan, where the street corner is decorated by rows of Chinese Flower Banners. In the old days, flower banners are traditionally used as promotion tools, where messages are written and decorated by red cloth, flowers and other Chinese celebratory patterns. To attract attention, the banners are of mega size, and are structurally supported by bamboo scaffoldings, another traditional local technique. Making of flower banners are time consuming and skills demanding, and they are gradually replaced by printed advertisements as the society progressed. They can now only be seen in old and aged communities like Sheung Wan. 43


Sheung Mong Kok Wan

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Sheung Wan

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Central Mong Kok

Apart With its long history and antiquated architectural style, the Central Police Station(CPS) is one of the last physical reminders of Hong Kong’s colonial heritage. In 2010, new revitalization scheme plan to transform the CPS into a center of heritage, arts and leisure. Two new building blocks are inserted, the “Old Bailey Galleries” and “Arbuthnot Auditorium”. The iconic cast aluminium facade of the new inserted blocks provide a distinctive architectural expression and materiality, setting the new building apart as new insertions amongst the collection of the historical masonry blocks.

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Mong Central Kok

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Mong Central Kok

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Pok Fu Kok Lam Mong

Appropriation The space under the bridge has become a laundry drying area due to the adaptation villagers of Pok Fu Lam Village have made. Villagers have made use of the drainage holes in the huge concrete wall to erect poles and sticks to create their own laundry drying racks. This condition reflects the urgent need of space which can be seen from the packed Pok Fu Lam village. Although this condition is located under the highway and not much daylight is present, the existence of these ‘drying racks’ give the space a lively atmosphere. From a useless residual space under a highway, this space has now almost become a communal area for the villages as they do their laundry or walk home. 51


Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Shau KeiKok Wan Mong

Balcony Public housing program in Hong Kong was developed to meet with basic living requirements for low-income citizens. The size of living area, related to certain house type, is different according to the quantity of residents in each apartment unit. Even though, people still try to include more interior living space. And in this case, developing a balcony would be the only choice. From the photograph, we can find different “strategies� applied. Generally, the balcony would be divided into two parts, and one of which would be a restroom with windows covered. And the flower pots may turn to serve as structural supports. Outside expression of the balcony can also reflect the living condition inside. 55


Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

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Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

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Central Mong Kok

Blurred The lobby of the exchange square building. The exchange square building stands on a podium. The lobby is a double story space with large windows facing the podium. The interior is spacious with plants on the two sides of the lobby. Unlike most plants placed indoor, these plants does not have pots. They started growing from the ground. The tiles used in the lobby are earthy colors and rougher materials. The choices of material, the plants and the big windows, feels like it is trying to bring in the feel of the podium outside the walls of the lobby.

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Mong Central Kok

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Mong Central Kok

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Shau WanKei Chai Wan

Borders Hanging lines installed on the walls’ exteriors are markers of ownership of habitants inside. It has long been a common feature in local housing; only in newly developed estates has it been eliminated due to aesthetic reasons. If these hanging racks were seen on the podium, who could they have belonged to? The most intuitive guess was that these are shared facilities among the whole block; yet as you look up, similar racks are arrayed on each storey, with the exception of the unit residing on the ground floor. Their washed clothing are to be hung at one meter apart from the public circulation. Are these residents exploited of private space or extended of their territorial borders?

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Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

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Shau WanKei Chai Wan

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Pokfulam Village Mong Kok

Boundary Residents who are currently living in Pokfulam village belong to those families who share the longest history in Hong Kong Island. Land disputation and family income can be revealed from architectural performance. The photo is showing an entrance gate of a wealthy family in this village, which articulately emphasized the property line from public space. The door with heavy concrete frame is trying to divide not only the physical space from the rest of its neighbors but a psychological separation between this family and other villagers. The highly urbanized city is blurring the boundary lines among people’s activities which include living, working and entertaining. Urban citizens in Hong Kong are adapting their tolerance in space sharing, what is barely adopted in this village. 67


Pokfulam Village

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Pokfulam Mong Kok Village

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Mei Foo Mong Kok

Bounded Land is so limited to be shared among all people, and so space is limited as well. Here is a place where the community strives to make sense of every bit of the space that they can use. Although Mei Foo Sun Chuen is split into two halves by the huge highway in the middle, the neighborhood has been making good use of the underneath space for wet market, recreational area, storage area and some temporary sales market. In order to provide all the necessary facilities in the region, residential units, indoor shopping malls and HVAC systems, car parks, open podiums, wet markets, high way, bus terminal, and everything else is stacked and packed closely together, leaving only the minimal passages for pedestrians. 71


Mong Mei Foo Kok

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Mong Mei Foo Kok

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Tai Hang Mong Kok

By-product On a hill near Tai Hang, a massive concrete structure is built on the slope to provide support for the road and a bus station above, as the entire structure is a necessity to overcome the topography, the by-product of this relationship between topography and infrastructure created a large, covered space underneath. Due to the harsh topography, this covered space is brightly lit and well ventilated, yet also thanks to the topography, this space is unoccupied, because of the difficult access to the site, as the staircase only provide a connection to the bus station while bypassing this large empty space.

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Mong Tai Hang Kok

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Mong Tai Hang Kok

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Mong Kok

Cabinet Sheung Wan is a district with a strong sense of old community. Different types of daily goods can be found along the street that serves basically as a market. May it be as big as a chain store or as small as a cabinet. It can survive here. The small so called cabinet-shop only has 30 cm depth, all the fruit and vegetable are being displayed like a cabinet to the customer. Moreover, a small TV is placed at one side to broadcast the news. The shop keeper stands outside the shop to refill the goods and serves customers who are standing next to her.

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Mong Kok

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Mong Kok

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Central Mong Kok

Ceiling The small reincarnated Buddha Temple in Sheung Wan has a simple structure at the entrance to serve as shelter. The steel frame is covered by plastic to provide a simple shaded space in front of the entrance. Due to the limit in space, incense is hanging on the steel frame. Large dishes were used to prevent ash falling on the ground, so the ceiling of the space covered by the large dishes forming large fall ceiling for the entrance area.

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Mong Central Kok

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Mong Central Kok

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Wan Tai Hang Chai

Collage It looks almost surreal: the Lin Fa Temple belongs to the ancient times tugged away in the mountains, while the motorways and high-rise towers in its background match what we see in the modern city. Yet this is a true picture of Tai Hang, and even the rest of eastern Hong Kong Island. With the rapid reclamation performed in the recent century, Lin Fa Temple’s visual relationship to the whole site has literally vanished. The shoreline continually migrated northwards; sky-scraping towers built on the new land mark the advancement in society, adding obsolescence to the Temple. Nevertheless the Temple remains safe from demolition. It is a habitant with prominence that one can see intuitively. 87


Tai Hang

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Tai Hang

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PokFu LamKok Village Mong

Civilization The village is conceived as a disordered and uncivilized place. Without clear planning beforehand, man-made structures have been arranged. The well-being of life in such places could not be guaranteed, since the natural light and ventilation have not been carefully considered in and between these structures. However, when staying there a little longer or after visiting for several times, people could notice that this is a civilized area. By that I mean, the living quality has not been neglected in certain aspects. To be specific, the air is fresh, the ground is clean, and the potential risk is avoided, since the rain water and waste water flow into the pipes which connect to the municipal pipe, and the municipal electric poles are arranged rationally in that area. 91


PokFu Mong LamKok Village

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PokFu Mong LamKok Village

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Mong Kok

Clouding A device to hold up a sign but also a ceiling to protect from. Roofs that extend from local stalls cantilevering out to protect and provide shelter. Little do they noticed or respected until the rain arrives. Yet their physical preserve act like clouds that hover above customers and passersby unnoticed when unused, appreciated when in needed. Together they create a clouding system all along the street which camouflage themselves from the beginning it is almost like they don’t exist.

