RIBAZINE 02 (Eng Version)

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Issue #02 | 2020

Rethinking Possibilities ISSN 2706-8684

9770270686846 GBP £9

EUR €10


HKD $80


Issue #02 | 2019

Contents 04-13


14-17 C-Future Lab 18-21

Founder: Wai Tang


Medieval Rethink


Founder: Charles Ho


Megalopolis X


Founder: Kelvin Chu


Friendship Tower


Urban Jigsaw


The Butterfly Cove



For further information on RIBAZINE please contact the RIBA at HongKong.Chapter@riba.org Look for us on Facebook @RIBA Hong Kong Chapter RIBAZINE is produced by ROF Media Mike Staley (Publisher) Bryan Chan E: publisher@rofmedia.com E: bryan@rofmedia.com T: +852 3150 8989 T: +852 3150 8912 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Copyright 2020.

A CREATIVE POLYMATH PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF DESIGN This issue of Ribazine takes a look at one of Hong Kong’s most innovative architectural design studios, QUAD studio. Established in 2017 QUAD studio is the brainchild of its three founding partners, Wai Tang, Charles Ho and Kelvin Chu, who collectively bring over fifty years of architectural practice experience and project footprints spanning continents. For Wai, Charles and Kelvin it’s all in the name: QUAD studio stands for Quantum Urban Architecture Design.

Their entire ethos is based on the belief that humanity is at the crossroads of change and that clients today demand more from architects than just architecture. As such, QUAD describes itself as a collective polymath of designers working together to create a holistic design narrative that blurs the lines between what were once considered separate disciplines. From architecture through to interiors, furniture design and branding, QUAD brings together a group of like-minded individuals, intent on sharing ideas and bringing them to reality for the betterment of society.

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QUAD’s notion of how architecture has evolved from function-based design to a heavily narrated belief in the deeper contextual meaning of a project shows their understanding of the importance of continual innovation. The ability to straddle the narrative between the ancient and the modern, allows QUAD to link back to a historical context in which designs can be created that are not only rich in contextual representation, but are also an attempt to rethink ideas, and engage, develop and connect the past, the present and the future. As a group of architects, designers and thinkers operating within the fields of architecture, urbanism, interior design, landscape design, product design and research and development, QUAD believes in innovation, where the future of design is dependent on technological breakthroughs that will ultimately change the future of our world’s cities.

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Rethinking the future There is perhaps no coincidence that QUAD’s Hong Kong studio is based in Tsuen Wan, one of Hong Kong’s first satellite towns and a major transportation hub between the city’s Central Business District and Shenzhen. In recent years the area, once the heart of the city’s dying textile industry, has gone through major changes. With government backing and improved infrastructure it is fast becoming known as a central hub for innovation and an incubator for design, looking to attract a new generation of entrepreneurs. QUAD describes the studio as a ‘Lab for Exploration’, a place to experiment with different design possibilities, where architecture has no geographical boundaries. Their highly flexible and methodological approach to design and collaboration with leading specialists from around the world creates an environment that invites creativity.

“ Some say you can’t buy chemistry, but together we work incredibly well as a team


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For QUAD, whilst innovative technology is imperative in shaping the future, ultimately design is about the coming together of creative talents with the right synergy to engage in social intervention and knowledge exchange for the benefit of clients and society alike. This theory is emblematic in the design of QUAD’s Hong Kong studio – a 300 square metre open plan space organised into six zones, each with its own bespoke function. The material pallet is deliberately monochrome, with plays on reflective surfaces, ambient light and simple lines to reflect a purity and simplicity designed to encourage interaction, discussion and exchange. On entering the studio visitors are greeted by an illuminated logo, accentuated by a large Barrisol ceiling. On the floor is a map of Hong Kong showing the office location at the centre of Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

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To the left of the entrance are shelves showcasing products designed by QUAD. Walk inside and on the wall above the marble coffee table and two chairs are two 65-inch LED monitors showcasing a selection of QUAD’s signature designs. Inside the studio two glass conference rooms are used for brainstorming ideas, design discussions and client presentations. An exhibition space equipped with projector and 90-inch screen is often used to host design forums. The atmosphere within the office is international, multidisciplinary and ambitious. It is also open, non-hierarchical, team-based and friendly, with work spaces lit by13 linear LED light battens illuminating three linear work tables and two casual seating areas for group discussion. Meanwhile, storage cupboards are hidden away inside a light wall and behind illuminated curtains are the pantry, printer room, library and bicycle storage area..


