Kai Farzรกd Lee Portfolio
â€˜It is only when they come together that these single details produce the formative togetherness making up their beauty, which is like a gift that they do not merit individually.â€™ -Georg Simmel
I. Modus Operandi
II. Pursuing Structure
III. The Right to the City
IV. The Theatre
V. Reclaiming History
VI. Service Core
VII. Liminal Age
attempting an alternative design method
Individual Project The Chinese University of Hong Kong Year 2, Term 1 | September-December, 2014 Instructor | Peter FERRETTO
‘This it fills with its own reductionistic aesthetic — the aesthetic that claims that “intuition,” with no historical dimension, can arrive spontaneously at forms which are the equivalent of fundamental operations.’ -Alan Colquhoun
The design process did not start from massing studies. Instead, spatial qualities were first investigated through the process of making models without any particular typology in mind. Having extracted the desired traits from the brainstorm models, programs were then composed according to their requirements. The
process of translating the abstract to a coherent project saw the emergence of unexpected ‘residual spaces’. These were then assimilated into the final design.
Models to explore different qualities of spaces were seen as the â€œDNAâ€? of the design process.
housing private public
clinic cafe auditorium
1:100 working model to study the composition
of programs, taking into consideration factors shop
that affect vertical and horizontal layout such as procession of spaces, views, and privacy.
auditorium workshop shop
1:200 model to make adjustments required by
the context of the surrounding environment, in this case the level difference of the front and back of the plot.
1:50 Sectional model to uncover potential of residual spaces formed between programs. Most of these spaces are used for circulation, but in the case of the foyer it became a formal program.
pers 1 2 3
3 Control Room
1:100 Final model to assemble and consolidate design decisions explored in previous models. The challenge was to keep the original intents intact through the process of rationalization.
examining the fundamental factors determining structural form
Individual Project The Chinese University of Hong Kong Year 2, Term 2 | January-May, 2014 Instructor | Cheng Chun Patrick HWANG
‘The light dove, in free flight cutting through the air the resistance of which it feels, could get the idea that it could do even better in airless space.’ -Immanuel Kant
This project explored the structure that would hold the exhibition space for wooden design furniture and its auxiliary programs. Three main factors drove the design process forward: letting in the northern sunlight, precipitation drainage,
and a respect for the surrounding mountainous landscape. The investigation was mainly conducted on the interrelationship between the sizes and spacing of members on different structural hierarchies.
Site model determined the location and orientation of the massing on the side of a hill, facing a lake
Conceptual models for the roof form were proceeded with models to study the hierarchies of structural members
Spatial : Visual :
Column Spacing Beam Span
The evolution of the roof structure takes into account spatial and visual effects, mainly dictated by variables in physics.
Two-way frame supported by thick columns
One-way frame braced by joists
Optimized member dimension
The whole structure is composed of individual units repeated horizontally. One of the considerations was how to bring both ends to a stop, whether at the crest or trough of the roofâ€™s undulation
The standard unit of roof undulation take drainage into consideration. Deviations occur where columns are removed for circulation, or for the interior light courtyards.
1 Parking 2 Permanent exhibitions 3 Alternate path 4 Cafe 5 Boutique 6 Temporary Exhibition 7 Library 8 Office 9 Seminar room
questioning the boundaries between private and public
Individual Project The Chinese University of Hong Kong Year 3, Term 1 | September-December, 2015 Instructor | Francesco ROSSINI
‘Fragments of various hypothetical movement patterns generate a geometry that becomes woven into reality in such a way that it is capable of engendering new shapes.’ -Enric Miralles
The challenge of this project is informed by the socio-economic-political conditions at the street level of the site near the Mainland-Hong Kong border— we are asked for a radical reinterpretation of a podium tower in Hong Kong that takes into account the urban form, street life and pedestrian circulation of its location. In this exploration, the residential units are still elevated to allow for maximum view over the surrounding buildings.
The podium refuses to take up the whole plot, and provides an open space that relieves the street of its pedestrian congestion. The residents are allowed their privacy in the entrance garden separated from the public plaza. The project attemtps to achieve a coexistence of dualities on the same plot of land and strike balance between the contrasting conditions of the site.
Parallel trading, n.
also known as smuggling
To buy tax-free and high quality stock (mainly infant formula, cosmetics and
electronics) in Hong Kong to resell it in mainland China at a higher profit. Have caused street clashes and protests in Hong Kong, especially on the streets at districts near the border.
Podium tower, n.
A building typology common in Hong Kong
Consisting of a podium of a few stories high at the bottom with transportation or commercial activities, and one or more towers on top that house offices,
hotels or residential units. Mainly dictated by property developers to maximize profit under Hong Kong governmentâ€™s permission for full site coverage within 15m from ground level.
The project is situated in Shangshui, the Hong Kong county closest to the Mainland China border. Just a 5 minute walk from the MTR station, the streets are crowded with Mainland parallel traders.