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Mong Kok

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Mong Kok

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Shau KeiKok Wan Mong

Coexist Shau Kei Wan used to be a fishing village. A large part of the current Shau Kei Wan used to be water. Temples and small shrines were built along the original coast line. This small shrine was built against a mountain with vegetation all over the place. Over the years, the tree behind the shrine became too large. The aerial roots grew and became thick branches. Instead of taking over and swallowing up the small shrine, or people cutting the tree down because it is important for the gods within to have easy access to views. A small structure was built to support the branch so that it does not block the shrine entrance. The two exist alongside each other.

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Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

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Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

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Central Mong Kok

Complexity The wrecking sewage pipe intertwined on the back of the building formulate a messy but systemized set of sewage system. These pipe signify the urban density and hiding at the back is the face of dirtiness of the city. These pipes, existing everywhere of Hong Kong, become a recognizable image of this urban space. Each building has its own unique set of sewage pipe system according to the complexity of it. Each pipe is connected to each floor of the building, each pipe varies with its thickness and length. They exists in every building no matter what type of building it is.

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Mong Central Kok

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Mong Central Kok

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Tai Hang Mong Kok

Concentric Lai Tak Tsuen is a public housing estate in Tai Hang. Being the only public rental building with a cylindrical plan, Lai Tak Tsuen is well known for the dramatic concentric light well formed by layers of communal corridors. As one looks up or stares down, the concentric circular well creates an interstitial moment where light, sound and wind pause as the circles disappear from one’s eyes.

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Mong Tai Hang Kok

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Mong Tai Hang Kok

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Wan Chai Mong Kok

Conjoin The crowded urban setting of Wan Chai can be best illustrated and described through both its dense yet diverse population, and also its closely packed built environment, where often building boundaries are set in back to back situations. This brings us to the issue concerning land ownerships, and it makes logical sense to assume there are tensions between proprietors simply through an analytic observation of how two establishments conjoin. In order to provide a comprehensive and interconnected urban circulation within the city, different ownerships have to come together at some point, literally and physically integrating and responding to one another, however possessing their distinct style and manner. 111


Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Mong Kok

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Causeway Bay Mong Kok

Conjunction The electric tram (Ding-ding in Chinese), is one of the earliest forms of public transportation in Hong Kong, and only runs on the northern side of the Hong Kong Island. Compared with buses and taxis, the double-decker tram represents a slow life-style in such a fast-pace metropolis. Traveling in the tram provided people closeup experiences of the street life and the urban condition, which is different from east to west, from Shau Kei Wan to Kennedy Town. In many places, tram rails are embedded in the road shared with other vehicles. As showed in the photograph, different signals are overlapped to define this traffic conjunction. 115


Causeway Mong Kok Bay

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Causeway Mong Kok Bay

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Shau KeiKok Wan Mong

Connection The estate is located at the edge of the district, next to a road and a mountain. It is connected to the main city by an elevator, few staircases and a market. Although the market is abandoned, it still provide a short cut for residents to connect to the other side of city. Furthermore, the top floor of the market provides cover playground for the residents of the estate, for table tennis table and a wide covered space. This kind of connection is not unique in Hong Kong. Other versions of this engaged circulation could be found in Central or other district.

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Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

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Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

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Wan Chai Mong Kok

Contradiction This area is on a regular grid; there are two building blocks within each lot. The front side of the shops facing the traffic road, while the back side of the two buildings forming a narrow alley. The alley is much wider than those in Sham Shui Po. More sunlight can reach this area, so people start to put plants here. Instead of being the back of house of the shops. The alley serves as backyards of the stores. The hidden green shows a sharp contradiction between the front and the back. The front is always a busy working space, while the back is a relaxing green space.

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Yau MaKok Tei Mong

Contrast Yau Ma Tei Wholesale Fruit Market, known as Guo Laan, is a heritage building complex surrounded by many new high rise residential buildings. The market consists of several blocks of one or two story brick and stone buildings. The featured Pre World War II signboards are on the outer walls of the buildings. High rise residential buildings next to the market are built after the reclamation which create a big new and old contrast to the market. The market is well-known for the Triad groups inside. Everyday, tons of fresh and rotten fruits move in and out in the market. Big contrast of dirty and clean, dangerous and safe between the market and the new high rise. 127


Yau Mong MaKok Tei

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Yau Mong MaKok Tei

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Shau KeiKok Wan Mong

Convergence While most of Hong Kong has farewelled from the old fishing village that it used to be, Shau Kei Wan still remains as the fishermen’s terrain. Neighboring the typhoon shelter where the boats reside, the old ship yard area is the converging point where the sea meets land. The shipyards have stood there for many years, and it continues to serve the fishermen as situation changes — now, it is the workshop area where both boats and cars are being repaired. As one passes by, one can see through the functional space and have a glimpse of the boat and the sea on the backside.

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Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

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Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

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Sheung Wan

Corner The stair built along the corner, it always belongs to the site and match to the context. The function of stair is a set of steps leading from one level to another. The corner stair that is special on this street allows people to walk pass different geographic contours. Corner stair always locate at the place where two streets or roads meet, stairs are giving steps, allow people to pass from a level to another level on the street.

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Sheung Mong Kok Wan

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Sheung Wan

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Wan Chai Mong Kok

Courtyard Wan Chai Pak Tai Temple is the largest Chinese temple on Hong Kong Island. Accommodating nine gods in total, the temple space is a typical Chinese courtyard where a strong central axis is observed. Walking from rooms to rooms, space is articulated by light wells and verandas, where smoke from the burning incense joyfully play with sunlight.

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Sai YingKok Pun Mong

Crossroad Hong Kong’s road system is highly integrated into the city fabric, people and cars running across each other in every corner of the street. The physical distance of the two is incredibly miniature, yet we hardly recognize the complexity and the intimate relationship between buildings, roads and people, often until it is literally “raised” above the table.

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Sai Mong YingKok Pun

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Sai Mong YingKok Pun

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Sham Shui Po

Dai Pai Dong F&B is a common abbreviation for “Food and Beverage” in the Commonwealth countries, including Hong Kong. The sector/ industry specializes in the conceptualization, making, and delivery of food. The famous F&B of Hong Kong- Dai Pai Dong is a type of open-air food stall in Hong Kong. The official registered name in Hong Kong is “cooked-food stalls”, but Dai Pai Dong literally means “restaurant with a big license plate”, referring to its size of license which is bigger than other licensed street vendors. According to the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, there are only 25 Dai Pai Dong remaining in Hong Kong.

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Sham Shui Po

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Sham Shui Po

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Wan Chai

Déjà Vu What exactly is this passage? From the proportions of its great width to its low clearance, it resembles our impression of a public pier in Hong Kong, cliffhanging off at the far end directly into the waters, providing a dock where people can board boats. But if that was the case waters should be seen neighboring the passage’s edges at this angle; yet only colorful rooftops of buses, storage drums and construction cranes are in vision. Not until one detours through the street level can this riddle be solved: though not the pier itself, this passage leads to the pier through the dense forest of buses and construction works. 151


Wan Chai

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Wan Chai

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Wan Chai Mong Kok

Demarcation Space is divided by vertical solid walls in traditional western architecture. But can space be defined without the help of the division of an upright wall? There are lots of wooden panels in the carpenter shop. They were stacked and placed vertically. And the space of the single room was enlarged and compressed horizontally at different depth. That is to say, the single room was divided into multiple spatial settings defined by the changes of the horizontal dimensions.

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Causeway Bay Mong Kok

Device Sometimes the possibility and ambiance of space could be given by s simple touch on common elements in the street. This photo capture the space under the highway of Canal Road West, which is a famous reused residual space in Hong Kong. Street lighting, loud speaker and advertisement are installed on a series of highway’s column, which make the space under the highway become official/ designed for housing people activities.

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Causeway Mong Kok Bay

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Causeway Mong Kok Bay

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Kwai MongChung Kok

Dichotomy The logistic center is designed according to function, using long ramps as sole circulation to all floors. Such programmatic and structural arrangement gave a surprising result: the residue space among the ramps and supporting structure features a moment of dichotomies — efficiency and impracticality, human and machine, ground and void, movement and pause.

