PRC Magazine #104 (Architecture | Building | Construction)

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sign e d ing for Help apers safe, cr s ith y k w s r ro w a n d o m to able nt n i a s u s t - e ff i c i e rgy ene logies no h c e t

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“Tall” Tales: 7 Decades of Transforming City Skylines Watch a video about Dow technologies that make it possible to reshape city skylines

Discover the key role that Dow technologies played in the construction of 70 percent of the world’s 20 tallest buildings, including Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Shanghai Tower in Shanghai and One World Trade Center in New York. “Tall” Tales speaks to the stories behind these influential tall buildings – including the innovative Dow technologies that made them possible and how these innovations are enabling more beautiful and sustainable cites. Developers and architects of urban skyscrapers are constantly c h a l l e n g e d a s t h e y p u s h t h e e n v e l o p e t o c re a t e t a l l e r, m o re aesthetically pleasing buildings while ensuring their projects are costeffective, safe, flexible, energy-efficient and sustainable. That’s quite a tall order, but one that Dow can help become a reality. With a broad portfolio of building solutions and more than seven decades of experience, Dow’s innovative technology has helped architects bring creative designs to life – and transform city skylines across the world.

Trusted Industry Partner We have been working with industry partners for decades to develop industry standards and quality control guidelines that improve safety and sustainability in high-rise designs. As a supporting member of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), Dow is sharing our expertise on materials, products and systems with fellow members to help the organization explore new design concepts and disseminate best design practices to positively impact future cities. Key Dow Technologies Since the 1960s, Dow’s innovative technology has helped architects bring their creative imaginations to life, with skyscrapers and other tall buildings that are not only strong and sustainable, but also beautiful.

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Mar - Apr 2021 Issue 104 FACEBOOK

Press 報導

12 Latest industry announcements 最新行業情報及資訊

Features 專題

22 Elevated Melbourne railway reinforces adjacent ground-level community 墨爾本高架鐵路加強地面的社區互動 24 Leigh & Orange TODs bring people back to metropolitan living 利安的公共運輸導向型開發 帶動人們回到大都市生活 28 SOM NYC railway terminal brings 21st century convenience SOM 紐約鐵路新樞紐 迎來21世紀的便利


44 DCM Studios set design quality benchmark in contemporary Vietnam DCM Studios 在越南樹立當代設計基準

Design 設計 48 In Pattaya, a classroom makeover at school for the blind 芭堤雅盲人學校教室大改革 50 Seeking to minimise touch, AUB moving forward without barriers 前進無障礙 - AUB 大幅程度地減少接觸 52 Pushing the evolution of universal accessibility – a call to action! 立即行動 - 推動無障礙獲取更大發展

Product & Tech 產品與科技

32 Legendary practice Heatherwick Studio unveils 1000 Trees, Shanghai 建築界傳奇 Heatherwick Studio 在上海盛放的天安千樹

56 Ergonomy for all when style meets applied science 人體工學設計 - 當風格與科學相遇時

38 The inspiration for the landscape design 雅邦的景觀設計啟示

58 Orientop’s 25 years of innovation with architectural glass 不斷創新25年 - 建築玻璃專家 Orientop

40 Suzhou’s history meets the future at Benoy’s Future Land Wuyue Plaza 吾悅廣場 - 蘇州歷史與未來相遇之地

Cover photo: 1000 Trees, Shanghai Photo Courtesy of Heatherwick Studio





Publisher: Mike Staley, Editor: Contributing Editor: Elizabeth Dooley Editorial Team: Bryan Chan • Derek Leung • Jasper Lau • Joe Wyatt • Krista Chan • Michael Hoare • Norman Yam • Richard Lee Business Development: Bryan Chan, Tel: (852) 3150 8912 Sales Director: Mike Staley, Tel: (852) 3150 8989 Account Manager: Alfred Ng, Tel: (852) 3150 8911 Account Manager: Howard Tsang, Tel: (852) 3579 5572 Sales Enquiries: Yannie Yuen, Tel: (852) 3150 8988 MICE Manager: Noiz Chu, Tel: (852) 3579 5573 Senior Graphic Designer: Ric Sin, Graphic Designers: Eddie Yue, Michelle Morkel Photographer: Brian Zhang Digital Media Coordinator: Jeffrey Ng Printing: Elegance Printing PRC Magazine is published by Ring of Fire Ltd. 5/F Kong Ling Building, 102 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 3150 8988 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner, without the written consent of the publishers. All care is taken but accuracy of information rests with the client; the publisher bares no responsibility for any factual errors that may occur. The views expressed herein are not necessarily shared by PRC Magazine or its staff. © Copyright 2021 Ring of Fire Limited

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Pavilia Hill - Image courtesy of New World Development

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Decorative Paint Decorative paint is derived from Europe and is considered an art form. It is now highly sought after by clients as it gives free rein to a designer’s imagination. It is a material that incorporates ecological ingredients, which helps to create a long-lasting, natural look for all indoor or outdoor decorative building finishes. Being flexible allows decorative paints to form different textures and effects, such as marble, silk, cement and there is even a metallic finish. Just another benefit of highly versatile decorative paint.

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The 339-m-high Hengqin International Financial Centre by Aedas invokes the Chinese myth of flood dragons emerging from the sea in metaphor for the strength and power of the region.The recently completed tower with a 218,955m2 GFA is located on Zhuhai’s Hengqin Island, a financial district connecting the cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. The development is comprised of mixed programmes, including Grade-A office, conference and exhibition amenities, commercial apartments and retail spaces. The spirally rising volume draws on The Nine Dragons, a Song Dynasty painting. The dragon emerging from the sea symbolises new life breaking through and flourishing as an imposing power. To design the curvy curtain wall, smaller, standardised units in a limited numbers of dimensional types were used. The glass panel units, mostly flat, are installed by section and with gradually shifting angles to form a curve.


The Zhuhai Jinwan Civic Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects is taking shape. The steel structure of the lattice roof canopy of the cultural hub is now in place over two of the venues. The roof is a defining element of the design, uniting four buildings under a network of reticulated shells. Integrating a 1200-seat Grand Theatre, a 500-seat Multifunctional Hall, Science Centre, and Art Museum, each venue sits within a structural logic that spans 170m from east to west and 270m north to south. Echoing the chevron patterns of migratory birds flying in formation over southern China, the canopies over each venue are configured through repetition, symmetry and scale variation, resulting in a composition of related elements that respond to the different functional requirements of each building. The centre’s landscaping and surrounding lake are part of Zhuhai’s “sponge city” initiative that targets the natural permeation, storage and re-use of at least 70% of the city’s rainwater.



The Toranomon-Azabudai development in Tokyo has signed Aman Residences, the hotel chains’ first residence-only development, and Janu Tokyo hotel, sister brand of Aman.The hotel and residences project heralds a collaboration between Aman and Japan’s leading developer, Mori Building Co. Ltd. The Toranomon-Azabudai project is an 8.1-hectare development 30-years-in-the-making by Mori Building that is due for completion in 2023. “Tokyo must add to its magnetic power if it is to succeed in its competition with the world’s greatest cities,” says Mori Building president and Chief Executive Shingo Tsuji. “Mori Building is joining hands with Aman, which operates diverse world-class resorts, to provide a world-leading residential environment and hotel unlike anything ever seen in Tokyo.” The Aman Residences, Tokyo will claim the top 11 floors of the A District Tower, designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. Janu Tokyo will comprise of 120 guest rooms and suites and will occupy a prime position facing the project’s central square within a building identified as B-2 District Tower.

Leading urban design and architecture practice Farrells has unveiled its recently completed One Excellence development, in the heart of Shenzhen’s new Qianhai district and China’s Greater Bay Area. The project totals 757,000m2 and sets a global precedent for future mixed use, high-density urbanism – with social and green space at its heart. Central to the scheme are the multi-level streetscapes which create lively interplays between different functions to generate vibrant retail spaces. At the heart of Farrells’ design is the interlocking of towers and streetscapes with green spaces, metro links, pedestrian networks and multi-level circulation routes that connect the wider Qianhai district. The project features four office towers, including the 300m landmark tower and iconic 180m gateway towers and two residential towers. The ‘gateway’ towers play an important role in shaping the emerging city, through welcoming visitors and signifying the beginning of the next chapter in Shenzhen’s growth. Meanwhile a gateway canopy, residential clubhouse and feature skylights are designed to enhance the urban experience.

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The Riviera is a residential development in Shantou, on Guangdong’s eastern coast, by China Overseas Grand Oceans Group with a 301,900m2 GFA. Hong Kong’s LWK + Partners created the sales gallery ahead of the sales phase of the project. The building demonstrates a delicate bespoke design with a façade inspired by the elegant form of traditional Chinese folding fans.The extensive use of glass curtain walls invites ample sunlight into the building, promoting visibility and spatial interaction between outdoors and indoors. The building mass is strategically subtracted to open up a wide, progressive archway, creating public space and guiding visitors towards this work of art. Through precise calculation and design of the truss system, the massive arched roof converges from height towards a single tip that touches down on the waterscape. The 66,153.8m2 site is located in the centre of Shantou’s New East Coastal Area and adjacent to the Xinjin River. After the sales phase ends, the building will become a cultural and recreational centre.