Pers. 2 7
1 12 min to Shenzhen, China 2 Shangshui MTR station 3 1 hour to Hong Kong island
4 Cafe 5 Plaza 6 Security 7 Entrance Garden 8 Reception 9 Lift Lobby 10 Reading Room 11 Hall
To relieve the streets from the pedestrian traffic, most of the ground level is contributed to pedestrian use. The lobby separates the private entrance garden from the public plaza.
1 Single Studio 2 Shared Kitchen 3 Single Studio with ensuite kitchen
A shared kitched for two units explores the possibility of co-living for the younger generation. Staggering towers allow maximum view and sunlight for each residential unit as well as the ground.
performing beyond the designated venue
Individual Project The Chinese University of Hong Kong Year 3, Term 2 | January-May, 2016 Instructor | Chung Wan Simon HSU
‘How can we be excited, how can we do anything new, how can we explode inside this frame?’ -Sean Kenny
This project is located within the newly built Aldrich Bay Park, Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong. Residents of all ages in the community use the park throughout the day. To prevent the theatre from being a dead space—used by rich patrons on specific days of the year—the theatre needs to be reimagined and become relevant in the life of an ordinary contemporary man. The intent of this project is not only to expand the flexibility
for formal productions but also to accommodate the spontaneous acts of any user. The broken boundaries between interlocking programs and opening of the façade to the north allow the possibility of productions to happen ‘out of the box’. On any non-performing day the theatre could be transformed into a space for exhibition, market, fairs, or purely a meditative pavilion for the local community.
The interlocking programs break the boundaries of where spectators and performers should be.
1 Aldrich Bay 2 High school; open 8:00-15:20; 849 students 3 Aldrich Bay Park; open 7:00-23:00 4 Oi Shun Road; 4290 cars/ day 5 IEC Expressway; 6570 cars/ day
The project is situated at the edge of a bayside park, right beside a highway and surrounded by residential towers. The structure presents itself as an additional pavilion in the park.
A reflection on the roles of performers and spectators guided the concept to be about the reconfiguratio of a theatre complex. Overlapping different programs allow a myriad of possibilities for spatial use.
Notes taken from Joseph, Stephen, and Tyrone Guthrie. 1964. Actor and architect. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
2 Box Office
14 Green Room 15 Pantry
8 Grand Staircase 9 Patio
4 Black Box Theatre
10 Seminar Room
5 Outdoor Stage
11 Multipurpose Hall
6 Rehearsal Hall
Performances may span across the whole building and not limited by the theatre space. On non-performaing days the space can be used for other purposes.
The transparancy of the northern facade is intended to welcome users of the park, while the southern elevation aims to block noise from the expressway.
‘Reclaiming History’ professional work (SD)
Conceptual design of pocket park;
Architect | Ke ZHANG
Historical background research;
Project Manager | Ao IKEGAMI
Team | Epp JERLEI; Amy KIM; Shinhye KIM; Farzad LEE
Correspondence with clients; Translation of presentation (Materials produced by Farzad Lee unless noted otherwise)
‘Can design survive deprived of memory and without the ambition to make the world a truly different place?’ -Antoine Picon Beijing, in a bid to ‘clean up the city” is currently evicting the ‘low-end population.’ A street renovation project beside a historic site was given to the team by the district government. In this complex socio-political context, we saw the potential to ameliorate the living conditions
of the current residents in addition to improving the stipulated superficial image of the city. The challenge, then, was to extract the rich yet fragmented cultural and historical givens of the city to help us deliver on the government’s expectations.
1:500 Site model by Y.H. YU
Granary compounds (Cang) were constructed to store the vast amount of grains for the Emperor, transported with the Grand Canal from the South. Most of the â€˜cangâ€™s have been replaced by city developers. Only nine granaries have been preserved in Nanxin Cang, where our project is located.
1 Nanxin Cang 2-4 three other â€˜Cangâ€™s 5 east city moat 6 east city wall
7 eastern 2nd ring highway 8 Nanxin Cang shopping plaza 9 Army Hospital 10 Dormitories
1959 image highlighted with buildings that still exist
The government requested a street renovation and wall restoration project
Our proposal integrating the underused historic
granaries and the disconnected residential districts (image by A. KIM)
The district on the southern end is the only remaining hutong area intact due to complicated property rights. Four old warehouses were discovered hidden behind illegal squatters, of which most of the facade was destroyed.
2023 m2 (81%) Expand and add entrance
1510 m2 (58%) Remove New Houses
989 m2 (37%) Retain Old Houses
2128 m2 (82%) Remove squatters around granaries
1593 m2 (61%) Remove squatters
1039 m2 (40%) Retain houses between granaries
2098 m2 (81%) Remove houses between granaries
1608 m2 (62%) Remove houses around granaries
1086 m2 (42%) Retain periphery houses
2084 m2 (80%) Open East side
1558 m2 (60%) Open South Side
1570 m2 (42%) Remove Squatters around granaries
A. Open from East Street ► fragmented openings and spaces
B. Open from South & East Street► strip of open spaces between graineries
C. Remove storages/squatters► open to streets, retaining strips of houses between graineries D. Expose Graineries► courtyard-like space enclosing the graineries
1 Outdoor gallery 2 Cafe 3 Inserted single studios 4 Pavilion 5 Public library 6 Public program
My proposal is to not only keep the three old structures intact but also most of the residentâ€™s houses. Public programs and open spaces are scattered throughout to create a sense of surprise for any passerby who has the curiosity of exploring the place.