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Kwai MongChung Kok

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Kwai MongChung Kok

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Central Mong Kok

Directions In Central, the corridors inside office buildings and shopping malls were connected with hanging footbridges. When you wandering among these buildings, these glass footbridges can provide different views above the streets and protect pedestrians from sunshine and rain. However, for those not familiar with this area, walking along these indoor streets, without much differentiation in surface finish and decoration, is more like walking in a maze. In this situation, signposts with directions indicated clearly, seem to be hints and lead pedestrians to different destinations and exits.

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Mong Central Kok

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Mong Central Kok

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Pok Fu Kok Lam Mong

Discreet Graveyard is an unwelcome sight in the Chinese society, this is why the cemetery is surrounded by a three meter tall concrete wall to block the visual connection between the public realm and the cemetery, that wall is the border between the world of living and the dead. Yet, despite the intention to hide the ugly truth from the general public, there are small openings on the wall that provide a discreet view to the cemetery. That is, the cemetery become a place, a reality that is overwhelming on one side and discreet on the other side.

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Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Sheung Wan Mong Kok

Divided This is a vegetable store located at the side of a building near a small pathway downhill. Like a bookshelf, the store is around 40-50 cm deep and 2-3 meters wide. The store is then divided into rows and columns to fit in different goods. The store owner sits outside of the store as there is no extra space for a person to fit in. The reason why the store is so small is because the entire building was also split into smaller stores for different people to do their business. The front retail area is used for Chinese medicine and dry goods, the upper floor is residential and this small vegetable store is to use up every single usable spaces.

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Sheung Mong Kok Wan

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Sheung Mong Kok Wan

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Mong Kok

Domain The boundary between private and public space is indeterminate here, except for the change of the domain gradually. The dwelling mode is different from the traditional one in which outside is divided from inside. This case is not about form and enclosure, but about complex and contradictory of domain. There are several layers. The outer one is the veranda demarcating public path and sleeping area. The secondary layer is greens and terrace which form the semi-enclosed back walls, divide the sleeping area from the garden behind, and form a semi-protected living area. The bed or sleeping area and bench are the inner layer which is protected from all directions by mattress, cardboard, ceiling, plants and terrace walls. 179


Mong Kok

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Mong Kok

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Mong Kok

Dwelling The space under the bridge has become a recreational center for the elderly to gather and play mahjong. This is a secluded space amongst a forest of trees, complete with the shading from the bridge, making it perfect for people to rest and dwell. The inhabitants have made this place their own by bringing in furniture – chairs and tables – for mahjong. The dwellers of this space also give us an insight in to how the inhabitants in the surrounding neighborhood live their daily life. This space itself is very ‘cold’ considering the majority of material used here is concrete with brick pavement. Yet the activity taking place here is definitely more ‘heated’ as the elders are socializing and making noise. 183


Mong Kok

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Mong Kok

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Mong Kok Shau Kei Wan

Egalitarianism Hong Kong was developed under British capitalism. However some architectures and urban representations are telling a different story. In this case the community was built on mountain terrain where designers used the height difference to achieve optimal spatial utilization. One design solution for stabilizing high population density is egalitarianism. Residential units and public spaces were equally divided in these cuboid geometries. Architectural composition impacts on human inhabitation especially in the coexistence of difference social classes. The residents, among which are mostly native people, ironically, who should be the ones the against Soviet Socialism are the ones currently living in this egalitarian composition. 187


Shau Kei Wan

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Shau Kei Wan

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Central Mong Kok

Elevated This space captures the unique essence of Central, where everything is connected by bridges and walkways. Rather than having pedestrians on ground level and vehicles elevated, cars and buses run underneath the bridges and walkways. This space highlights both the need for space as well as the want for efficiency in the city. By having the circulation on top of one another, it reduces the need for drivers to look out for jaywalkers and pedestrians to look out for fast vehicles.

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Mong Central Kok

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Mong Central Kok

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Mei Foo Kok Estate Mong

Engagement Mei Foo Real Estate is a very compact and mixed residential development. The podium creates a quiet and intimate leisure space from the public and noise street. Some of its program arrangement is more hybrid. The Delia Memorial School would be a good example of it. The School located not only at the podium of a residential tower, it former occupies the first three floors of the residential tower. The program division in term of massing is more ambiguous. The design challenge is use the same structure to accommodate two very distinct programes, in term of their room size and headroom, circulation and lighting requirement. They could be observed from their facade design. 195


Mei Mong Foo Kok Estate

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Mei Mong Foo Kok Estate

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Wan Chai Mong Kok

Exclusive On almost every plot of land in this area stand buildings that are 30 stories or taller. This podium garden on top of the Convention Center is one of the hard-to-find green area amongst the tall buildings in this commercial district. This green area is located within the podium garden. The podium garden itself is exclusive to those who spend money in the hotel and the green area within is exclusive to those that spend money at the bar in the exclusive park. Floor height walls were built to mark the boundary of this exclusive area. Unlike the rest of the district, this place is quiet and relaxing.

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Mong Kok

Exploitation No matter from which angle you take a photo in Mong Kok, you are bound to have taken an advertisement sign into your snapshot. Here rent is feverish due to the heavy flow of potential customers. With only one meter of shop frontage, what better way is there to catch consumers’ attention? Apparently these signs do not harm anybody; in fact, though, Mong Kok has become different with these intrusions. Sunlight becomes intermittent under the shades; rain droplets wash through the dusty surfaces and unwelcoming land on scalps of passers-by. While shopkeepers “expand” their quarters, they are exploiting pedestrians’ personal space. 203


Mong Kok

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Mong Kok

USABLE SPACE: 2.04 sq. m.

RENTED SPACE: 4.00 sq. m.

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Pok Fu Kok Lam Mong

Exposed Pok Fu Lam village is a primitive village often mistaken to be a shanty town. The older housings in the area were built with corrugated metal sheet. Some newly built ones are with concrete, tiles and gates. Some families have their kitchens and toilets built outside of their house as a separate unit. Water pipes and electricity cables are exposed. Houses were built without a grid or a clear system resulting in pipes and electricity lines running unorganized within the area. The water pipes has a lot of extensions to direct the waters into each housing units. These water pipes are on top of a running river because this is the only inbuild-able area.

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Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Dai Hang Mong Kok

Extension There are some back alleys existing between old buildings in Hong Kong, spaces that are normally abandoned but in some cases they are occupied as private use. This can be seen by the extension of private domain into the public which acts like a parasite engulfing the external space. Private activities are extended into the shared spaces, when the users are using the space, inter-mediate relationships are formed between the eaters and public. The usage of this extension space varies with time. When the shops are closed all extension are moved back into the shop.

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Dai Hang

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Mong Dai Hang Kok

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Kwai Chung

Flow Entering the harbor area the first thing you see are trucks. Loaded with empty containers they roll into the massive logistics center to pick up all kind of goods to deliver to retailers all over Hong Kong. The building seems to be in continuous movement with trucks driving up and down the ramp. The flow of vehicles is so consistent; it looks almost like a little toy that runs on batteries. Observing the harbor one can see moving containers being heaved from ships to trucks, from trucks to ships. The movement happens, almost automatically. Human impact seems to be non-existent. The few workers that can be seen down at the harbor are so small next to the containers that they almost disappear. 215


Kwai Chung

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Kwai Chung

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Mong Kok

Foreground Mong Kok area is labeled as mixed lifestyle as it fulfills various needs. Standing at different locations, you may obtain opposite experiences of foreground and background. The landmarks, Langham Place and Cordis Hong Kong, may present a foreground condition when compared with the surrounding blocks in scale and programmatic arrangement. However, for local residents, the outdoor markets along the streets that are closed to vehicular traffic, may be viewed as the foreground, being closely connected with their daily life. The western section of Nelson Road is terminated by the Cordis Hong Kong, the background shown in the photo.

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Mong Kok

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Mong Kok

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Mid-Levels Mong Kok

Fortress The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is a late 19th-century English Gothic revival church that serves as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong. It is located in the Mid-Levels, and has witnessed the urban transformation of Government Hill. As the area develops, the Cathedral is no longer surrounded by the nature — it is now seated within the fortress made of schools, community center and housing blocks. Despite being at the center position, the Cathedral and its surrounding architecture have very few interaction, making it a fortress of solitude.