Decibel Architecture have broken ground on a green demonstration office in Shanghai called SCGZero+ that may become the greenest building in the world. The Shanghai building updates the technology and approaches embedded into the Pixel Building in Melbourne, Australia. That office building from 2010 obtained an LEED score of 105 points and was Australia’s first carbon neutral building. The Shanghai building will be zero carbon, zero energy, zero water, zero waste and zero formaldehyde. The project for Shanghai Construction Group will demonstrate innovative, transferrable technologies that can lead the path to changing and improving the rules upon which sustainable buildings are built. The building is designed on PassivHaus Design Principles, and includes a waterbalanced approach that integrates the building into nearby parklands; onsite activities, gyms, dance and yoga studios; and vegetarian kitchens to process the produce from rooftop farms.



Hong Kong studio 10 Design has been appointed to realise Phase 1 of the Shenzhen Pengcheng laboratory, Shenzhen city’s forthcoming flagship scientific research facility. The first phase of the masterplan includes about 436,500m2 of laboratory space that incorporates spaces for recreation, dining, sports and social facilities. 10 Design’s brief is to design a space that promotes social interaction between researchers. “Our plans have been assembled to position social amenity spaces at the heart of the scheme, complemented by a series of elevated connected walkaways which navigate the terrain and the internal movement to allow connectivity and fluidity when passing through,” says Nick Cordingley, Design Partner at 10 Design. Edmond Lau, Associate Partner of 10 Design said that once complete, the scheme will be one of four major provincial laboratories in Guangdong and aims to attract the best talent from across the globe to accelerate scientific discovery.

The historic Arts and Industries Building of the Smithsonian Institution reopens for the first time since 2004 later this year. A severe snowstorm raised concerns about the structure of the then-120-year-old building, which saw its shuttering. An intensive restoration project has since stabilised the historic exterior, roof and more than 900 windows. Now, the United States first national museum will temporarily reopen in November for the first time in nearly two decades for the debut exhibition called Futures. The new museum experience will fuse art, technology, design and history, and is a centrepiece of the Smithsonian’s landmark 175th anniversary year. “With ‘FUTURES,’ we want to invite all visitors to discover, debate and delight in the many possibilities for our shared future,” said Arts and Industries Building director Rachel Goslins. “There’s no place better to do this than in the Arts and Industries Building, the nation’s original home for big ideas.”



OPEN Architecture’s design for Shanghai Qingpu Pinghe International School is based on the idea of a school as a village.The 2,312m2 Pinghe Bibliotheater is the core of the project, incorporating a library, theatre seating 500 people, 150-seat blackbox theatre and cafe that interlock like a Chinese puzzle to form this characteristic building. The unique form of the 2020-era building and the free-flowing spaces are meant to cultivate the students’ interests in reading and performing, and also encourage their imagination to roam.The Bibliotheater abuts an important corner of this school-village, at a junction near which a major city highway and an ancient canal meet. The marriage of library and theatre came from findings that the act of expression through performance should be critical components of education. The Bibliotheater was conceived more broadly as a cultural centre for not only the school but also the surrounding communities. It was the architect’s hope that the Bibliotheater would bring together parents and community members.


Designed by Austrian architects Coop Himmelb(l)au and ATELIER BRÜCKNER the new 8500m2 MOCAPE museum is dedicated to contemporary art and urban planning. The permanent exhibition is divided into three large areas, each with a specific theme. The first floor is dedicated to the theme of “City Co-Existence” and illustrates the interrelationships of the city with the coastline and the surrounding mountains. The second theme area titled “City Co-Construction” presents the master plan of the city’s concrete urban planning in seven phases, from 1979 through to the present day and onto its vision for 2035. The third exhibition level presents the ideas and theories of urban planning through the theme of “City Co-Wish” and compares the development of the Shenzhen skyline with other famous cities around the world. The highlight of the exhibition is the Shenzhen Lens, which connects all three floors and gives visitors the opportunity to follow the streams of movement in the city. www. atelier-brueckner. com


POMEROY EXPLORES ROLE OF CULTURE, INNOVATION IN SHAPING FUTURE CITIES Pomeroy Academy has brought their collection of essays on the theme of sustainable urbanisation through culture and innovation to Singapore. Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation was launched at a virtual and physical event at the National Design Centre. The book’s editor and contributor, Jason Pomeroy, initially launched the publication to accompany the United Nation Habitat Group’s 10th Session of the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi early last year, covering how cities and its places continue to be centres of culture and innovation that can be inextricably linked. The book considers culture and innovation via social, economic, environmental, spatial, cultural and technological considerations. Contributions are drawn from various geographies, disciplines and fields of expertise, including award-winning landscape architect Andrew Grant; and Hollywood film producer Emmanuel Benbihy. The Pomeroy Academy are educators and researchers of sustainable built environments.

Local practice 4N was commissioned by The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology -HKUST, to design a research centre and laboratory for robotics construction, to house engineers and visiting professors from foreign universities such as Tsinghua University and UC Berkeley. Completed at the end of 2020, the 1,200m² centre houses a laboratory, exhibition area, conference and seminar rooms and more. Inspired by physics in which the simplest geometries play an important role in both the natural and man-made world, the overall design was a celebration of simplest straight lines, rectangles and diagonal lines, with an important play on dimensions and proportions, referencing ancient Greek and Roman classical architecture. The design concept plays tribute to nature and engineering. Natural timber flooring and ceiling panels, black metal frames, lid-up glass walls and soft furnishing in white contrasting amidst the use of geometric forms.



AECOM has helped commission Hong Kong’s Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link (TMCLKL), the culmination of work on the project conducted by the infrastructure consulting firm. Put into service in December, AECOM delivered engineering design services on the project since 2011. TM-CLKL is a key element in Hong Kong’s transport network. It connects Tuen Mun, in the western New Territories, to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and Hong Kong International Airport via Hong Kong Port. “It was important to AECOM and project stakeholders that the subsea tunnel was constructed using the most environmentally sustainable method of TBM which avoided excavating 11 million m3 of marine sediments. Furthermore, we are proud of the exemplary safety record across our onsite workforce of more than 700, given the pioneering of the tunnel boring method at 55 meters below sea level,” said Ian Chung, AECOM’s regional chief executive for Asia. TM-CLKL comprises a 9.7-km-long, dual twolane highway, including a subsea tunnel of 5km long.



The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) and Noble Vantage Ltd, part of Chinachem Group, have signed a contract that will see both assume operation and management of Hong Kong’s Central Market Revitalisation Project. A joint management committee has been set up by the partners to devise details around the business plan. The URA says it will closely monitor Noble Vantage’s performance and operational effectiveness. Both the URA and Chinachem are conscious to avoid excessive consumerism and profit-maximising in the operation of the Central Market. A portion of the floor area of the Project has already been earmarked for public and community uses, including a 24hour public passageway, toilet facilities, and green open spaces totalling about 1,000 square metres. The URA was tasked in 2009 with the revitalisation of the former Central Market building to provide a green public open space for diversified uses for public enjoyment. Since taking up the Central Market building from the Government in October 2017, the URA commenced restoration and preservation works for the 80-year-old building.

The Hong Kong Façade Association (HKFA) has announced its new leadership team for the 2021-23 term. The 8th Council Board of the HKFA will be helmed by president Peter Wong and vice-president Samuel Mak, with other council members appointed from various industry groups, including Simon Chan and Sammy Hui. In an announcement published by the association, the leadership team said they were committed to contributing to unifying the industry, communicating with government authorities and liaising with other professional institutions in construction industry. The goal of the association’s leadership is to elevate facade engineering technologies and tactics to meet the increasingly challenging demand for quality improvement, design and engineering expertise. The inauguration ceremony has been delayed by the pandemic and need for social distancing control measures. Further details will be published in the association’s FAÇADE journal.


AUB IN HONG KONG RECOMMENDS THE TESA SIMPLIFIED ACCESS SOLUTION Hong Kong’s AUB door access solutions is a provider of the only integral access control solution specific to the hospitality market. The Assa Abloy’s TESA Hotel systems have been installed around the world since the 1980s. The unifying technology uses a single platform to manage each of the related systems – which includes locks, wall readers and cylinders – using wireless, BLE and RFID technologies. Solutions to the hospitality sector include a wide range of wall readers, energy savers, safes and other mechanical and electromechanical devices. The TESA Hotel software platform is capable of managing Openow mobile access, read and write, wireless online, standalone and check-in PIN. The technical innovation delivered by the TESA Hotel system is backed by more than 30 years’ experience in the global hospitality sector. The AUB team recommends TESA Hotel for renovations and upgrades.