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“ China is a breath of fresh air in that it allows and demands architects to design buildings that no one else has done before


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As QUAD evolves its concept of collection social intervention, its collaboration with artists, botanists and designers have heightened the notion of the collective polymath. The concept, which runs deep inside the studio’s philosophy, influenced their decision to collaborate with RFR, one of the most creative façade engineers in the industry, in the opening of QUAD’s Shenzhen office at the end of 2018. For QUAD, this collaboration opens up a fresh approach to the discourse of the creation of innovative design solutions. The design of the Shenzhen Office maintains QUAD’s philosophy of creating a space that is reflective of simplistic purity. However, added to the Hong Kong monochrome material pallet are accent colours of petrol blue and champagne gold to achieve a polychromatic effect. For QUAD, its collaboration with RFR is just the beginning of a path that will see further collaborations with other creative artists and designers, thereby setting is position at the forefront of creating a platform to ‘Rethink the Big Idea’.

QUAD design forum featuring Anil Mistry on experiential design


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“ A laboratory for design, where innovation is like poetry and design is derived from the principles of dogma and context


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Future Lab Since its inception, QUAD has become a major presence on the design circuit – with its founders taking time out to participate in design forums and inviting designers and artists from around the world to share ideas. Its involvement in the design of a 1,600 square metre gallery in Shenzhen known as C-Future Lab is symbolic of a project that allows QUAD to become directors of shaping the future of design across the region. Founded by Centralcon Group, the developers of Future City, the project is dedicated to exploring the future of urban living form and research. As such it embodies QUAD’s ethos of a collective polymath as society embarks on a journey of collaboration between experts from around the world in the fields of art, technology, design and natural science to explore the urban development of the city of the future.

Site walk during construction of Pavilion at Hongqiao World Centre by Aedas

Pavilion under construction at Hongqiao World Centre by Aedas


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C Future Lab

As we enter into a new age where technology has progressed to a stage where it affects every facet of the way we live, work and play, architects and designers are playing a greater part in showcasing the possibilities of how we adapt to a life that incorporates these ideas. C Future Lab presents an opportunity for a unique experimental project designed to showcase Shenzhen’s C Future City. With the aim of creating a laboratory for new ideas to be tested, shared and discussed, its goal is to help define the path to building the ultimate city of the future. By combining the functions of an art gallery, co-working space, garden, discussion forum and social gathering area, each space was

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designed to adapt to the ever-changing functional needs of society. With a design concept based on creating a journey for visitors to embark on fuelled by curiosity and anticipation, the project provides a platform for discussion and inspiration. With QUAD studio as the main interior designer and curator, C Future Lab combines the work of a group of the most innovative designers from all corners of the world, including digital artists teamLab from Japan, landscape consultant Patrick Blanc from France, industrial designer Ross Lovegrove from the UK, and China’s exhibition specialist, Motse. In this sense, QUAD’s role is similar to a movie director or orchestral conductor, pulling together a myriad of design talent and integrating their creations into a single space.


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Visitors are welcomed through what is known as a Time Passage, where Moste’s work is projected onto the walls of a tubular tunnel where automatic pivot doors open and close to control crowd flow. The journey continues into The Cell, a one-of-its-kind living organismtype sculpture designed by Ross Lovegrove and QUAD studio, which redefines and pushes the boundaries of any conventional reception area. On now to the Space of Imagination, which provides an exhibition space for artists and creatives alike to exhibit their works – a blank canvas of sensors and lighting. The Creative Hub forms the centre of C Future Lab, which hosts a multifunctional 100-seat theatre and lecture space where during normal hours Motse’s themed projections invite visitors to travel through the history of Shenzhen, from its historical background, through to the fast booming metropolis it has become onto QUAD’s vision of the future. A suspended green ribbon sculpture known as the Hanging Garden wraps around the exhibition spaces, providing a space where technology meets nature. A collaboration between Patrick Blanc and QUAD, the structure penetrates the glass towards the exterior garden, where a grounded fishpond defines the way visitors move around the space.