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Mid-Levels Mong Kok

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Mid-Levels Mong Kok

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Central Mong Kok

Fossil In the heart of Hong Kong most vibrant area, SoHo, where exotic bars, restaurants and multicultural nightlife side of central lie. It is also one of the most historical areas in Hong Kong where you can find numerous old and rustic buildings left over from the British colonial days. One of which being the Victoria Prison Compound, believed to be the first Victorian architecture constructed in durable materials. Damaged during Second World War, the building was restored and reused for different purposes, from refugee repatriation center to discharged inmates institution. The abounding history of the area can only be realized through the scraps behind the narrow streets. The center of justice and law enforcement is now the center of glamor and swanky entertainment. 227


Mong Central Kok

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Mong Central Kok

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Pok Fu Kok Lam Mong

Gate At the entrance of Pok Fu Lam Village, one of the building block is raised to free up the ground level as access to the village. Other blocks serve as a buffer between the village and the noisy road, so the small entrance looks like a gate connected to the community behind. The little entrance also frames the view behind the building which is contradicting the in front space by having more green.

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Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Sham Shui Po

Hiding The city fabric of Sham Shui Po is organized in a grid and is clearly divided by the major traffic roads. There are two rows of building block on each lot. The traffic roads and shops surround the front part of the building while there is a narrow space left at the back side of the building. People start to build the extension from the building block, which further narrowed the space into an alley. Then plastic covers are used to cover the alley and allowing the space to serve as back of house of the stores in front. Therefore, the hiding space here can directly reflect the function of the shops facing the road. It becomes the hidden facade of the building.

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Sham Mong Shui KokPo

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Sham Shui Po

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Lei Yue Mun

Home At the outskirts of Hong Kong Island, not too far away from the glossy facades of Central, one can find a living place under a stair. In a hidden corner, a small and narrow but protected space, someone found him or herself a place to live. There are various storage spaces for clothes, food and drinks as well as a place for sleeping squeezed under the covering stair that is roof and wall at the same time for the shelter. At the first sight it looks almost like a shop as there are that many cloths hanging. The structure next to the home, that leads into the underground, keeps passengers at a distance that secures the privacy of the inhabitant. Further, there are some plastic partitions installed that protect from unwanted views and sneaky invaders. 239


Lei Mong Yue Kok Mun

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Lei Yue Mun

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Central

Hook

At first sight, this installation seemed like a seat divider; but its random configuration dismisses such hypothesis. Then the guess is diverted to it serving to impede the homeless from sleeping on the expensive marble benches; however, the span in between is enough to cater for two adults lying down. The marble, together with the premier location where this is situated, is the key to such riddle. Ledges at this height make an attractive venue for skateboarders to practice their fancy tricks; thus, to protect the marble surfaces, such derived function of the benches must be disabled. Despite this area being named as Public Open Space, its functionality cannot be completely public. 243


Mong Central Kok

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Central

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Lai Tak Tsuen Mong Kok

Iconic Lai Tak Tsuen, developmed in the 1970s, is one of the most iconic public housing estates in Hong Kong. As a testing prototype for the early stage public housing, Lai Tuk Tsuen has a recognizable round-shaped double tube configuration, which have never been seen again in other public housing schemes. The round tube configuration maximizes views of every living unit and provide each unit a unique view. However the inside courtyard become a dark hole which gives a depressing feeling.

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Lai Mong Tak Tsuen Kok

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Lai Mong Tak Tsuen Kok

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Mong Kok Sheung Wan

Illusion The ground floor of this building is a French restaurant that has an authentic European shop front design, this gave an illusion that the shop is located in a western country and the photo was taken oversea, yet the tower above it and the surrounding proof that this is in Hong Kong. Another illusion is although the shop looks older because of the classical European elements on the facade, however it is a recent alternation to the original shop, thus much newer than the tower above.

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Sheung Mong Kok Wan

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Sheung Mong Kok Wan

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Central Mong Kok

Imitation In the Central district, where the pedestrian realm were elevated from the ground, the primary entrance to the buildings are no longer located at ground floor but in the midair, on the podium, in an area that is disconnected to the street. In this particular space, the entrance lobby and the lift lobby are connected by an escalator in between, this transitional space were fitted with a waterfall, planters and a painting that depicts flower to imitate a natural environment, yet, the area is clear, the planters are regular in shape that the space remain artificial and fake.

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Mong Central Kok

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Mong Central Kok

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Mong Kok

In-between Alleys is a place that normally associated with crime, darkness and awfully smell, the conditions is so bad that none of us are willing to walk in. Yet, in the streets of Mong Kok, the entrance points of these alleys are converted into a useful space by people. Taken the advantages of the alleys’ narrowness. PVC sheet, corrugated metal sheet and canvas could easily attached to the surface of the flanking buildings or structures to provide cover and shading to the informal space it created underneath, once the most essential elements of habitat: shading was satisfied, people start to put lighting under it and wood panel as flooring to improve the condition for other uses, thus expand the usable floor area of the bordering shop. 259


Mong Kok

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Mong Kok

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Mei Foo Mong Kok

Infrastructure The Mei Foo Sun Chun is a private housing estate with close to 100 towers. There are schools, medical clinics, beauty salons, and newspaper kiosks; supermarkets, shopping arcades, restaurants and food markets within the area. The estate is divided into two parts by a highway bridge running through. Housing towers on the two side of the bridge are arranged to form a public courtyard. The atmosphere within the courtyard and beyond the housing towers are very different. The space under the bridge is used as wet market, sitting area and festive market creating another kind of atmosphere. The courtyard is quiet and calm, beyond the towers, it is busy and loud, under the bridge, it is very lively and full of colors.

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Mong Mei Foo Kok

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Mong Mei Foo Kok

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Pok Fu Kok Lam Mong

Interference Landing on the landscape, boxes of apartments stacking on each other and gradually the scatters accumulate to become a village. Each individual, indeed representing each single family. These residents are independent from each other but as close as only separated by a sheet of metal decking. The daily life of the residents interfere with each other’s, the individuality is hard to be recognized but private space of each member can be defined. The neighborhood relationships form an invisible bonding which hold the individuals together and this can protect themselves as external invaders are easily recognized. 275


Pok Fu Lam

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Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Wah Fu

Intertwine As one of the major housing types in Hong Kong, the architectural properties of public housing have revealed certain social realities. This example is a public residential building from Wah Fu Estate. The obvious steel truss structure sticking into the tower body is telling the story that this building was built on top of the existing industry inheritance in order to minimize the demolishing cost. In the photo, several units in one floor were constrained by the existing truss dimensions in terms of unit width and ceiling height. However, due to the single-type unit property in public housing architecture, the entire building scale and spatial division were framed by its previous life, the parasitic steel truss. 279


Wah Fu

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Wah Fu

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Sham Mong Shui KokPo

Inversion Street stalls are better accommodated than you think. They are Hong Kong’s fingerprints: Nowhere else in the world would you be able to find a road paved with tar, not for cars, but for arrays of temporary-looking stalls selling a wondrous variety of inexpensive merchandise. Yet when you look carefully, you would be surprised to see they are in fact quite permanent: proper drainage pipes and even electricity meters installed. Instantly one can imagine the intricate wiring network underneath, supplying power to these “mushrooms” sprouting from the urban fabric. The stalls began as objects of habitation; yet they are now the inhabitants of Mong Kok. 283


Sham Mong Shui KokPo

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Sham Mong Shui KokPo

ELECTRICITY SUPPLY ROLLER SHUTTERS RAINWATER DRAINAGE

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Wan Chai Mong Kok

Island This residential building is located at 168 Queens Road East. The plot size is only around 3 m x 7 m and sandwiched by two small public parks. This unusual situation makes this old residential building stands out. Like other old buildings in Hong Kong, the painting marks on the side concrete wall reveal the history of the site. A new purple paint on the lower part of the side wall shows that there may be two 1-2 story high buildings seated next to house 168, and now they are replaced by public parks.