An idea that was first proposed in the 1800s is closer to fruition with Cox Architecture and Arup behind the design for Brisbane’s Kangaroo Point Green Bridge. The design connects Kangaroo Point’s residential and commercial area to the Brisbane CBD, the capital of Queensland state in Australia, making it easier to walk or cycle between the city’s eastern suburbs and the City Botanic Gardens. The bridge at Kangaroo Point is a single-mast cable-stay structure measuring 470m and 6.8-m wide, and feature a navigable bridge clearance of height of 12.7m. It could be completed as soon as 2023. Cox says its design has landings that “touch lightly on the river’s edge and protect and integrate adjacent green spaces including the City Botanic Gardens”.The Brisbane City Council is building what it has called green bridges over the Brisbane River that will improve access around the city by foot, bicycle, scooter, and connect with existing public transport.The new bridges will cross at four points, and include pathways, landscaping and shade from the subtropical weather.

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Positioned as the first and only “smart shopping mall” in Taiwan, the FEDS Xinyi A13 department store is a new design concept and the fifth generation department store owned by Far Eastern Department Store group. Now into its second year of operation, the 14-storey mall in the heart of Taipei’s “Xinyi” district has become a popular weekend shopping and leisure destination. FEDS Xinyi A13 offers a unique shopping experience that incorporates retail, hospitality and digital experiences. A minimalist design gives a modern and refreshing look to the store interior, a style that is well-loved by today’s customers. The design includes natural elements from the patterning of the floor and the ceiling, there are motifs of natural wood, plants, flowers. Digital design and experiential technology are incorporated into the department store’s architecture and interior design. Throughout the departmental store are interactive screen panels displaying video content, providing customers with elements of discovery and visual sensory experience. “How we first approach this project is based on customer profiling and research,” says Gensler AsiaPacific retail expert Markus Pesendorfer.


HEAD ARCHITECTURE SERVES UP FRESH INTERIOR IDEAS FOR HONG KONG RETAILER When chef and entrepreneur Patrick Verhoeven needed a look for a contemporary European deli and restaurant that would build on the core business elements of the Dutch niche restaurant 238 on Hollywood, HEAD Architecture and Design delivered a concept that included high-level signage, echoing the lights of fishing boats at night. The white glazed tiles at the fish display are reminiscent of European fish markets, while the deli’s soft patterned tiles give the sense of the colourful indoor food markets of Barcelona. Stairs to the left rise to an open kitchen preparing food to eat at the long quayside bench seat or for delivery. “References to the sea and the fishing industry are the core elements of the concept,” says HEAD Architecture founding partner Mike Atkin. “Working with a wrap-around palette of warm horizontal timber strips drawn from boat hull construction, the colourful products on the shelves and long wall of open refrigerated displays sit like rich coral growing up from the hexagonally tiled seabed.”

DELABIE RELEASES BLACK MAGIC RANGE OF TAPS, WINNING INDUSTRY ACCLAIM The French Delabie brand of taps and sanitary ware continues to weave an essential link between design, architecture and functionality in modern spaces such as museums, restaurants, company headquarters and airports. Fresh from an installation at the Tai Kwun cultural centre in Central Hong Kong, Delabie has a new release from the Binoptic range of taps. The Black Magic range is a series of fully touchless models, in matt black chrome finish, that is 100% hygienic thanks to its automatic daily anti-bacterial duty flush that eliminates water stagnation in the pipes if the building is unoccupied. It is also designed to provide optimal resistance to intensive use, improve water and energy savings and come with a 10 year-warranty. The Black Magic series is wide with 14 models to satisfy all tastes and it is well on the way to winning global acclaim, with the series winning recognition at the Muuuz International Awards earlier this year. The Muuuz magazine awards acknowledge creative trends and innovations, and the publication is seen as a manual for architects and designers.

LEED EARTH EXPANDING TO NEW MARKETS, ACCELERATES HEALTHY ECONOMY STRATEGY The above Lounge has been unveiled at Pacific Place. The lounge is for above Black members of the above loyalty programme, and operated by The Upper House. “The above loyalty programme has proven to be a great success since its launch in 2016,” said Theresa Leung, General Manager of Pacific Place. Designed by internationally renowned architect and interior designer André Fu, the lounge is located at Level L4 of Pacific Place and is thoughtfully designed to offer a mix of multi-functional spaces that are organically laid out to meet the needs of members. It features an open lounge where members can relax and re-energise in comfort, a contemporary bar, a cosy meeting space, and a private powder room for members to enjoy personalised services such as beauty and wellness offerings. The new lounge is expected to officially open to above Black members in the second quarter of this year.

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) is expanding its LEED Earth campaign to homes, communities and cities in countries where green building is emerging. “We are committed to bringing LEED to every country, to make it accessible to as many people as possible while also continuing to foster innovation and achievement in existing global markets,” said USGBC president Mahesh Ramanujam. USGBC will also extend LEED Earth benefits to the first LEED Platinum project in any country to certify using LEED v4.1, the newest version of LEED. New projects were considered for LEED Earth from March. Launched in 2013, LEED Earth has enabled significant global growth of green building, taking LEED from 140 countries to nearly 200 today. “The economic, health and environmental challenges we are facing are substantial and now is the time for project teams around the world to take steps to curb emissions, enhance resilience and support health, especially within our most vulnerable populations,” added Ramanujam.

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RAIL REVIVES SUBURBAN LIFEST YLE An elevated r ailway built th ro focuses on wh at happens at ugh suburban Melbourne ground level to community aro reinforce the und it.


reating three sections of elevated rail through densely populated suburban Melbourne removed nine level crossings in a clear boost for public safety. The A$1.6-billion project also presented a generational opportunity to relink communities along a corridor of established inner and fastgrowing outer suburban suburbs in Australia's second biggest city.

facilities. Each of the five precincts created has a plaza addressing the existing village, with the station’s forecourt entry given consideration as a key component of the community experience. The bold use of colour within these areas was a deliberate move to provide vibrant, engaging public spaces at day one prior to the establishment of surrounding vegetation.

The Caulfield Dandenong Rail Upgrade Project on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line has created 22.5 hectares of open space, parklands and new community areas, as well as 12km of newly built pedestrian and cyclist paths. The bicycle and pedestrian path is called the Djerring Trail – a word taken form the regional language spoken by the first Australians to suggest connectivity – linking to other bicycle and pedestrian paths across the densely populated corner of the city. Beneath the elevated railway are recreation areas with exercise equipment, table tennis tables and basketball half-courts, along with outdoor seating.

The open spaces deliver immediate public value and create a legacy space and urban forest. The areas where tree growth is possible were highly protected from the outset, while the highly coloured activation nodes take immediate advantage of the space beneath the rail as a place for active recreation that receives less rain and sun than other areas. The project saw more than 4,200 trees re-established in addition to those trees saved through the elevation of the rail line. Stormwater from the elevated viaduct is captured and discharged into the landscape at the base of the piers, and conveyed through surface swales to provide passive irrigation.

The collaboration involved ASPECT Studios, Cox Architects and their multidisciplinary partners. The project demanded a reimagining of what rail infrastructure looks like and how it functions. While the elevated railway brought challenges in dealing with the impacts of shade, visual intrusion, overlooking, water management and access, planning the space beneath was based around precincts focused on optimised multi-modal transport hubs including interchanges for buses, trains and vehicles, as well as encouraging walking and cycling. The collaboration saw the creation of five new station forecourts with public open space, three linear parks making use of the land used by the old railway, a new civic square, five activation spaces and multiple small community nodes. Facilities within the nodes were developed to compliment existing sport and recreation activities. For example, one node contains fitness stations, sport courts, picnic areas, table tennis and bike repair

Text & Photos: ASPECT Studios

Derek Leung

The greatest legacy of the project is hoped to be felt far into the future, with flow-on effects from increased physical activity and social interaction within the community hoped to result in better physical and mental health. The Level Crossing Removal Project is part of the Victorian state government's Big Build infrastructure building drive, which officials say will involve an investment of more than A$80 billion (US$62.1 billion). The Big Build includes a proposed rail link to the city's international airport, freeways, underground rail, upgrades to long-distance rail lines, bridges and tunnels. Included in the build out is A$6.6 billion to remove level crossings – rail, road and tramway intersections built at grade – that slow transport flows and put lives at risk. Works to remove 75 dangerous and congested rail-road intersections are more than halfway through.



CIVIC-MINDED DESIGN HELPS CREATE COMPELLING URBAN COMMUNITIES The Leigh & Orange basement-up approach to transit-oriented development uses ingenuity and technology to create connection and bring people back to metropolitan living.


onsider what drives our world and you might logically conclude that it's infrastructure. But keep drilling down and you'll come to a realisation that connection and community are the real engines of humanity. Infrastructure is an enabler and, if its done right, will shape hubs that are selfsustaining miracles of ingenuity. Transit-oriented development (TOD) is the art and science of creating hightraffic, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use areas around transport infrastructure, such as rail. This is a holistic approach that incorporates planning, design and construction to boost public transit ridership, walking and cycling, and includes commercial and residential real estate, within a liveable community. In the extremely population dense urban clusters of China's biggest cities, innovative concepts and approaches such as TOD are demanded when creating the arteries that will come to define commerce and communication for generations. Leigh & Orange is behind some of the best of these rail-based, transport hubs.