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Location: Shenzhen Interior Area: 1,600 sqm Client: Centralcon Group Interior Design Team: Kelvin Chu, Wai Tang, Peter Scott, Dovile Zuokaite, Andrea Sze, Tim Ho, Yuu Yau Custom Furniture Design: Ross Lovegrove with Quad Studio Green Sculpture Design: Patrick Blanc with Quad Studio Digital Art Display: Team Lab and Motse

Also included is the Info Labyrinth, an exhibition area surrounded by over 160 monitors where visitors are invited to experience multiple facets of QUAD’s vision of C Future City, and The Studio, a space for social gatherings housing a cafÊ, bar, co-working spaces and private meeting areas. Designed by Ross Lovegrove and QUAD, the 3D printed sculptural table in the centre serves as a co-working space during the day and a bar table in the evening. Lastly, the Forum, which is designed to cater for small group presentations and discussions for up to 20 people, boasts one continuous ribbon-like projection screen that wraps around the centre stage, complete with state-of-the-art sensors controlled through gestures that link the presenter directly with their presentation and their audience.


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Wai Tang

Founding Partner of QUAD studio

With over 25 years experience as a designer, Wai Tang spent over 13.5 years at Aedas and ran a very talented team as an Executive Director focusing on both local and international architectural projects of all scales. Born in Hong Kong in 1970 he moved to the UK in 1972 and at the age of 17 enrolled in the Birmingham School of Architecture before moving to London in 1993 to complete his Masters at the University of Westminster. There he was mentored by RIBA gold medallist, David Greene of Archigram, and was awarded the RIBA Silver Medal Runner Up award for best national diploma project in 1995. As well as being one of the founding partners of QUAD, he is also part of the Westminster Alumni Advisory Group in Hong Kong, speaking at various events hosted by

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RIBA Hong Kong Chapter, and is a Guest Critic at the Architecture Department of HKU Space. Wai says he always had a passion for design and stumbled into architecture almost by accident. “David Greene never taught me to design because good design is always subjective. Instead, he taught me how to create a narrative that allows me to develop bespoke design within my own design discourse,” he explains. Perhaps the creative figurehead of QUAD studio, a role that he says has evolved since the trio’s days at Aedas, he believes in making ideas happen.

“Our design ethos has evolved to become a ‘collective polymath’ that blurs the lines between the various design disciplines. Since our days at Aedas, our roles in the team have not changed much. Charles is the Project Director engaged in contracts, finance and client liaison; Kelvin is involved in design, resource planning and the day-to-day running of the projects.” He learned the value of teamwork whilst working at Aedas and built a chemistry with his partners that he believes can only happen once or twice in a lifetime. “Since leaving Aedas to form QUAD, our bond has never been stronger. Our roles in the team are clearly defined, and as partners, we complement each other and work very well as a unit where we are able to discuss ideas. anything and everything to do with our studio.”


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With Greater China being QUAD’s current focus, Wai believes that the studio has positioned itself at a crossroads of change in the design industry, where clients are demanding more from architects than pure architecture. For him, the same changes in technology that triggered the industrial revolution to form the birth of modern civilisation are being displayed in a renaissance-style movement in a country that is willing to embrace change and create policies that motivate society to do the same. Over the course of the coming years his aspirations for QUAD are to become known for its cutting edge design and being at the forefront of innovation. “As a brand we don’t promise anything specific, but we have created a platform to explore ideas, experiment and discuss. In that sense we see ourselves as a laboratory for design, where innovation is like poetry and design is derived from the principles of dogma and context, where dogma is a series of beliefs and context is how they are implemented.” As an employer, he likes designers who show a hunger for learning and design. This, he says, is the root of a management style that sees the QUAD team being selfmotivated and setting their own goals towards completing projects.