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Central Mong Kok

Isolation The podium-tower typology is very common in Hong Kong. At the backside of the most iconic building along the Victoria harbor, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition center, are four luxurious hotels. A big podium connects hotels and the center. Visitors to exhibition can seamlessly go back and forth between the hotel and the exhibition without necessarily going to the ground of the city. The podium provides an elevated green leisure space to the visitors, from which also isolate the visitors to the daily life of the local society happening on the ground level.

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Mong Central Kok

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Mong Central Kok

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Shau KeiKok Wan Mong

Juxtaposition The density of this city has created spaces with multiple programs layered on top of each other. This particular space has three programs stacked almost vertically above each other: a temple, an abandoned market and residential housings. The three programs each have their respective heights, making the space at the temple, the lowest in height an interesting space. A temple, an abandoned market and residential housings are polar opposites when discussing about program, yet could be related in terms of the activities residents may take part in. This makes the condition a very bizarre but a possible one.

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Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

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Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

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Kwai MongChung Kok

Landfill Landfilling is widely adopted in Hong Kong as a means to alleviate land shortage. Because of this process, the landscape in Hong Kong has changed dramatically during the last few decades. Take the Rambler Channel as an example: Since the reclamation works began in the 1970ties, it has continuously grown narrower and more regular in shape. A tendency to close it up altogether first emerged in 1998, when the Tsing Ma Bridge was inaugurated as a connective facility to the new airport. The transitions between land and water are no longer natural; they are sculpted according to our wishes.

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Kwai Chung

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Kwai MongChung Kok

1970 1984

1984 1998

1998 PRESENT

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Pok Fu Kok Lam Mong

Landmark A landmark can be defined as a prominent or conspicuous object on land that serves as a guide, or a building that is of outstanding historical, aesthetic, or cultural importance. They not only mark the place, they often represent the story behind the place and provide the meaning to the place. But in many cases, the original function of the building might have changed or even completely gone, while the place slowly transformed into a land of different usage. The abandoned “landmark”, not necessarily of great architectural value, but of great historical value, now sits between the past and the present. Does the discarded “landmark” still in store the value and spirit of the place, or is it just one of the steeping stones for city growth? 303


Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Sai WanKok Ho Mong

Laputa Hybrid or mixed-use building is a norm typology in Hong Kong, where various programs are arranged vertically while occupying minimal land area. The combination and multiplicity of programs and activities differ from building to building, varying in types; commercial, residential, recreational, etc., and also in vertical positioning; street level, podium level, roof level, etc. The possible outcome of this mix bowl of programs that are occurring within a single vertical tube are always surprising and are infinite. It is anything but conventional, to put recreational programs such as zip-line and rope-slide, which especially are typically conceived as events in rural area, into a congested urban condition; on the roof top of a high rise building. 307


Sai Mong WanKok Ho

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Sai Mong WanKok Ho

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Central Mong Kok

Layer This highway photo was taken at the cross of Robinson Road and Glenealy Road, and the Conduit road on top of them. This junction is connecting the mid-hill area and the city below. To preserve the natural environment, the artificial infrastructure are designed to be minimal. It come out with this complex and exciting transport and pedestrian walkway system. In this example, the pedestrian walkway is constructed below the highway with same path. And in other cases, the pedestrian walkway will cross under the highway in the middle of area.

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Mong Central Kok

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Mong Central Kok

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Sheung Wan

Levels According to the public walking path. The building sits on the place where the different levels meet, give a different walking experience to visitors and passerby. The building is designed with different openings for the public, for example, window display for different levels. Shop house built next to the ramp that affects the shop design, it opens as window display for the people walk by in different levels. The level of the windows matched people’s eye level.

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Sheung Wan

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Sheung Wan

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Sai YingKok Pun Mong

Limitation There is not lack of examples to show the excellent adaptability of Hong Kong people. In this example, the shop owner use the residual space, less than 450 mm depth, between two structural columns to be her market. The whole shop has been wholly utilized, by putting vegetables on the shelves and a computer on a stand. The owner stands outside the “shop� to sell her products. Lamp and plug also can found in her tiny space. Despite the brilliance of adaptability of the owner, the extreme tiny size of the shop gives the limitation of its operation. No products which need to be stored in refrigerator could be sold, the diversity of food in the shop is very limited. 319


Sai Mong YingKok Pun

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Sai Mong YingKok Pun

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Pok Fu Kok Lam Mong

Lobby The houses are tightly packed in Pok Fu Lam Village. But in some part of the estate, a small open space is formed between the houses. The small open space serves similarly as a lobby, and people need to pass through this area before entering their home, mailboxes also located here. Table and chair are provided too. The small space allows people to stay, gather and also served as the buffer between houses.

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Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Sham Shui Mong KokPo

Lodged Ap Liu Street has a compact and yet vibrant condition where transformable lodges sit along the pedestrian road, presenting the street as an electronic flee market. Every lodge shares the same skeleton and yet is adapted by stall owners in different ways, i.e. installing different shelves and compartments.

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Sham Mong Shui KokPo

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Sham Mong Shui KokPo

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Mong Kok

Metamorphosed Tung Shing Mansion was built to be another ordinary Tong Lau in the old area, with shops on the ground and residential flats above ground. Yet the condition changed overtime—residents took over the roof illegally and hotel franchise company altered three of the floors into a three-stars hotel, resulting in an awkward metamorphosed condition where different program and architectural language are patched together.

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Mong Kok

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Mong Kok

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Sai YingKok Pun Mong

Mobile Being efficient and cost-effective is the typical norm for running businesses in Hong Kong and many other places. Shown here a renovation company. That has converted itself into a mobile workshop inside one van, where all its workers, equipment and materials are packed together, arriving the site in one-go. Permanent shelves are anchored to the sides of storage space at the back of the van, where small tools are kept. Planks and wood boards are placed as the flooring for convenient storage and retrieval of items without scratching the vehicle. Large equipment such as ladders, trolley and vacuum are also stored inside the van. As the mobile workshop can expand wherever it stops, is has no geographical limitations. 335


Sai Mong YingKok Pun

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Sai Mong YingKok Pun

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Sheung Wan

Multi-functional A multi-functional space can be described as a true integration of different functions in time and space. This is different from mixeduse development that compartmentalizes the various uses within a community or a landscape. For example, implementing multi-functionality within communities creates spaces that have multiple purposes. Due to their access to diverse uses in one place, these spaces can contribute to a community’s vitality. As well, these multifunctional amenities often appeal to diverse community members, including activists, artists, academics and social entrepreneurs, allowing them to act as incubators for new ideas, knowledge exchange, shared experience and experimentation. 339


Sheung Wan

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Sheung Wan

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Sheung Wan Mong Kok

Non-facade The traditional facade is replaced by the backdrop of the practical affairs. In traditional perspective, the facade is a plane; the composition and aesthetic value could be fully appreciated when people stand at certain angels, usually in front of it. In other words, the carefully composed facade presents itself in a way similar to the elevation drawn on a piece of paper; take St. Peters Cathedral as an example. However, the practical affairs take place over the aesthetic value in this commercial environment. The goods which support the current function of the house substitute the conventional facade, as if the aesthetic value is changed from the composition to the beauty of goods. 343


Sheung Mong Kok Wan

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Sheung Mong Kok Wan

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Sham Shui Mong KokPo

Nook Between the gaps of where two buildings lie, you find obscure alleyways that have been inhabited by the neighboring people. These nooks of the city become a world of their own. Placed in these alleys, one can find garbage, excess stock, recycled furniture... The clues to whoever inhabits this place lie in surrounding neighborhood. Everything in these alley has its place and order, including a vibe that tells you to stay away. The physical size of this condition is only 3 m wide at most but can be as long as 100 m. Contrary to the eerie atmosphere of this condition, this space can actually be rather bright during the day as there aren’t any objects above preventing the sun from penetrating through.