Text: Michael Hoare

Photos: Leigh & Orange

Krista Chan

CONNECTED THINKING Leigh & Orange (L&O) has been continuously involved in the design and development of railway and infrastructure projects, undertaking works for MTR Corporation and the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation over the past three decades. L&O's master planning for projects in Hong Kong, mainland China and further afield has created a portfolio of works that integrate transport networks with mixed-use developments. Stations are the point where transport networks connect with places. Welldesigned stations have an elevated role connecting people and communities. They enhance and improve the quality of life and movement of traffic throughout a railway network. They create new connections and opportunities. A landscaped courtyard with retail and amenities space has helped forge a seamless connection to the underground rail at Xiangyuan Road Station, on Hangzhou's Metro Line 10. The 2019 project with a GFA of 111,700 square metres by L&O for Zhejiang Vanke Narade Real Estate was across a site area of 27,300 square metres. Notably, the project was based on the thinking that infrastructure could be used more efficiently if cultural and event spaces connected with the existing context and new developments. This idea of engagement with the community has driven the creation of a sports playground, roof garden, urban farm and communal facilities at different levels up from basement level 1. Above the 43,400-square-metre basement retail and car park are four, 50-metre tall office blocks among 68,300 square metres of aboveground commercial space. In Southern China, the Future Times development is helping build out the ambitious Qianhai New District, the emerging financial centre west of downtown Shenzhen. The setting here is relatively more open, on a site abutting a metro maintenance depot. Unlike the work in Hangzhou, Future Times relies more on nature to draw people to infrastructure. The project uses the concept of a multi-


PART OF THE FABRIC The design of railway stations and the infrastructure related to them is a key part of L&O’s design expertise. The most recent addition to the company's portfolio is Hin Keng Station on MTR Corporation's Shatin-to-Central Link. Operated just about a year ago, the above ground station sets new standards for an open, elevated railway station in Hong Kong by integrating solutions for functionality, sustainability and aesthetics. The station's 5,000-square-metre green roof can recycle, conserve and supply water to the vertical greening elements that helps it merge into the surrounding natural hilly and wooded terrain. The generous openings at the roofline and elevations enable optimal natural lighting and cross-ventilation. While sustainable landscape design, public art and other visual flourishes are important, the technical details of any transport-oriented project go a long way to determining its success. Other high-quality access points to transport that bring people into the public realm are the Lei Tung Station and South Horizons Station on the MTR South Island Line (East). The work at Lei Tung Station was technically challenging. At 60 metres below ground, the station is one of Hong Kong's deepest, built to serve a housing estate situated on a hill. The work here had to meet multiple demands: improve transport and increase pedestrian flows within the estate, and create new access to and from the estate. Approaches to the station are boosted by using high-speed, high-capacity lifts to move people through, and there are pedestrian subways beneath arterial roads that slice through the neighbourhood. Community connection is a crucial part of the design of the South Horizons Station, where the art of local students decorates a mural on the platform level, or where a glass façade is used to reflect the skyline nearby.

THE TAKEAWAY dimensional “green carpet” to seamlessly connect the site with its surrounds. Accentuated by event spaces and programme, the green carpet is a strategy to provide breathing space and public realm for the future financial district. Not due for completion until 2024, the project's GFA of 544,800 square metres includes offices, serviced apartments, a hotel, retail space and housing. Future Times Phase 2B will extend the layers of green space, weaving green corridors between the planned architecture, including schools, through a basement courtyard and roof gardens, before they meet in a “Green Heart” at the centre of the “Central Park”. Within this Central Park a collection of low-density building typologies is designed for different office and commercial uses, including midrise offices, office villas, standalone retail pavilions and a basement retail street.

If the concept of layering the capillaries that feed these transport arteries sounds like history repeating, you'd be right: trade and the marketplace sprang up in human prehistory, market towns were a formal arrangement in the Middle Ages, and urban agglomeration was accelerated by the Industrial Revolution. But these processes have taken time to evolve. Creating a textured development quickly, one that releases the value in the community's investment in infrastructure, can be complex. Planners need a comprehensive understanding of the systems and economics at play within cities. Mastery of transit and infrastructure design, zoning, and an understanding of urban regeneration tactics are key, in addition to core competencies such as architecture and master planning. Where it's done well, the World Bank says a multi-disciplinary approach to TOD includes other professions and enables cities to prioritise inclusion and resilience. In a world clamouring for resources, this sustainable approach takes the lessons of the past and makes for a brighter future.






Within the confines of a heritage building, a new railway terminal brings 21st century convenience and service, with a romantic nod to the past


t's a US$1.6-billion renovation of a post office building, train station and concourse. With a strictly utilitarian purpose of moving vast numbers of people as quickly as possible, the latest addition to the Penn Street railway station in New York is a 45,200-square-metre building that has already become an icon that is loved by millions. The Moynihan Train Hall in New York City opened in January. The hall transforms the 1912-era James A. Farley Post Office and an extension built in the 1930s. Inside is the new Penn Street rail terminus, born from the adaptive reuse of the disused post office over the course of a decade. The hall's five floors and concourse fill the Beaux-Arts building in midtown Manhattan. The rectangular form is capped by a dramatic skylight which is clearly the crowning glory of redevelopment. The four catenary vaults that compose the skylight are supported by a web-like structure of steel trusses. The design incorporates three massive trusses that were part of the existing building and were revealed in the redesign undertaken by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. SOM's design exposed the building's bones, bringing light and life back to the busiest rail station in North America. The Pennsylvania Station complex is the main intercity railroad station in New York, catering to more than 650,000 passengers a day on 21 different lines in 2019. Moynihan Train Hall provides a new way to access both Amtrak and Long Island Railroad services, connecting directly with the existing platforms beneath Penn Station. The design reverses the dark, overcrowded experience that has been a fixture for more than 50 years, increases total concourse space by 50 percent, and restores the grandeur that was lost with the demolition of the original Penn Station.

“We’ve designed a place that evokes the majesty of the original Penn Station, all while serving as a practical solution to the issues that commuters in, to and from New York have endured for too long,” said SOM Partner Colin Koop. “By connecting to our architectural past through the adaptive reuse of the Farley Post office building, we are breathing new life into New York, and recreating an experience no one has had here in decades.”

The acclaim the new building has won speaks to the power of architecture but also of the influence of art. There are artistic flourishes in the building that celebrate rail and hark back to the first iteration of Penn Street. Soaring as much as 28 metres above the floor, the roof's trusses are illuminated at night. Along the eastern wall, four large LED screens feature images from across New York state. Interiors feature Tennessee Quaker marble, a material rich in warmth, calmness and grandeur. Grand artistic gestures include an Elmgreen & Dragset installation at the station's 31st Street entrance, called The Hive, that sees 100 inverted buildings hanging from the ceiling, assembled in a shape resembling lower Manhattan and hanging upside down as might stalactites. A hand-painted stained-glass triptych arcs over the entrance to 33rd Street, featuring hip-hop dancers drifting across a clear sky. The hopeful piece by Kehinde Wiley is called Go and it recalls religious frescoes on church ceilings. Another entrance is flanked by mixed-use developments that respond to the Hudson Yards Redevelopment, blocks away to the west. Inside, an east-west corridor is surrounded by retail and additional dining amenities, as well as circulation to the offices for Facebook, spread across four floors. The Train Hall is directly opposite the existing Penn Station complex, on the west side of 8th Avenue, and offers the same easy access to the A,C,E and 1,2,3 subway lines and local bus services, as well as CitiBike, taxi and rideshare services right outside the Train Hall. SOM says the Moynihan Train Hall serves as a precedent for redefining historic architecture. The development will target a LEED for Transit certification, with the studio working to make the best use of the light from the glass ceiling and mechanical systems to improve air quality. It adds much needed circulation capacity – not only making commutes more convenient, but also safer, as it spreads the crush of people during rush hours, and enables better social distancing. On a broader level, it is a new symbol of hope for the future. Moynihan Train Hall re-establishes a civic icon for New York, and recaptures the original spirit of train travel to Penn Station. "One of the most remarkable things about this project is the way that it transforms an under-utilised and under-appreciated building into a new, inviting front door for this city," says Roger Duffy, the retired SOM Design Partner who led the project. "The train hall is at the core of this transformation. It is designed with lightness and warmth, which combine to re-establish the essence of what it means to come to New York."