Dinner with David Greene of Archigram, my tutor, my mentor, my friend

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My talented design team at Aedas taken in 2015

“Only through experience do we learn. Of course, architects make mistakes and we are learning until the day we die. Looking back on past projects I think every architect will admit that there are always things that might have been done better, especially when it comes to detail and selecting materials. But I also believe that it is every architect’s dream to see their vision transformed into a reality.” For Wai Tang, to see his ideals and design philosophy being executed to perfection and being able to influence the lives of future generations, would be the true highlight of an already fulfilling career. Brainstorming ideas for the Megalopolis X


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Medieval Rethink QUAD studio’s passion for exploring new approaches and rethinking possibilities is demonstrated in their recreation of a medieval environment into a contemporary cultural setting. Medieval Rethink was a response to a private commission to build a Cultural Centre for a small undisclosed village in the Guangdong Province, which dates back 900 years to the Song Dynasty. This four-storey, 7,000 sqm development is centred around an ancient rock formation known as the “Ding Qi Stone”, a symbol of the origin of the village. The project’s design concept is based on showcasing the history and culture of the ancient village whilst linking the old and the new. As such the Cultural Centre stands as a reinterpretation of an ancient village and a transformation into a contemporary piece of architecture, which from its centre offers a spider’s web of meeting places for villagers to congregate and interact as a community on a day-to-day basis. Its function as a cultural exhibition centre is also designed to attract visitors from across the region and beyond.

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By breaking down the village into a variety of components to provide spaces for defined functions, QUAD was able to stich these objects together to create natural courtyards of green space. At the centre is a multi-purpose auditorium that provides a venue for large social events, around which internal streets and courtyards are naturally created.

of the various venues. Travelling up the tower is a journey from the more active spaces that house multipurpose training spaces on the ground floor, through to a library and exhibition space on the intermediate floor, on to the quieter and more private atmosphere of the village archives and office spaces residing on the top floor.

Also at the heart of the design is an approach that separates public, semi-public and private spaces in response to behavioural functions

Optimising space on the ground plane maximises pedestrian flow via the main three entrances, whilst service cores are located to

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Location: An undisclosed Village in Guangdong, PRC GFA: 7,000 sqm Client: Undisclosed Private Committee Design Team: Wai Tang, Kelvin Chu, Landy Liu and Peter Scott Interior Design: Quad Studio Facade Consultant: RFR (Shanghai) the northeast and southeast corners. Enhanced vertical traffic allows the formation of internal courtyards to provide natural light and ventilation within the basement car park, through to the massive park that sits on top of the tower. To enhance the idea of community, the team at QUAD revisited the original façade and sought to capture the characteristics of the ancient village whist maintaining its functionality for solar shading. To achieve this effect, they explored the notion of abstraction. Stripping off the façade creates a picture-like frame that focuses the eye towards the objects within the frame. The image of the medieval village was then superimposed within the frame, to result in a framed skyline. Inspired by the skyline, the green façade of the building is abstracted and pixilated to create a threedimensional layering effect of dark and light, with rendering that lets the design seep into the interior at night. The multi-layering of the façade, together with the objects positioned inside the Cultural Centre, creates a rich composition depicting a visual depth beyond the façade. The huge truss on the top of the tower which hangs down to create a shading device and façade that is sufficiently permeable to create natural ventilation within all public spaces, allows the natural landscapes within the building to provide relaxation space for visitors. Creating a narrative for the Cultural Centre not only helps the design collective to create a very special place; it is also an attempt to capture an emotional response from any individual visiting the place. The medieval village has already manifested itself in the planning of the functional objects, the façade and also in the internal public realm.


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Charles Ho Founding Partner of QUAD studio

Charles has over 20 years of experience Hong Kong, the UK, Taiwan and China. He has worked in a variety of sectors including master planning, large-scale mixed-use development, transportation and infrastructure, residential and commercial. He currently leads the team focusing on mixed-use developments in Greater China, where QUAD currently has several high profile mixed-use projects under construction. Having spent most of his teenage years in Hong Kong he went on to complete his high school studies in the US, taking a class in art history, which introduced him to a brief history of painting, sculpture and architecture. “Before I took that class I knew what a building was, but never understood the true meaning of the word ‘architecture’. However,

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for me, becoming an architect felt very challenging and sounded like a challenge I personally wanted to take on.” He counts Mies Van Der Rohe as one of his biggest influences, adding that he defined our understanding of modern international contemporary design. “His famous ‘less is more’ quote has always had a strong influence on my design and personal philosophy,” he adds. His father a retired businessman, Charles grew up in a family that was heavily influenced by his personal views and business theories. Whilst Charles didn’t follow his path, there are times that he sees that his father’s business sense is inherent in his blood.