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Sham Mong Shui KokPo

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Sham Mong Shui KokPo

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Causeway Bay Mong Kok

Oasis In the midst of one of the busiest roads in Causeway Bay, there is a patch of green on the side of the street. The street is towered by high-rise retail and commercial buildings on both sides along with narrow pedestrian pavements. Yet there is a row of trees that only line 15 meter of the street that survives. The trees provide shade to the pedestrians as they are placed perfectly at a particular section of the street where the sun manages to shine through a gap from a line of tall buildings.

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Causeway Mong Kok Bay

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Causeway Mong Kok Bay

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Wan Chai Mong Kok

Object This tower in Wan Chai is surrounded by small open spaces on both sides, as if it is a single object that erects from the ground. This ‘‘object’’ building is a remnant from the past, it was preserved for an unknown reason while other parts of the tower and the surrounding context was demolished long ago, it’s like an “object” that was frozen in time and isolated from the rest of the everchanging urban fabric. As the continuous elevation of the street was broken by this single ‘‘object’’, the tower became very visible and stands out from the rest, despite of its lower height and ordinary architectural style.

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Mong Kok

Occupancy The condition of being occupied, the action or fact of occupying a place. Once the place does not belong to someone, the space becomes a public space. To hold it as temporary use, a person can use an object to occupy or hold the space. Third person can realize the object that located in the place are occupying by another person. This is the success of the occupation that is shown in the image. A trolley is parked besides the road . Although it is not a car as usual. It can keep the car park space temporary for the owner.

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Mong Kok

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Mong Kok

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Wan Chai Mong Kok

Oppress This secluded open space is located on the 11th floor of the Grand Hyatt hotel. On all four corners of this space are sky high buildings that tower over the open space, making it quite an oppressed space. The children’s playground at the center of this podium contrasts with the feeling of this space. It is supposed to feel open and free, yet here it is being cornered by surrounding glass-skyscrapers overlooking the playground. The purity and innocence of the space is contrasted with its neighboring environment - i.e. the rich peoples’ playground.

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Pok Fu Kok Lam Mong

Organic One would be surprised to see how villagers adapt to nature when one visits Pok Fu Lam Village, the largest and the only existing slum area in Hong Kong. Since the settlements were built without government planning, villagers would have to secure clean water on their own, resulting in this interesting scene — there is an organic system of pipes spanning over the rocky stream, connecting water supply from stream to different households in a growing pattern.

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Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

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Sham Shui Mong KokPo

Overcrowded Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities, in addition to reasons like shortage of public housings, wealth disparity, low income families and unemployed citizens turn to look for solutions such as subdivided units. Most of the subdivided units are found in the tenement houses, where one originally planned flat would have the partition walls rearranged to split the space into smaller flats, with additional kitchens and toilets these flats are really to be rented. In such arrangements, poor ventilation, undesirable hygiene conditions and building safety problems are inevitable, not to mention the pre-existing noise and light pollutions in the neighborhood. 371


Sham Mong Shui KokPo

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Sham Mong Shui KokPo

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Lai King

Overlapping Kwai Chung Container Terminals are located near Lai King, many highways are built here to transport goods to other parts of Hong Kong. Two roads going to different directions intersect at this space, and space can be divided into three layers. Ground level is used as parking space for trucks. Then the second layer is Tsing Kwai Highway connecting Mei Foo and Tsing Yi while the third layer is another highway connecting Kwai Chung. The transition space in being stack and overlap at the same point.

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Lai King

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Lai King

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Mong Kok

Overlie Mong Kok, one of the densest populated areas in Hong Kong, exemplifies the urban planning and urban design concept of a compact city, where the city has to continually adapt and operate with the ever changing condition. With inadequate land resources, vertical expansion of city provides prolonged space for living, both individually and collectively, while the existence of a community relies also on infrastructures, as public circulation and transportation. The need to coexist within a concise space often result in such arrangement, where the overlapping of infrastructures across and between dwellings. Each horizontal layer serves different purposes and programs, but the subsequent urban diversity within the corner becomes an asset to the city. 379


Mong Kok

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Mong Kok

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Central Mong Kok

Overlooking Having advertisements on the sides of vehicles and blank facades of buildings are of no new inventions. However, one may doubt the effectiveness of having advertisements on the top of double decker buses, a location that is impossibly visible for pedestrians traveling on the street level. Bus roof advertisements are surprisingly a rational decision to make typically in the contiguous districts around Central, where large amount of glass curtain walls are opened against the streets and roads, while pedestrian bridges are built to connect all sort of high-rises within the area. As a result, the upward exposure is as well highly marketable, leading to the emergence of such kind of advertising. 383


Mong Central Kok

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Mong Central Kok

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Shau Kei Wan

Ownership Ownership of property may be private, collective, or common, and the property may be of objects, land and real estate or intellectual property. The period of ownership can be temporary. The meaning of temporary accommodation is about lasting, using, serving, or enjoying for a limited time. It is not permanent. The image shows the lady who uses her personal belongings to indicate the temporary ownership of the office, set next to the bus station. The office is built by many temporary objects. They can be removed easily but also give the fully condition to the staffs as an office. The used objects include a cabinet, chairs, hanging units, boxes, plants ans a lot more. 387


Shau Kei Wan

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Shau Kei Wan

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Shek Kip Mei

Paradox A movable, temporary structure is placed on the side of Shek Kip Mei Street’s pavement, although temporary in nature, this structure serves as a kitchen for a nearby cookedfood stall (Dai pai dong) for many years, a paradox between temporary and permanent. The steel shelter occupied a portion of the vehicular road and stands at the edge of the pavement, the pavement is covered by layers of canvas extended from the shelter and the nearby building, which turned the covered public space to a seating areas for the cooked-food stall, while public can still pass by. A paradox between private and public.

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Shek Mong KipKok Mei

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Shek Mong KipKok Mei

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Mei Fu Mong Kok

Parallel When two conditions of space collide, a parallel world emerges silently, separated by a thin thread of concrete. Portal like cylinders of light streams down, locating spots of mundane actions under the spotlight. Walkers, unaware yet familiar to the action accruing at their parallel sides pass by as the day goes by. The emergence of the quiet and noisy has become a daily settlement to the familiar yet creates a new experience for those who pass by unintentionally. Noise from the underground has become a filtered sound to the upper floor. Sections and space arrangements of the upper floor create a scenery that allows users to focus on the resting instead of the hustling downstairs. 395


Mong Mei Fu Kok

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Mong Mei Fu Kok

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Shau KeiKok Wan Mong

Parasites There were only a handful of permanent buildings in this informal settlement in Shau Kei Wan, these permanent buildings served as the starting point of this unplanned, organic settlement, a dozen of huts were temporary constructed by steel sheet, wooden panel, each with its own power supply and character, they grow like ‘‘parasites’’ that attach to walls of the existing buildings and walls of nearby huts, until it filled up the whole site and became a maze.

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Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

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Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

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Lai ChiKok Kok Mong

Penetration Mei Foo Sun Chuen was developed along the two sides of the Kwai Chung Highway. And the first three stages are sitting at the northwest corner. The traffic circulation of this area is in pedestrian-and-vehicle dividing system. On the ground floor, the whole was divided into three parking zones. And on the upper podium floor, the blocks define three courts above the parking lots. Besides the staircases, the main linkage between two floors, the circle and rectangular openings on the podium help to shape a secondary connection, which allow lights and views to come through.

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Lai Mong ChiKok Kok

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Lai Mong ChiKok Kok

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Lai Tak Tsuen

Platform As one of the most complex urban contexts in the word, Hong Kong Island is the place where designers blow their mind for optimizing land use. The altitude difference created diverse design approaches in terms of structure strategy and spatial utilization. In this case, the designer did not adapt his design to the terrain by creating a platform supported by concrete grids. Meanwhile, the flattened platform created more public spaces which facilitated communications between residents. However, negative spaces were generated as junkyard under the bridge where huge platforms were built. In Hong Kong, there is no ultimate solution for spacial utilization, architects are balancing the pros and cons in designs which are influenced by socialism and western modernism. 407


Lai Tak Tsuen

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Lai Tak Tsuen

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Sham Shui Mong KokPo

Pragmatic One of the most discussed scenarios in Hong Kong is the roof top metal sheet community with antenna randomly scattered around in Sham Shui Po. It is not hygienic, comftable nor gorgeous, yet it creates the unique cityscape of Hong Kong. It is the result from the lack of living spaces and poor building design for the residents, which does not provide a proper way to incorporate the facilities for the users. It also shows the character of old generation of Hong Kong people, flexible, energetic and pragmatic. They only pursue most fundamental living requirements in high land price society.