Text: Michael Hoare Krista Chan

Photos: Lucas Blair Simpson | Aaron Fedor @SOM



Copyright: Detroit Publishing Co. - Circa 1910.




ollowing the resounding success of the UK Pavilion for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, Heatherwick Studio (Heatherwick) was invited by property developer, Tian An Investments Company Ltd., to design a new development in the heart of Shanghai’s Putuo District. Located on a 58,930 square metre site on the 1,100 metre bank of the Suzhou River, it is surrounded on three sides by concrete residential towers and on the other by the city’s main art district and an established public park. The mixed-use development includes a commercial and entertainment complex, shopping mall, office space and hotel. In a project that goes against the grain of the trend in China for massive largescale developments of retail podiums and glass towers, Heatherwick set to work in 2011 to blend architecture with the surrounding arts, heritage and greenery that complements the site. And the clue is in the name. Text: Elizabeth Dooley

Photos: Heatherwick Studio

Derek Leung


Known as 1000 Trees the design’s focus is not on the building’s façade but rather centred around the thousands of concrete columns necessary to support a structure of this size. Normally hidden within the building each column is topped with a large planter designed to bring balance and light to what this renowned studio has described as “the inevitable hardness of modern construction”. Arranged in varying heights across the site the columns are further accentuated with trees that have been planted to “create an undulating topography of balconies”, which reach upwards from the lowest point of the site at the river bank. Thomas Impiglia, who joined Heatherwick in 2014, now leads the design team. In an exclusive interview with PRC he explains how since its inception the project has been broken down into two connected mountains, East and West, the first of which, the West mountain and is on track for its soft opening towards the end of 2021.

Filled with a mixed and diverse range of tenants, the development is soon to become home to a broad mix of retailers, F&B outlets, with the potential for gallery space to support local artists and artisans, and public landscape. Suffice to say it is not your typical Shanghai mall. “Given the concentration of shopping malls in the city we worked closely with the client to create something unique and different from the typical indoor closed environment. Our aim was to create something more experiential that would reflect the established arts culture of the area,” he says. “It’s definitely been well received by the community and is breathing new life into the arts district, and attracting a lot more people across Shanghai to visit what was previously a predominantly residential area in need of renovation,” he adds.


Rising to the challenge For Impiglia the challenges relating to completion of the first phase of the project, particularly relating to the use of concrete columns to support the weight of the tress, were self-imposed. “We wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before. What’s interesting about the structure is that the columns are not just there to lift up the trees. The building is an entire exoskeleton and is literally held up by the columns on the outside of the walls. The supporting beams spring from the tops of these columns to support the building. It’s an incredible feat of engineering.” Working closely with global advisory, design, planning and engineering consultancy Arup, and the local engineers SIADR (shanghai institute of architectural design & research) Heatherwick spent a lot of time throughout the design process, researching how best to cast the columns, which are undeniably a prominent feature of the design. “The team began experimenting with fabric formwork casting to create an affordable and reusable textile molds. However, given that something like this had never been done before on such a huge scale there were complications and in the end we opted for the more tried and true method of rigid fibreglass formwork with steel encasement.” It was a process that took over two years, with contractors making mockups and 3D models that would enable the column formwork to be spliced in unique arrangements across the whole area of the building in order to use molds multiple times without detracting from the final visual impact. For Impiglia the essence of 1000 Trees is about creating a design that would enhance the natural features of the site and stand out from other buildings in the neighbourhood. “Everything around the north side of the river is like a copy paste of high rise towers forming incredibly imposing, claustrophobic and demoralising wall of facades of almost identical towers. Our vision was to create a place of respite within the city where we could raise the landscape up into the air in a very gentle and serene cascade from the river, wrapping around many of the previously derelict factory buildings which have been restored and integrated into the mountainscape,” he says.

Second phase of development With tenants now moving into what will no doubt fast become a new landmark in Shanghai work has already commenced on the second phase of construction, Currently still in the process of building the basement, the 100m tall mountainous tower and surrounding pubic landscape space presents another huge technical challenge – one that will see the biggest portion of the mountain literally wrapping around another existing historical building in what Heatherwick describes as a ‘Heritage Courtyard’. “Being right on the river it’s not just about digging a foundation but building an entire formwork that is strong enough to resist the pressure of the water on the basement. We are on track to complete the basement by the end of this year and this will be followed by construction of the above-ground superstructure, with the hope of achieving completion in late 2024,” Impiglia explains. Another mixed-use development, it is set to comprise 200 hotel rooms, an extension to the original Phase 1 shopping mall, and office space. Details are yet to be finalised but Impiglia envisions the inclusion of more cultural elements such as gallery space, museum, theatres, cinemas, a hotel gymnasium and indoor swimming pool. For contractors and the developer alike, it’s an exciting time for all involved. And despite the challenges the team at Heatherwick is proud to have been working so closely with some incredible artists and master landscapers, who have handpicked each species to not only survive but thrive on every portion of the site, shaded or otherwise, with minimal maintenance. All this whilst remaining true to the original concept of creating an undulating mountain full of terraces, exposed columns and accessible public space, without detracting from - indeed encouraging and building upon - the artistic character of the area. “We have an incredible partnership with Patrick Lee and his team at Tian An who has allowed us to design in a way that wouldn’t have been possible without them being on board from the very beginning. They could have built five simple high rise towers, but they chose to work with us on this unique venture. The development is definitely a testament to Patrick’s vision and audacity and courage to go along with it.”




The Inspiration for the Landscape Design


homas Heatherwick’s vision for the Thousand Trees project was partly inspired by Chinese landscapes, in particular the ‘shan-shui’ (mountainwater) scenery of Huangshan in Anhui Province as well as the traditional ‘pen jing’ (Chinese bonsai) displays in classical Chinese gardens The principal challenge for URBIS’ landscape architects was to translate Thomas’ extraordinary vision into a reality governed by harsh environmental conditions, technical constraints and government regulations. The Challenges of ‘Planting in the Air’ No project had ever before tried to plant and establish trees and vegetation in such exposed, elevated conditions in the Shanghai region. The climatic variation in Shanghai over a typical year can be around 45 degrees, and much of the vegetation on the living columns is exposed to the full force of winter winds and full sun throughout the course of the year. This meant that the specified tree species needed to be able to endure the kinds of extreme conditions rarely if ever found on other planting projects. Trees were also double-guyed (with steel guys both above and below ground) to ensure their stability in high winds. Any planting scheme can typically expect a failure rate of about 10% of the trees planted, due to the stress that the transplanting process places on trees. However, replacing failed trees on the living columns at the same size as those planted, would necessitate re-erecting tower cranes which would simply not be viable after completion of the building. Coupled with the demanding environmental conditions, the difficulties of replacing any trees that might fail meant that the URBIS team therefore opted for a cautious strategy of species selection. This relied on very hardy species that the team were confident could deal with the unprecedented environmental conditions and minimise the need for difficult replacements but which also met the requirements of Thomas’ vision. A further constraint on tree selection was the limited soil volumes available in the living columns, which determined the size of trees that could be planted. For this reason, the tree species selected were generally low branching, bushy species, designed to emphasise the crown volume, rather than height of the tree. Hardy shrubs were supplemented with trailing plants which aimed to create the impression that vegetation is pouring out of the living column heads. MAINTENANCE ACCESS FOR SKY HIGH TREES A landscape maintenance access strategy was developed by URBIS with the architects so that most living column heads could be accessed by internal or external passages and gangways specially designed into the building structure. Column heads were generally designed to be reached by retractable ladders from adjacent terraces. However, for less accessible column heads, allowance was made at ground level for access by vehicle mounted crane or mobile scissor lift. Because maintenance access is so demanding, the team resolved at the outset to automate as much of the maintenance process as possible. Irrigation is automated through the use of soil moisture sensors while a ‘fertigation’ system (allowing automated delivery of fertiliser) was also installed. HARD LANDSCAPE For the paving, retaining walls and site furniture the challenge for URBIS was to realise the concepts generated by the Heatherwick design team while meeting their exacting standards, especially with regard to accuracy, technical detailing and the quality of materials. Thomas Heatherwick is known for avoiding off-the shelf details and furniture and so the team worked to create a suite of bespoke site furniture and hard landscape details. The paving design for the project was inspired by the paving geometry and materials found in classical Chinese gardens. The setting out of the paving pattern modules, though simple at first glance, proved to be extremely complex to generate and translate to detailed drawings.

Text & Images: Urbis

Derek Leung

@ Heatherwick Studio



FUTURE LAND WUYUE PLAZA: WHERE SUZHOU’S HISTORY MEETS ITS VISION OF THE FUTURE Located to the west of Shanghai, Suzhou is at once a bustling major city whilst at the same time picturesque with its quaint water canals, UNESCO-recognised gardens and traditional pavilions. It is in this meeting of the idyllic and dynamic that Future Land Wuyue Plaza, the city’s new retail destination, is located.


nspired by its centuries of heritage and world-renown natural scenery, Gregory Kovacs, Design Director at Benoy, delivered a visionary interior design concept across 240,000m2 and 6 levels for Future Land’s newly inaugurated retail experience in Suzhou. Conceptually there are two distinct yet complementing environments within the mall complex. The first five stories feature dynamic sweeping curves inspired by local craftsmanship, emphasizing the visual contrast of angular blackened steel vertical surfaces against curved, glossy white horizontal elements. The dark metal vertical elements with well-defined edges and corners are a striking contrast to the white horizontal elements with smooth curves. The monochromatic space creates fresh forward-looking aesthetics that at the same time allow the shopfronts to stand out and glow. The use of colours, materials and consistent, well-thought through detailing create an environment with timeless quality and a sense of luxury in the truest sense of the world, setting the standard for the highest tier of Future Land’s retail developments.