“His influence is strongest when combined with my own professional experience and my attitude towards leading our clients and dealing with problems.” As an architect Charles’ passion for his profession is obvious. Whilst he loves to design he says he is one of the few exceptions in the business that is also passionate about the aspects of marketing and finance that make a business successful. “Throughout my career I have developed a passion for creating, selling and delivering projects rather than focusing on the actual design process. Wai Tang is an inspiring designer with a big vision and huge influence. Kelvin is a very talented architect, full of energy and the most reliable person I have ever met. Some say you can’t buy chemistry,


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but together we work incredibly well as a team and though QUAD we have created our own freedom and a sense of trust in one another that allows us to pursue our own utopia.” For Charles, the experience of working on the West Kowloon Station was one of the most interesting projects he has had the privilege of working on. As the first high-speed rail project in Hong Kong it was, he says, iconic yet complex and he was inspired by the lack of precedents. “I worked on this project as lead station architect from zero to tender drawing stage for three years, full time. It was long and painful, but something I am very proud of being able to include in my portfolio.” Like his partners, Charles believes that good design has the capacity to change a person’s or a community’s perception of the way we live.

Site walk during construction of Pavilion at Hongqiao World Centre by Aedas

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West Kowloon Station designed by Aedas

Design, he believes, is not a subjective art, but rather something that brings value and a sense of art and function to our lives. As a RIBA architect practising in Hong Kong he is proud to have had the opportunity to have learned the traditions of western culture and combined them with Chinese integrity. “No matter how stringent our design environment is due to current regulation controls and political influence in Hong Kong, creativity still exists and is something we must continue to explore. It is my view that Hong Kong professionals are precise, knowledgeable and open-minded. We are very proper in terms of our general approach to projects and their procurement, especially when it comes to dealing with the lightning pace of development in mainland China.�


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Megalopolis X In November 2018, QUAD was the only Hong Kong studio to be shortlisted as one of 14 of 74 global architectural firms for the urban design of a 5,000km2 Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarter Base. In a collaboration with traffic engineering and transport planning consultants MVA and Atelier Ten, specialists in environmental and lighting design and building services engineers respectively, QUAD set out to create an efficient, ecological, transport and people-oriented city of the future. QUAD’s aim for Future City was not simply to create another hub in the city, but to establish the heart and mind of the Greater Bay Area based on cutting edge technology, advanced infrastructure, and the establishment of creative polymath that provides a platform for all facets of urban design.

with Hong Kong’s Central district. QUAD’s incorporation of technological advances and a framework of a city of the future go beyond the design of mega towers that may dominate a city skyline. Rather, it encapsulates from the start a diversified eco-belt covering the full width across an east-west axis, around which a central park defines its depth. QUAD’s design also anticipates the use of future technologies by creating as much public space above ground as possible, whilst incorporating a supportive utility infrastructure below ground to service the entire city. An intermediate level located between the public space and service corridor provides essential functionality between the spaces.

Located on the southern edges of Shenzhen between Shenzhen Bay and Fujian, QUAD’s vision is based on the fact that by 2047 no border will exist between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. As such it establishes the Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarter Base at the centre of the two cities, linking central Shenzhen


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A major part of the design involves creating a permeable multilevel pedestrian linkage between the ground and upper deck, designed to allow people to gather, interact and socialise. By creating an environment that enhances the way communities interact within the city, the design works to define the differing districts within the city. The one kilometre central park within the development incorporates a futuristic sustainable water garden. It also comprises a multi-level green park above ground, designed for running, walking and cycling, where public areas are infused with nature and art. Below ground is a climate controlled futuristic landscape incorporating a lake, waterfalls, underground streams and caverns, and a double-zoned botanical biome housing rare plants from both the dry and more humid parts of China. A retail and F&B extension defines the beginning of the journey that connects the park to the mega mall. This climate controlled green environment includes design features such as localised and radiant slab cooling, displacement ventilation and spectrally selective glazing with high visual light transmittance and low solar gains. A recreation biome is also split into two zones, allowing visitors to enjoy a landscaped spa, yoga and fitness facilities, as well as a series of attractions for adults and children within an urban oasis.