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Sham Mong Shui KokPo

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Shan Mong Shui Kok Po

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Sheung Wan Mong Kok

Praying Among many temples along the Tai Ping Shan Street, the Pak Shing Temple, known as a “free ancestral hall� by the community, is the most famous one. When it was built in 1851, its purpose was to hold the spirit tablets of mainland Chinese workers who had died before sending them back to China. Now it becomes a community temple that many locals and tourists come to pray for. Hundreds of spiral incense hung on the roof with a circular metal plate holding the incense residue from dropping.

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Sheung Mong Kok Wan

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Sheung Mong Kok Wan

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Sham Shui Mong KokPo

Protrusion Extended shelters are visible in most old districts, even though they are illegal. The presented example is a mini linear store, which sits at the corner of Lai Chi Kok Road and Shek Kip Mei Street, outside an external wall of the Po Ho Mansion. The store is shaped by shelves and movable racks with snacks and drinks, under the canvas sunshade. Advertising banners, plastic paper and wood boards are applied to enclose the whole area with two gateways. The layout of the store is flexible and changeable along its development. During nights and holidays, the racks would be stacked and the goods would be stored inside the apartment behind.

419


Sham Mong Shui KokPo

420


Sham Mong Shui KokPo

421


Sham Shui Po

Randomness As one of the busiest districts in Hong Kong, this region (from Mong Kok to Sham Shui Po) is mixed with commercial, residential and industrial functionalities. Human habitation is represented as modern concrete jungle and optimized spatial utilization. Designed habitat (new residential towers and public spaces) are trying to neutralize the historical urban chaos with more rational standardization however lives require more flexibility and randomness than any subjective design interference. Habitants’ spontaneously developing their own social and Eco-system brings up the question that whether human inhabitation activities should be planned or self-organized? These two types of living condition are now coexist in most part of Mong Kok. 423


Sham Shui Po

424


Sham Shui Po

425


Shau KeiKok Wan Mong

Regularity Between the roadway and the retaining wall, the stall find a certain place for itself. Its structure is not as fixed as the retaining wall which could stand there for several decades, nor as flowing as the vehicle which pass by several seconds on the road in front of it. It remains there only for a moment, and the domain of the shaded area and the form of the canvas may change with the change of position and trace of the sun by day or season probably, and the iron wall/ door is removed and reinstalled daily. In other words, the stall shown in the picture is featured by regularity, with the trail of a periodic schedule which integrates change and constancy.

427


Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

428


Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

429


Mei Foo Mong Kok

Re-inhabit Besides the super dense population, Hong Kong is also foreknown for unaffordable property price. Mei Foo is a large and dense private housing estate. There is a large demand in the estate: fresh market, restaurant, retail shop, shoe repairing. However, the soaring rent drives the small shops away to adapt to other unappealing places, such as space underneath flyover and staircase. The shoe repairing shop has adapted the space underneath the staircase also work as a storage. Large glass doors allow natural light diffuse into the room. Seats placed in the front door of the shop for customer to wait the shoemaker repairing their shoes. Meanwhile, it is also a place for casual chatting for neighborhoods. 431


Mong Mei Foo Kok

432


Mong Mei Foo Kok

433


Sham Shui Po

Reminder The old-fashioned Shanghai barbershop is a remnant of the fast-changing fashion in Hong Kong. This Shanghai-styled barbershop was once a trend for civilized men in the 1960ties in Hong Kong, now only a few of the barbershops are still scattered around Sham Shui Po,old and poor district in the Kowloon, serving their old local customers. The salon stands quietly beside a buzzing street. In this 10 square meter room: wallhanging fans, two maroon-leather pump chairs, perm machines, water boiler and tools shelves are placed precisely to facilitate old barbers’ versatile works. The inside and outside are separated by two large translucent plastic curtains. Folding chairs are lined up outside as a waiting room. 435


Sham Mong Shui KokPo

436


Sham Mong Shui KokPo

437


Mei Foo Mong Kok

Revive “Dimension” and “scale” are two sensitive words in this city on account of its extreme condition and functionality. Artificial land making no compromise in space that compressed human habitats horizontally. Two senses of scale were defined by the same freeway from Mei Foo to Lai King where human habitats were developed vertically. Compared to the sufficient industrial loading zone, the negative space under the bridge was optimized for diverse human activities which are more flexible. Social activities of residents in Mei Fo are happening on the first three levels where the sense of “scale” and “dimension” was dodged by dynamic living network.

439


Mei Foo

440


Mong Mei Foo Kok

441


Pok Fu Kok Lam Mong

Roofscape Under the impact of monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate, water drainage is the priority in architectural design of Hong Kong. In Pokfulam village where pitch roof architecture is the major building style, rain water is draining via natural falling from cornice height differentiation. The photo shows the close distance between two families where functional space is optimized while public circulation area has been squeezed to minimum. In order to prevent rain water from dropping between houses, roofs are overlapping for proper distance in different heights, which made the whole village a continuous surface from top.

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Pok Fu Lam

444


Pok Mong Fu Kok Lam

445


Kennedy Town

Scale One of the most impressive appearances in the city for me is the enormous lifted highways. In real life the concrete masses of the urban fabric are melting together with the supports of the street, so that one can’t even fully realize how huge these structures are. The scale seems to fit the bigger picture. Looking at the picture with a closer look I started to wonder about the difference in scale. The columns seem as thin as the legs of a spider wandering through the city. The car driving down seems way too small compared to the size and massiveness of the surroundings.

447


Kennedy Mong Kok Town

448


Kennedy Town

449


Sham Shui Mong KokPo

Screening Owing to the limitation of space, stall keepers end up with hanging most products. The unintentional hanging of selling items create a series of decorative screens where its components are constantly changing. Repetition of similar objects with variation in physical appearance compose a specific identity of each individuals. We can distinguish the function of the space just by the products hangings when we walk by the corridor of stalls. These screens form layers of virtual partition within the small space. The opacity provides privacy for the stall keepers from the chaos.

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Sham Shui Po

452


Sham Mong Shui KokPo

453


Mong Kok

Self-organization “Chaos” and “disorder” are the first two words that came to me when I saw Mong Kok where diverse human activities are taking place simultaneously in one place. However, architectural self-organization is happening structurally, formally and spatially, which attribute to the driving force from residential life and economic structure. Temporary architecture is the main approach in pursuing a spatial optimization in terms of mobility and flexibility, at the same time, to keep the city in order. Illegal selfconstructions on upper levels balances the increasing population while the temporary stalls on the ground level make Mong Kok became one of the busiest commercial districts in this city. 455


Mong Kok

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Mong Kok

457


Mong Kok

Shock Men and environment are one entity. Numerous sensory receptors connect men’s inner physiology to the outer landscape. The environmental phenomena enters into us through the receptors, and impacts our biological condition when we inhabit in it. Shock is against permanence. Since shock, such as the brightness and other intensive impacts, would attract our visual and other sensory responses and disturb our attention. We may adjust our gesture in order to make our inhabitation durable. In this case, people, according to their activity, may control the reaction to their inner landscape by facing to certain directions.