Text & Images: Benoy

Gregory and his team carefully designed and thought through the most minute details and visited the site multiple times to ensure exceptional built quality. With an emphasis on environmental sustainability, the team worked closely with the client on the selection of sustainable and locally-sourced materials. The top floor of the mall is a themed indoor street that is a contemporary reinterpretation of Suzhou’s historical water town, inspired by its traditional waterways and architecture. The key challenge was how to make this indoor street more than just an imitation: an authentic reinterpretation, contemporary and traditional at the same time. Gregory and the team together with the client visited all the relevant historical sites in Suzhou and examined the qualities of the architecture, the landscaping, and the use of materiality. This exploration and understanding of the locale revealed 3 distinct spatial conditions along the iconic Pinjiang Road. This is a single street that constantly changes as you make your way through it — providing dynamism in the pedestrian relationship with the sidewalk, shopfronts and water canal. The team also carefully studied ) architecture, identifying key the history and the local Jiangnan ( qualities to extract and reinterpret. The result is a mix of modern and traditional materials to recreate the diverse spatial qualities of walking along Suzhou’s famous historical Pinjiang Road with its picturesque bridges. Visitors meander among small shophouses, water canals, bridges, islands, narrow walkways and spacious squares. The shophouses, the landscaping, the lighting, the street furniture — all employ a contemporary language and materiality that is deeply rooted within Suzhou’s local architecture and culture.


The careful marriage of contemporary and traditional elements allowed the creation of an authentic atmosphere that truly belongs to the locals of Suzhou. It is not a theme park, but an indoor extension of Suzhou’s world-famous old town that will become a regular gathering space for the local community. Altogether, Benoy brings a sustainable retail space to Suzhou that will become a lasting destination of the city, serving both its local communities and international visitors. Project Overview: Scope of Services: Category: Customer: Total floor area: Design Director: Design team:

Interior Design Retail Future Land Group About 240,000m2 Gregory Kovacs Clement Kho, David Wirth, Edmond Yum, Eric Tsoi, Jinyoung Choi, Joey Lau, Mo Tam, Peggy Wong, Tiffany Chong, Tomohiro Sugeta, Van Krisadawat, Vic Chen, Yue Ming Cheung




People's Committee, Ho Chi Minh City


DESIGN QUALITY BENCHMARK IN CONTEMPORARY VIETNAM Almost three decades ago, DCMSTUDIOS established one of the first international architectural design practices in Vietnam. In the late eighties the post war nation opened the door to foreign investment, with international design expertise coming along with the project funding.


ollowing on from many years of chaos, abundant potential lay in the demand for new investment in commercial and tourism projects, but it was not plain sailing for entrepreneurs. It soon became apparent that there was a steep and painful learning curve to be faced in both the negotiation of mutually beneficial arrangements in mandatory joint ventures with the Vietnamese counterparts, and in the slow process to re-educate a construction industry which had been dormant for years. Today the market has matured considerably, and the appointment of international consultants and the need for foreign investment is no longer a given. Local professional and financial expertise has matured rapidly at the same pace as the thriving SEA economy, and it is the Vietnamese developers who are driving growth exponentially. To meet these high expectations, we can also see that the local architectural consultants are rising to the occasion and are well able to satisfy the aspirations of a well-travelled upwardly mobile Vietnamese society. For international consultants to enter this market it is now essential for them to be both competitive in service delivery and, more importantly, able to bring a compelling difference in truly cutting edge architectural concepts delivered. DCMSTUDIOS are certainly one practice who are leading the way in providing an urban design approach which is focused on meeting this demand for the highest level of design, and they are also doing so in a manner that satisfies a prerequisite to merge local social and cultural influence with dynamic concepts to support Vietnam’s drive towards more sustainable urbanisation.

Text & Images: DCMSTUDIOS Architecture

Krista Chan

DCMS’s early projects in Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh City include Hong Kong Land’s Hanoi Central Building, The Furama Resort and Saigon Centre respectively. These remain influential buildings from Vietnam’s internationally funded period of renewal, and it is testament to the design principles applied in these early projects, that they later became significant benchmarks for design quality in contemporary Vietnam. Today DCMSTUDIOS have stepped up and are strategically focused on the urban design and planning of high impact projects to which they continue bring innovation and unique design expertise in meeting the more discerning client demand in the market. With the competitive design approach becoming the norm for consultant selection in the local government sector, they have also invested in this path to access major urban redevelopment project types. Successful participation remains the only certain path to be part of the wider discussion on the urban renewal of key city center sites many of which also require the retention of heritage elements. One such project is their award-winning design for the expansion of the historic Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee. The concept unveils the restored classic formality of the original historic building with formal public access once again placed on the central axis of the Nguyen Hue pedestrian avenue. The City Chamber, conceived in form of an imposing translucent drum wrapped in a grand circular colonnade, sensitively accessed through a landscaped garden, becomes an imposing ceremonial landmark for the City. Finally, the signature Administration Tower with louvered glass façade completes the composition, forming a new public address for the city’s administrative functions on the historic Dong Khoi Street.


In avoiding pastiche, DCMSTUDIOS have confirmed that a sensitive application of contemporary architecture can both enhance the existing urban morphology and remain responsive to the functional and cultural demands of the final architectural solution.


Office Tower 25 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Ho Chi Minh City

I n D a n a n g , D C M S T U D I O S h ave re c e n t l y p ro p o s e d a n a m b i t i o u s scheme to replace a popular but ageing landmark, the Cho Con Market. T h e c h a l l e n g e h e re w a s t o re t a i n a s e n s e o f c o n s i s t e n c y i n t h e public and social domain between the old and the new in the future redevelopment. This has been achieved in the application of the familiar through the retention of naturally ventilated open floor plates in a solar shaded envelope. Here a contemporary re-imagining of permeable traditional Vietnamese screens is inspired by environmentally familiar building typolog y yet delivered in contemporar y materiality in the translucent façade. Thu Thiem District has emerged as the singular new development area for the future growth of the Ho Chi Minh City. Within the flood plain of the meandering Song River, this area was formerly a substantial area of farmland and small village settlements located in the heart of the city directly across from the historic central area of old Saigon. Now with multiple new bridges and a tunnel connection, Thu Thiem now offers a fully connected land bank of new development potential offering relief to congestion and aging infrastructure. DCMS were recently invited to create a design for one of the very first new projects to be constructed here, the Thu Thiem Planning Exhibition Centre. This design was to be a highly visible stand-alone building with a central site location clearly visible from across the river. Not only a functional exhibition facility, but also one that would be the envelope to show case the emerging development opportunity arising in the Thu Thiem development area. Without any meaningful existing urban context, DCMSTUDIOS conceived a dramatic and dynamic concept with super exaggerated angular trapezoidal visual forms. This iconic form would appear as if floating in isolation above an interrupted horizon - A stunning architectural statement from across the river projecting a visual architectural message of emerging future opportunity in Thu Thiem.

Saigon Gateway Residene, Ho Chi Minh City


The Thu Thiem Tower project, a developer driven headquarters concept, was designed to be the outstanding landmark building within competing development projects destined to be less inspiring in the overall master plan. With public interface at podium level the tower is approached over architecturally dynamic landscaped links from the future civic buildings located on future riverside parkland.

From the very beginning DCMSTUDIOS has retained a registered professional design office in Ho Chi Minh City, essential for seamless design liaison and client communication on all Vietnam based projects. Recent pandemic issues have further increased the need for remote working practice and thus with strong locally based representation the ability to develop design in response to a demanding client base has not been impacted. DCMSTUDIOS can surely look forward to the next decade of exciting opportunity in the vibrant Asian economic hub of Vietnam.

Office Tower 25 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Ho Chi Minh City


Thu Thiem Tower, Ho Chi Minh City Sunshine Apartments, Ho Chi Minh City




Thu Thiem Planning Exhibition Centre, Ho Chi Minh City

A+B Tower, Ho Chi Minh City 25 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Residence HCMC



m M o a o k e r o v e s r s a l C the for


A new facility in Pattaya, Thailand, was conceived by Creative Crews Limited to provide an enhanced learning environment for children with special needs.


he design resulted from conversations with the Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind’s principal and were necessary to supplement a programme that, prior to the opening of the new facility, he could only dream of offering. The main aim for the programme is to equip all students with fundamental skills for future livelihoods beyond the school’s gate. The school enrols pupils with varying degrees of visual impairment and abilities; thus, the facility needs to be flexible. The school building is a typical reinforced concrete structure with standard square rooms finished in plaster and paint. The new facility is conceived as a new multi-sensory cube finished in vibrant mix of materials and texture, inserted in place of the existing library. Designed in alignment with Pre-Braille

Information & Images: Creative Crews Limited

Derek Leung

Curricula, the ailing library and adjoining balcony were transformed into a new multi-sensory facility for young children. The balcony’s spatial quality and its location adjacent to circulation route ensure its constant availability. The existing balustrade is replaced with a wall perforated with light holes, into which “learning pins” can be inserted. Inside the room, all six surfaces are designed to be interacted with. Children move through the four walls as they progress through the curriculum nurturing their senses. Touch begins with the most basic shapes, then sizes relationships, texture and weight, to more complex shapes such as animals. On top of the Pre-Braille Curricula, children are taught to recognise potential harm from daily life. In collaboration with a scent specialist, scented capsules are designed to teach pupils about the smell of potential harm such as fire, smoke, gas leakage etc. Sound specialist made binaural recordings of various environments to stimulate students’ perception of the world. The lighting is designed to exercise and stimulate visibility in low vision children. The floor is embedded with braille tactile letters, Thai, English, and numbers for basic braille introduction. The project intends to be a prototype for cost effective multi-sensory facilities aimed specifically at creating firm foundations from which individuals can grow and prosper.