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Location: Shenzhen PRC GFA: 5,000,000 sqm Client: Shenzhen Investment Holding Company Limited QUAD Studio Design Team: Wai Tang, Kelvin Chu, Peter Scott, Eric Wen, Landy Liu, Jason Loo, Jack Zeng, Tim Ho, Wesley Fung Traffic Consultant: MVA Environmental Design Consultant: Atelier 10

Located to the north western corner of Megalopolis X resides a cluster of luxury serviced apartments which connect with the public skywalk at podium level and ultimately the promenade. QUAD’s adoption of a transit-oriented development (TOD) approach allows for a groundbreaking sustainable infrastructure hub that will connect Megalopolis X with Hong Kong, Qinghai and Shenzhen, Macau and the rest of the Pearl River Delta. However, one of the most outstanding uses of future technologies is QUAD’s vision of an automatic waste collection system designed to segregate recycling and general waste and transform it to energy through a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system and a district cooling system that targets at least 30% energy efficiency improvement over traditional watercooled chiller plants in each building. The design also aims to eliminate 60-80% of general waste content through on-site gasification. Indeed, the gasification of waste in QUAD’s masterplan for Future City is envisioned to offset site energy consumption by 10-15%. Such savings can be used to power the district electrical transport network and cooling system. Together with the reduced waste collection traffic, QUAD estimates that its proposed infrastructure hub will contribute around 30% of site energy reduction to the entire masterplan.


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Kelvin Chu Founding Partner of QUAD studio

As one of the founding partners of QUAD, Kelvin currently oversees all the design work in the studio, together with Wai Tang. A winner of the ’40 under 40’ award architecture category in the Perspective Magazine, his personal work has been exhibited and published in countries including Australia, UK and China. Having graduated from the Architectural Association London (AAL) in 2005 and subsequently taught there from 2006 - 2008 he has worked for renowned practices such as FOA, ACME, Plasma Studio and Information Based Architecture and participated in a number of award-winning projects, including the London 2012 Olympic Masterplan, the London BBC White City Music Centre, and the WTC Tower Proposal for New York. On his return to Hong Kong he went on to become an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Chinese University Architectural School, Hong Kong from 2012-14 before joining Aedas Hong Kong as an Associate Director.

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Influenced by his tutor, Mark Hemel, the architect of the Guangzhou TV Tower, who he cites as being the first person to show him what it is to be passionate about his beliefs, and later had the chance to work for FOA with Alejandro Zaera Polo and Farshid Moussavi, he realised there were no limits to where in the world he could design, or the scale or type of projects. For Kelvin, these were the people who shaped who he is today. Indeed, the Yokohama Ferry Terminal by FOA, he says, will always hold a special place in his mind and heart as one of the first projects to integrate architecture, landscape and structure in such a seamless way. “I still remember the first time when Farshid showed the construction photos in a lecture at RIBA London around 2002. So many people were intrigued and for me it marks an important moment in architecture in transforming free digital form into a real functional building using traditional construction methods.”

Kelvin would be the first to admit that technology is playing a huge influence on how buildings are being designed and built. Parametric design and 3D printing technologies have already been well developed in the last ten years and in the following decade he has no doubt that automotive design programmes and robotic construction techniques will affect the way designers approach projects. He believes that studying abroad really helped to broaden his vision in the early days, and that also affects the way he sees the current position of Hong Kong and its relationship with China.


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“I would always encourage young architectural students to study abroad if they have the opportunities. That said, Hong Kong is my home and is unique in that it is an international city that attracts people from all over the world. Being an integral part of the Greater Bay Area and so closely linked with mainland China, it is an exciting place to be for architects. Doing architecture in China is a breath of fresh air in that it allows architects to design buildings that would become landmarks in many different cities. The biggest challenge though is to cope with the speed of development.” Like his partners, Kelvin’s motivation to become an architect came from a desire to design and to realise buildings that will influence on how people lives, and also to inspire people. His first memory of wanting to become an architect was visiting Tokyo as a child and from his hotel room looking out to a view of Kenzo Tange’s City Hall.