professional work (CA) Collaborated Project
Supervise and record on-site construction;
Communicate with clients;
Architect | Ke ZHANG
Purchase tools and materials;
Project Manager | Shu Jun FANG
HVAC installation; Assist furniture layout and lighting design; Update construction drawings for documentation (Materials produced by Farzad LEE unless noted otherwise)
‘It is only when we try our own hand at construction that we are initiated into the torments associated with persuading materials and other humans to cooperate with our designs...’ -Alain de Botton We were given less than two months to finish construction of the interior of our previous hutong renovation project. The highlight of this interior project is the ‘Functional Module’ — a compact, integrated, core providing all service functions within approximately 4m2. The module has been under development since the initiation of this project more than two years ago. Only
one prototype had been previously constructed, and changes in design were according to the previously built version. Adjustments were still needed in both drawing and even during on-site construction, due to the site-specific conditions. Rigorous documentation of the Module’s construction process would contribute to the future evolution of its design.
Section drawn by S.J. FANG, edited by F. LEE Interior photo before construction taken by Q.S. WU Interior photo after construction taken by F. LEE
Plan and elevations original design by S.J. FANG, edited by F. LEE
The toilet is the core around which the bookshelf, laundry, and kitchen surrounds.
A structural model at 1:10 was prepared to communicate with the worker.
It took a total of 45 days to complete construction of the service core. The space went into use immediately upon completion.
The structure consists of 50 x 50 mm st
run pass, not through, the steel membe
teel tubes. Electrical wires needed to
ers for safety.
Materials used on the complete surface include Corian, birch plywood, and Oikos venetian plaster.
Underground pipework 1-2 days Steel Frame structure 3-4 days
Electricity and pipe routing 3-4 days
Cement boards and insulation 4-5 days Corian surfaces 5-6 days
Wooden cupboards 7-8 days Light Installation 1 day Metal work 1-2 days Paintwork 7-8 days
Oikos Venetian Plaster 2-3 days
A handmade booklet documenting the whole process was necessary to accumulate knowledge, in preparation for future construction of the module.
a prototype for teenage facilities in Barcelona
Individual Project The Royal College of Art ADS7 MA Year 1 | September 2018-June, 2019 Instructors | Cristina Gamboa, David Burns, Godofredo Pereira & Platon Issaias
‘Just at the time when teenagers need to band together freely in groups of their own making and explore, step back from, and explore again, the adult world: its work, love, science, laws habits, travel, play, communications, and governance, they are treated as if they were large children.’ -A Pattern Language
This project formulates a framework to provide the youth and teenagers in the city informal spaces to self-organize extra-curricular activities, in collaboration with different entities of the neighbourhood. Three programmes- namely a kitchen, a square, and a room, constitute an intervention to be tried out in La Marina de Port,
a recently developed neighbourhood with a diverse demography. This prototype is to grow with the maturation of a group of teenagers, and their increasing collaboration with other inhabitants of the neighbourhood. It is also to disappear if conditions on-site changes, only to re-appear on another site.
The Kitchen The first intervention to be constructed on site is the kitchen, with the most MEP work necessary. On both conceptual and practical levels, this program acts as the core of the project, and can accommodate the activities of the other programs at the beginning of the project, when the the events are still at a small scale.
The Square An outdoor space marked by a fly tower, 3 booth structures, seating and games. This intervention is a critical response towards the lack of outdoor equipments in the city that allows interaction between people and objects, and the elimination of â€œplayâ€? in public spaces. The fly tower, before completion, acted as scaffolding structure for the construction of the other programs
The Room This program serves as a storage space and provides a more private setting for activities such as study and discussion, yoga and meditation, or serve as a green room for performers. The structure is meant to be built incrementally, as more and more people use the facility.
p.m. , 1:200 cinema , 1:200 performance , 1:200 0
Typical Condition, 1:100
17h hops orks
Medi tatio n
ilion n Pav Ope
m oru ts f c e roj
Room Square Kitchen
com m u niy Me p d i tat ion
o p e n kitc hen Informal
Kitchen Square Room
en itch nk
games an d
W ee 3h
coo kin gc las s
m Roo dy u t S
Kitchen: café- run by youth volunteers; non-profit model; neighbourhood interactions open kitchen- available for students/young professionals to prepare quick meals cooking class- taught by members of the neighbourhood, collective cooking for teenagers Square: community projects forum- market of ideas; different groups present and discusstheir projects games and sports- foosball, table tennis, football open space- informal, unplanned activities Room: meditation- or any other activity planned by the teenagers before school and during lunch break open pavilion- an outdoor room for the neighbourhood workshops- organized by different collectives of the neighbourhood, an extension of the municipalitie’s civic spaces study room- for those who prefer to study together
This portfolio showcases some of the work related to architectural design