MOVING FORWARD WITHOUT BARRIERS Accessibility is a big topic, not only for the highly populated market of Hong Kong, with its articulated stress factors at peak-times of the day, but also accelerated due to the Covid pandemic. The need to minimise the touching of any doors, panels, handles, any objects in the way people move around, is now and certainly into the future, of utmost importance.

Barrier free panel for M+ Museum


UB Limited gives great focus to the creation and integration of various systems, components and design elements to make the lives of our society as smooth as possible. Automatic doors are the core product category in this endeavour and make up of a significant portion of the Barrier Free Access solutions at AUB.

contractors rely on the company to fully understand the Codes and on the other hand to create solutions which are unique and in-line with the personality of the design at hand.


AUB sees that “Touchless Barrier-free” is driven by design and unique projectoriented solutions on the one hand, yet not to forget operational needs, easy for users to understand and operate, then long life cycles, less need for maintenance and …. total life-cycle cost is important too.

“We aim to provide the public with the most advanced solutions to ease their way into any building or dedicated area, shopping mall or office tower alike, toilet facilities, baby care rooms, laboratories, as well as hospital where touchless is of paramount importance,” says AUB Managing Director, Andreas Brechbuhl. “It’s all about the free-flowing and touchless movement of people without encountering obstacles, hazards or dangers even. We aim to support people with impairments and of lesser mobility. But the importance of Barrier free goes a long way further – any public or private opening where the user expects to pass-thru easily, without obstacles and guided by advanced technology which is easy and intuitive as well as pleasant to use, is in our focus.”

SOCIETAL EXPECTATIONS Barrier-free access is the key to ensuring that individuals with disabilities and persons of limited mobility enjoy self-sufficiency and participate in the life of society. The creation of a barrier-free environment has become a core mission of the government, institutional and business enterprises alike. “The reach of the building code and the drive of the various businesses involved goes much further,” says Brechbuhl. “Barrier-free construction and living is increasingly significant to and expected by the society as a whole. Indeed, “Barrierfree access” has become an integral part of the forward-looking planning and design process overall. So naturally, we have adopted the Code and have come up with some unique solutions which fully embrace the technology available to meet the technical and design requirements of the public and private customers.” AUB has experienced a significant increase in requests for such solutions. Their partners, including architects, interior designers, facility management and

Text: Mike Staley

Photos: AUB

Krista Chan


“There is a balance to strike between Barrier-free, Touchless design and aesthetic requirements,” says Brechbuhl. “As much as we aim to have completely touchless solutions, we must consider people with impairments. They want to touch and read the user guidance in braille as they cannot clearly read instructions or see buttons. Yet touching a button is certainly less desirable than waving a hand or allowing for iris / facial scanning. Therefore, to provide an audio guide in various languages is essential. Designers on the other hand like minimal design… so, a lot to discuss during the design stage. There are several challenges when asked to find a balance between design, technology and human user’s preferences!”

COMMUNITY APPLICATION AUB’s key focus is on commercial projects including shopping malls, access to toilets in office buildings and hospitals where a high level of touchless barrierfree movement is required for hygiene and health considerations. The company is currently working with a very high focus on the most modern hospital project in Hong Kong and supports the architects with their recommendations and specifications. When considering institutional clients then certainly on top is the Hong Kong International Airport where AUB recently completed a refurbishment of public toilets at T1 and the 3rd Runway project is also progressing with detailed design works. AUB is involved with the continuous rolling-out of barrier free solutions with new and existing public toilets at MTRC Stations all around Hong Kong. “Public spaces are the key focus in our current discussions. Yet, you might be surprised, we are currently working on an industrial project in Hong Kong which requires barrier-free access for AGV’s, moving robotic vehicles. Our high-speed shutter is sensing the approaching robot to give way for him fast and touchless… an exciting application of an advanced industrial touchless barrier-free solution which will be implemented over the next year or so.”


THE FUTURE Brechbuhl adds: “Very striking solutions are now available with the integration of Access Control via biometric data from 3D Fingerprints as well as Iris & Facial scanning with the reading of the body Temperature. These are outstanding solutions to provide Touchless Access Control where high-security must meet the health requirements during pandemic times. We expect typical applications at airport operational centres, health care facilities, data centres and specific government facilities.” Touchless Biometric Systems (TBS) 2D Eye Thermal

On the Residential side, AUB works on projects where owners prefer a window which is automatically opening on the touch of a button or even with voice control. Smart home solutions are leading the way to make the consumers feel relaxed and enjoyable. “AUB aims to engage in a deep review of the project requirements and loves to share our experience in Touchless Barrier-free and our capabilities to integrate products and components into a combined solution.” Barrier free panel for PP Shopping Mall

Barrier free solution for Hong Kong International Airport

Barrier free solution for MTR station

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n today’s world there is much talk on the topic of diversity and inclusion. But what does that mean in the world of architecture and property development? Perhaps we should look back to 1988, when American architect, product designer and educator Ronald Mace, best known for his work advocating for people with disabilities, coined the phrase ‘universal design’, which he referred to as “the design of products, environments, programmes and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” Fast forward almost three decades to a presentation made in 2017 to Hong Kong’s Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) by architect and accessibility consultant Joseph Kwan titled ‘A Global Perspective on Inclusive Environment’, which opened with an opinion on the shortcomings of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and tracked the progress through to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) laid out and designed to transform our world by 2030. Of these, Goal 11 sets out to make “cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”, which is particularly apt in its reference to access for all to safe and affordable housing, sustainable transportation systems, and green and public spaces, including persons with disabilities. He also referenced the Incheon Strategy, developed over more than two years of consultations with governments and civil society stakeholders, which charted the course of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities for the period 2013 to 2022, designed to strengthen the 2030 Agenda. Since then Kwan notes that numerous agreements have been made globally at summits taking place from Istanbul to Ecuador to address issues relating to the inclusion of disabled persons within the society. These events have culminated

in the formation of the Global Network on Disability Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development (DIAUD), a multi-stakeholder network focused on building and enhancing networking among persons with disabilities and disability rights advocates, policy makers and government officials.

PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST There is no denying that Kwan is a true ambassador for universal accessibility (UA). His passion shines bright. As an architect, he says that his drive comes not only from shape and form, but also for a real desire to design for people. His study of environmental psychology in London might be seen as a catalyst for his work in UA, followed by his return to Hong Kong in 1987 where he worked on his first UA project before establishing his own practice and becoming director of an NGO working to promote accessibility in the city. Kwan was also instrumental in initiating the accessibility of Tuen Mun Park, under the Playright Children’s Association, of which he has been a board member for over 30 years. “Governments, urban development professionals, academia, foundations, the private sector and development cooperation partners all have their part to play in driving the way forward in the future of universal design,” he says in an interview with PRC Magazine. And whilst he recognizes that countries such as Canada, Norway and the US have made significant steps in incorporating universal accessibility through governmental legislation, he adds that Asia and Europe still have a long way to go when it comes to achieving a safe, inclusive, resilient, sustainable and socially responsible built environment for all.


Images Courtesy: Kai Tak Sports Park Limited and Populous

TAKING THE LEAD Projects such as the long-awaited Kai Tak Sports Park, led by Hong Kong’s Home Affairs Bureau, and where Kwan has been involved in the writing of the universal accessibility requirements into the design brief and masterplan, is a case in point. “I’m please to say that the project has very solid guidelines within its design manuals and we’re looking very hard at accessibility at a much higher level. We not only need to consider accessibility for the disabled, those hard of hearing, visually impaired or the mentally challenged,” he says. “We are also considering the mobility needs of an ageing society and the advantages of accessible tourism in all our public spaces.” Other government projects under construction with better access provisions include the Palace Museum and East Kowloon Cultural Centre.

GREENLIGHTING ACCESSIBILITY IN THE GREATER BAY AREA Kwan notes that positive steps are being made in China, driven by Beijing’s support for the China Disabled Persons Federation (CDPF). Kwan, in his role as government UA advisor, has been actively promoting the agenda not least by giving presentations at a governmental level in Beijing and Shanghai and in cities across the Greater Bay Area. “Beijing’s hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2008 was a real turning point for China in terms of highlighting the value of universal accessibility. It’s encouraging to see that in the past year the Greater Bay Area has tuned into our agenda. I hope that the initiative will lead to greater traction, more concrete regulations and the design and building of more accessibility accessible across southern China’s cities. That said, much more needs to be done.” Today, in his role as advisor and accessibility consultant for numerous bodies, Kwan can at least take some credit for the progress that has been made in Hong Kong. Largely this has been through modifications to ArchSD’s practice notes which have resulted in all government buildings now having to comply with their universal accessibility requirements in addition to the minimum standards set out by the government’s Buildings Department, Design Manual – Barrier Free Access 2008.