Chengdu Greenland Centre by Aedas

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Hongqiao World Centre by Aedas

New York WTC Proposal by FOA

“I was truly overwhelmed by its scale and the façade detail, and from that moment I always knew I wanted to become an architect one day.” The one project he is most proud of in terms of sustainability and making a valid contribution to a community is a school project in Laduk, India. The site is located next to a Tibetan temple in the Himalayas, where the temperature can reach minus 30 degree Celsius. “The biggest challenge was always going to be how to keep the building warm. Our solution was to embed the building into the earth to reduce heat loss, and to incorporate longitudinal courtyards to bring sunlight into the classrooms. The façade is a trombe wall system, which captures heat during the day and slowly releases it at night to keep the interior warm.


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Friendship Tower Situated in the heart of Shenzhen at Luohu and close to the border of Hong Kong, the 250m high Friendship Tower lies at the heart of Friendship Road, so named as a reference to the friendship between Hong Kong and mainland China. Set on the site of a five-storey department store this project is a redevelopment of one of the first shopping centres in Shenzhen dating back to the early ‘80s. Once a famous city icon, the client decided to demolish the department store and replace it with a unique mixed-use development comprising offices, serviced apartments, a boutique hotel and small retail annex in a bid to conform with new government regulations for urban renewal. Given the density of the location, QUAD’s challenge was to dedicate a large proportion of public space into the podium to open up pockets for ventilation and provide resting places for the public. Quite different from the traditional retail box and a lot more permeable, the architecture is inspired by the Calla Lily, a symbol of youth and rebirth. Its white colour represents pure friendship and as a concept of regeneration, the narrative of an urban flower is used to represent the idea of rebirth and friendship in the heart of Shenzhen.

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Located between two main roads, the development lacks any iconic frontage. For QUAD there are two ways to view the development: either from afar or close up. From afar, the building stands iconic against the urban fabric, enwrapped in a skin inspired by the petals of lily. A colour blend from grey at low level to silver at high level enhances the shape of the flower. From up close the building’s dramatic stature draws people away from the road towards the development. As a vertical garden, the building allows for natural ventilation through its core. The leaf shape canopy provides shelter while allowing air to flow through the podium,


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Location: Luohu, Shenzhen, PRC GFA: 90,000 sqm Client: Friendship Investment Limited Concept Design: Aedas Architectural and Scheme Design: QUAD studio QUAD Studio Design Team: Kelvin Chu, Wai Tang, Tim Ho, Yauhing Cheung

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which is penetrated by open spaces and prevailing wind flows. This architectural theme is continued in the way the building is powered, an organic street view and a series of green balconies in the corner of the building advancing to the top of the tower. The seven-storey podium cascades from level to level, integrating landscape components with outdoor communal spaces to create a vertical public realm. The concept of the lily continues throughout in the form of organic canopies covering the retail atrium and cascading retail boxes connecting to the mixed-use tower. The result is an indoor and outdoor urban oasis designed as a destination for city dwellers to experience relaxing lush pockets of public space within a dense urban fabric. Designed as destination where city dwellers can experience relaxing lush green pockets it includes public realms within a dense urban fabric.


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Urban Jigsaw Urban Jigsaw is QUAD’s vision of luxury living in the historic capital of China’s Hunan Province. As the winning competition entry for the design of Shum Yip Group Ltd’s Changsha Shum Yip Centre, it is located in the heart of the city at the crossroads between the old and the new city. Aimed at the young businessman working in the central business disctrict, or the young professional couple looking to start a family, QUAD’s design is focussed around providing an urban retreat within a luxurious oasis of calm. Situated between the financial axis of Furong Road and the green axis that links Lieshi Park and the Promenade facing the Xiangjiang River, QUAD’s Urban Jigsaw is a 150m high tower that connects 44 floors of skybound and earthbound living, through a series of interlocking burrs that seemlessly blend public, semi-public and private spaces.