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Mong Kok

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Mong Kok

461


Lai Tak Tsuen Mong Kok

Simplification The 20th century modernism’s ideology in architecture has failed to fulfill the dwellers’ perceptual well-being. They tend to solve constraints which obtrude themselves into awareness with specific strong responses, while ignored inconspicuous ones which are essential in spatial experience as David Leatherbarrow discusses in Uncommon Ground. In this case, architect might focus on providing as many rooms as possible by applying the high-capacity form, cylinder, to meet the needs of the government or the developer, instead of the dwellers. The large number of people were treated as the abstract number rather than the concrete. Consequently, the modernist architect, to certain degree, imposed the utopian idea on the wrong users. 463


Lai Mong Tak Tsuen Kok

464


Lai Mong Tak Tsuen Kok

465


Wan Chai Mong Kok

Skylight This ingenious design was found in a Buddhist temple in Wan Chai. Normally, historical religious architecture does not compromise its traditional appearance to functionalities. This small skylight is located in a deep corridor with a staircase where natural light could not access. Modern architecture is the interpretation of both functionality and human inhabitation, in which people are actively improving their existing living condition. The design was done by the owner of this temple without any help from architects. Two roof tiles were removed and replaced by a piece of glass, sealed with silicone sealant. After renovation, the lightening condition in this staircase has improved significantly. 467


Mong Wan Cjhai Kok

468


Mong Wan Chai Kok

469


Wan Chai Mong Kok

Smoking According to the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance, which has been enacted since 1982, smoking in indoor workplaces as well as public transport interchanges are not allowed. However, there are very few smoking rooms close to these areas, which is represented in the central part of Wan Chai. At outdoor spaces other than sports grounds and most public parks, smoking always happens close to a rubbish bin. The photo was taken under the footbridge connected northern and southern Wan Chai and outside the Wan Chai metro station. The rubbish bins here provide smokers a place to gather and smoke, meanwhile the footbridge provides a shelter to stay.

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

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Mong Wan Chai Kok

473


Wan Chai Mong Kok

Stage The school occupies the podium of the building estate. The open space of the private housing replaced by the playground of the school. Three sides of the playground are surrounded by the residential towers of the estate, and the remaining side is a highway. The activities of the students become the dominant view of the residents here. When standing on the playground would have a similar feeling as standing on a stage.

475


Mong Wan Chai Kok

476


Mong Wan Chai Kok

477


Wan Chai

Stairspace An un-roofed area that is completely or mostly enclosed by the walls of a large building. The staircase in between buildings clearly indicates the characteristic of the Wan Chai area. Courtyard is an open space enclosed by large building walls. A courtyard or court is an enclosed area, often surrounded by buildings or complexes that is open to the sky. Such spaces as inns and public buildings were often the primary meeting place for many purposes, leading to the other meanings of court. Both of the words court and yard derive from the same root, meaning an enclosed space.

479


Wan Chai

480


Wan Chai

481


Mong Kok

Standstill Entering the Mong Kok area in the morning I can feel the busy and vibrant city full of people and markets around me. Real Hong Kong is what pops up in my mind. By 9:30 am it is already full of the energy and people starting their day. People are not strolling through the streets, but they are hurrying. They are busy getting their purchases done. The markets are offering everything you need. One can grasp a hundred different smells passing by one street full of fruits, food, clothes and people. The typical market lamps are turned on as soon as people start to sell their goods. There are just very few people that attempt to resist the hurrying masses. Standing still observing the busy life of the city.

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Mong Kok

484


Mong Kok Mong Kok

01

485


Shau KeiKok Wan Mong

Strata Upright walls are used to define space, but space, since 20th century modernism, has been extended without limit. One important feature of the 20th century modern architecture is the redefinition of space by horizontal planes without the help by upright enclosures. The spatial settings are like the hollowed layers of the sedimentary geology, superimposing each other. In this picture, various spatial settings, such as the entry space, the washing space and the pathway, are defined by horizontal planes in different height, instead of the enclosing uprights. Although without many vertical walls, the various spatial settings are differentiated.

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Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

488


Shau Mong KeiKok Wan

489


Tin Hau

Structure Structure is typically the arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system that allows the whole or parts to be organized. Types of structure include a hierarchy (a cascade of one-to-many relationships), a network featuring many-to-many links, or a lattice featuring connections between components that are neighbors in space. To define the structure that such as the image shown the construction objects built and connected to the building. It is stable enough as structure for the environment condition.

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Mong Tin Hau Kok

492


Tin Hau

493


Mong Kok

Transformation Behind the many high-rises that build up the city’s skyline seen from Victoria Harbor, stand the more vernacular, few storey high tenement houses, which testify the early developments of today’s commercial hub. This hints how the city evolved itself, from trading daily necessities to tertiary services, wealth accumulates. And with more wealth, the city is able to reconsider, rebuild, redevelop, and replace the older tenement houses with newer high-rises that are generally considered as more regulated, more civilized, and probably the largest pushing factor behind, of much more market values. On this very day, the city’s transformation is still in progress.

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Mong Kok

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Mong Kok

549


Tai Hang Mong Kok

Underused This community is located on a slope. Stairs are needed to get from one point to another. Roads are built along the mountain. Instead of cutting away the mountain so that the road sits on solid ground, it is supported by beams and columns on flatter ground near the foot of the mountain. The community on the mountain and the community at the foot of the mountain is very well connected by a staircase extended from this bridge. A lot of leftover spaces are created from the beams and columns. Currently, it is a place where garbage and dead leaves are collected. The empty spaces created by the columns and beams can be put to better use.

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Mong Tai Hang Kok

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Mong Tai Hang Kok

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Tai Hang Mong Kok

Vessels Lai Tak Tsuen is a public housing estate built in 1975. Of the three buildings, Lai Kit Lau, Tak Chuen Lau and Tsuen Wing Lau, the former two are designed as bi-cylindrical 27-storey towers. The hollow design brings in natural daylighting, while removing certain flats at every three floors creates small gathering spaces for the residents and encourages the natural ventilation. These empty spaces also serve as an alternative for kids to play around other than the rooftop playgrounds of each tower, typically on hot and sunny days, and on rainy days. Inner facing circular corridors also intensify the security senses as neighbors can help to watch over, especially in the 70ties when security is not that comprehensive. 579


Mong Tai Hang Kok

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Mong Tai Hang Kok

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Authors

Angelika Hinterbrandner

angelika@ahinterbrandner.com

Carmen Ngo

carmenngops@gmail.com

Certina Chan

certinacertina@msn.com

Charlotta Chan

charlotta.chan@gmail.com

Fei Choi

bonmandy@hotmail.com

Johnny Yau

yau88hse@gmail.com

618

Kenny Yiu

yiuchiho@yahoo.com.hk

Liang Xu

alexgio1204@gmail.com

Nicole Tse

nicoletse95@gmail.com


Authors

Ruijie Lyu

lyuruijie@link.cuhk.edu.hk

Sabrina Lam

lwy_lam@hotmail.com

Sining Wang

siningwang331@gmail.com

Tiffanny Wong

tiffannywongyl@gmail.com

Vincent Tse

vincenttse2006@hotmail.com

Vivian Lee

kyv_lee@yahoo.com.hk

Wilson Tam

wilsontam324@gmail.com

619

Peter Feretto

peter.ferretto@cuhk.edu.hk


CONDITION/HONG KONG Š 2016 All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in an form First published in 2016 Authors: Peter Winston Ferretto Angelika Hinterbrandner Carmen Ngo Certina Chang Charlotta Chan Fei Choi Johnny Kenny Yiu Nicole Tse Ruijie Lyu Sabrina Lam Sining Wang Tiffany Wong Vivian Lee Vincent Tse Chun Yat Wilson Tam Leon Xu Editing Team: Angelika Hinterbrandner Carmen Ngo Sining Wang Wilson Tam

School of Architecture The Chinese University of Hong Kong AIT Building Shatin, New Terretories Hong Kong SAR, China T +852 3943 6583 E architecture@cuhk.edu.hk W www.arch.cuhk.edu.hk/ ISBN Printed in Hong Kong


Profile for Condition_Lab

Condition/ Hong Kong I  

Book made by students from class ARCH5131b Taught by Prof. Peter W. Ferretto School of Architecture, CUHK 2015

Condition/ Hong Kong I  

Book made by students from class ARCH5131b Taught by Prof. Peter W. Ferretto School of Architecture, CUHK 2015

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