Within the private sector perhaps more developers need to follow the example of Link Asset Management Ltd, managers of Hong Kong’s largest real estate development trust, which added former government owned residential properties and over 180 once derelict shopping centres and carparks to its portfolio over a decade ago. Kwan was engaged as an accessibility consultant to upgrade all their assets to the level of minimum accessibility, resulting in an estimated increased footfall of up to 30%. The retrofitting works to improve barrier free access was a 6-year program at a total cost of HK$220 million. Staff disability awareness and sensitivity training was an integral part of the program introduced by Kwan, as an equally important component to inclusion and socially responsible built environment for all. But ultimately Kwan believes that significant progress can only be achieved if it is government led. “If we are going to make real progress within the private sector the Hong Kong government needs to provide incentives for developers and architects to do more, for example by offering tax incentives or something similar to the green building initiatives that were introduced in return for additional GFA,” he says. “We need to drive things forward with rules and regulations that are apply to 2021 standards. This requires a review of the Hong Kong design manual, which hasn’t been updated since 2008. It’s a slow process and we cannot simply rely on architects and developers to move beyond the minimum governmental standards.” A consideration of accessibility for all also needs to become more than just a CSR box ticking exercise. “Moving forward there needs to be a real push within the architectural industry towards promoting UA as a specialized area of expertise necessary for every practice and developer in the city,” he concludes.

Text: Elizabeth Dooley

Jasper Lau



Tuen Mun Park images supplied by Joseph Kwan


When style meets applied science


everal years ago, DELABIE - French manufacturing expert in non-domestic sanitary fittings, started its own aesthetic revolution. Combining performance and design, the brand’s water controls and accessories have become harmonious and refined objects, even in their standard versions, equally at home in hospitals and care homes, as well as hotels, shopping centres, bars and restaurants. Style is, therefore, integral to the design brief, whatever the model or the challenges faced. This strategy has been rewarded time and again, as various products have received design awards, some of which are very prestigious international awards.

Be-Line®: safety equipment without the medical trappings The Be-Line® range of grab bars and showers seats could not be further from the medical or healthcare universe, having been developed in association with designers and occupational therapists. DELABIE’s Be-Line® range combines aesthetics and comfort. Its innovative design eliminates the medical aspects of accessible washrooms, leaving only a feeling of well-being, free from any complex, both at home and in the wider environment.

Be-Line® subscribes to the school of design for all. It is suitable for all users These bars are available in metallic anthracite or matt white powder-coated aluminium, two colours which contrast with any wall on which they are likely to be installed - an important point for the visually impaired. With no traditional fixing plates, they are also more discreet and easier to clean. The aerodynamic, modern design is optimised to ensure a good hand position, allowing it to close around the bar without causing muscle fatigue. The Be-Line® lift-up shower seat is both comfortable and discreet, especially since it can be removed in a single movement and replaced by a shelf, allowing installation only in those showers where the users have need of it. As with all DELABIE’s Accessibility products, Be-Line® grab bars and shower seats benefit from a Safety Pack: 10-year warranty, CE mark and tested to over 200kg. In public and commercial places, the user weight is unknown. The products installed must therefore be able to support any user. Crowned with success, the Be-Line® range has won various awards such as Plus X Award 2020 for the ergonomics and design of its lift-up grab bar. Text & Images: DELABIE


View Be-Line® Products Range


The ORIENTOP edge comes from delivering designers' dreams With more than 25 years of innovation and service excellence, the architectural glass creations from this Hong Kong company bring functionality and fantasy to design.


eautiful and dreamlike, or cool and aloof, delicate looking and yet deceptively strong, glass is an important tool to convey drama in architecture. The material's lasting appeal comes from these complex and often competing characteristics. It defies belief that a "frozen liquid" can support a load, insulate and protect, while maintaining its aesthetic.

Creating efficient, effective and engaging glass is a craft Orientop Limited is an innovative architectural decorative glass supplier with a Hong Kong heritage. Since setting out in 1995, the company has completed more than 10,000 projects on five continents, and expanded its production to two factories in Mainland China and founded a subsidiary in Britain. The company's sustained success comes from its focus on creating specialised, laminated decorative glass for Hong Kong’s developers and architects. They have been involved in some of the most significant developments of the 21st century. The company's biggest project to date is in Beijing's World Financial Center by Henderson Land Group and architect Cesar Pelli. The "Crystal Wall" by German artist Michael Hammers is a decorative element in the main lobbies of each of the development's twin towers.

There are some 2,000 “crystals”, glass pyramids made up of diverse grades of glass, in the installations. Clouds of colour bloom through the work and many of the "shards" are streaked with golden strands to project the brilliance of the edges of crystals. To create the desired dazzling effect took sustained precision over the two years of the project. And the most complex work to date? The 1,700-odd crystal glass rods infused with LED lighting installed as the façade for Burberry in Pacific Place in Hong Kong. Each of the pillars is 3-metres long, extremely fragile and was made to an exacting visual standard. Orientop Chief Executive Vitus Yiu says the company started producing bulletproof glass before evolving into laminated glass for the construction sector. Among the company's most popular products is Glasslam laminated glass. The product is available in any custom colour and stops 99 percent of ultraviolet radiation to protect furniture and fittings. With a 10-year warranty and no need for specialty cleaning, Glasslam is best suited to industrial, retail and larger residential developments.

"Glass can be an eco-friendly material that generates energy savings, can reduce carbon dioxide emissions and help create healthier buildings," says Yiu. "Glass is unique among construction materials for its ability to allow natural light to pass through it, but it can also be used to restrict energy from passing through it, reducing heat and light." Beijing World Financial Center


A report published by the Arup professional services firm's London headquarters argues for more glass to enter the recycling stream. Their research suggests that across the European Union, the correct recycling of waste glass from the construction sector would save 1.23 million tonnes of raw materials from heading to landfill. Changing the businessas-usual operations of the European construction industry would reduce carbon emissions by more than 230,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of the emissions from about 50,000 passenger vehicles, according to the United States' Environmental Protection Agency. As remarkable as this fully recyclable material can be, when treated and processed, laminated glass will improve the energy efficiency of buildings. While at once inspiring and efficient, Orientop creates products that are enduring. "Glass is incredibly durable and compares well with other construction materials such as wood, wallpaper and stone," says Yiu. In the challenging times that we live in, its important to note that glass is easily maintained and kept clean. There's little that customers need to do in terms of maintenance or running repairs. In fact, one of the most popular uses of the company's products is for wall coverings in intensely busy areas of Hong Kong's MTR network and shopping malls. This is also a product that looks good, with its lustre and faultless, smooth finish. "Our glass can be developed into tonnes of variations in colours, patterns and textures. We own and operate our factories in the Mainland and so have exclusive control of the process, and, importantly, there is no limitation on materials we can incorporate," says Yiu. That flexibility translates into a comprehensive service offering. "We have developed internationally by remaining close to our customers and their needs. From conception, design, production and installation, the team provide a one-stop service," he says. Alongside its more than 1,500 clients, Orientop has worked on projects of all scales. The restaurant and retail fit-outs in the company's portfolio have typically taken from three months to year – from first meeting to handover. For hotels and bigger buildings that might require extensive internal and external renovations, projects might take between two and three years. With a comprehensive product offering and experienced service team focused on meeting complex needs, Orientop creates glass that fulfils the complex functional and aesthetic requirements of its clients. "We strive to provide the best-quality products because fulfilling client needs is our ultimate goal," Yiu says.

Text: Michael Hoare

Photos: ROF Media & Orientop

Krista Chan


ORIENTOP Limited T: (852) 2796 8868



AirPurion at an actual office

Awair Omni


Enhancing the performance and well-being of the built environment BSL is a solutions provider that offers innovative products and solutions aimed at enhancing the performance and well-being of the built environment. BSL partners with Purion, a leading manufacturer of UV disinfection technology which provides highly effective and certified equipment which utilises Ultraviolet Light (UV) to disinfect air, surfaces and water, killing off microorganisms and countering airborne diseases. BSL also partners with Awair, a Silicon Valley based global leader in air quality monitoring and smart sensing technology. BSL offers sensors that help users monitor air quality based on VOCs, PM2.5, CO2, temperature and humidity. BSL provides retrofittable, affordable and customisable solutions to monitor and improve air quality and wellness. The easy-to-read dashboard and mobile app provides real time information that advises you immediately when your air quality deteriorates.

BUILDING SOLUTIONS LIMITED 2/F, Bangkok Bank Building, 18 Bonham Strand West, Hong Kong T: +852 2511 9933 E:

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