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For the designers involved, one of the major considerations was meeting with the city’s urban planning regulations that require all residential dwellings to enjoy a minimum of two hours daylight per day. The challenge was overcome by chamfering the corner of the tower to allow daylight to reach the existing residential tower to the north of the site. The result is the creation of an iconic gesture on the face of the tower fronting the main intersection, which incorporates green balconies that extend from the podium to the tower roof. With the setback requirements also restricting the disposition of the podium, the design team also explored different ways of connecting the public area to the private residential tower. As such, one of the main features of the public area is a welcoming porous façade that welcomes visitors via a public retail plaza. The introduction of an inner courtyard inside the retail complex allows penetration of natural sunlight into the public spaces

Location: Changsha, Hunan, PRC GFA: 80,900 sqm Client: Shum Yip Group Ltd Concept and Scheme Design: QUAD studio QUAD Studio Design Team: Wai Tang, Kelvin Chu, Landy Liu, Adrian Pang, Eric Wen, Jason Loo, Andrea Sze, Yauhing Cheung

within the podium. The multi-level platforms of the green podium visually blend public event spaces and the dining area of the clubhouse, where the private gardens of the apartments are separated yet visually connected. Sunken lawns are complemented by a waterway and alfresco lounge featuring art installations created by local and international artists. The lounge also contains a VIP room which contains an open kitchen that residents can use for private gatherings with friends and family. The second and third levels are home to an impressive water garden, the main feature of which is a 25 metre climatecontrolled pool, which opens up to connect to a second series of lawn areas. Other facilities include a state-of-the-art gymnasium, a golf simulator, a reading lounge and a childrens’ play room.


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The Butterfly Cove QUAD’s vision for world class place making was encapsulated in one of its most recent shortlisted international competition entries, Butterfly Cove, when the studio was invited in May 2019 to present their design for Shanghai Meilanhu, a mixed use development in a new satellite hub on the outskirts of Shanghai. Located adjacent to Meilan Lake Station in the district of Baoshan, the project renderings are comprised of a concentrated retail mall and four office towers connected by a pedestrian skywalk that seamlessly integrate the various functions and micro worlds included in the development. Through Butterfly Cove QUAD have designed a people-oriented public realm - a space to work, live and play - where visitors and tenants alike can explore its facilities on foot via a permeable multilevel pedestrican linkage. From below ground through to the upper deck levels, landscape nodes, art galleries and cafes are designed for seamless integration of functions and micro worlds. For QUAD, it was an opportunity to present their ideas of how visitors could experience the next generation of destination retail and stateof-the-art office facilities.For individuals and consortiums alike it represents an invitation to come together to rethink the future, particularly at a time when the latest generation of consumers are changing the way they shop and online shopping is threatening the very existence of the traditional mall.

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As such, Butterfly Cove emcompasses the need for developers to step up to the challenge of creating a space for retailers that goes beyond the realm of providing a space for them to display their latest brands and products. Indeed, as brands consider new ways to invest in meeting with consumer expectations and innovative methods of showcasing their products to create an interactive consumer experience, QUAD set out to create an experiential space for consumers to socially interact, whilst at the same time presenting an opportunity for retailers to showcase their brand identity.

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Butterfly Cove also addresses the lack of prime office space in the district, and creates an opportunity to create a diverse range of office types to meet the needs of tenants and owners alike. Again, by rethinking the Grade A office space of the future, Butterfly Cove explores the opportunity to integrate facilities such as enhanced lifting performance, generous common areas, a variety of meeting rooms and private spaces. From addressing the needs of larger companies looking to purchase or rent space for its flagship headquarters, through to smaller office spaces designed to suit every type of tenant, Butterfly Cove’s series of low rise office towers once again presents an alternative to the traditional.

Location: Meilanhu, Shanghai, PRC GFA: 704,000 sqm Client: Gemdale Properties and Investment Corporation Limited Involvement: Shortlisted Competition Entry QUAD Studio Design Team: Wai Tang, Kelvin Chu, Jack Zeng, Tim He, Yolanda Xian, Clara Lee, Wesley Fung, Ashley To and Cecilia Liu


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“ Design is not a subjective art, but rather something that brings value and creativity that functions in accordance to the way we live


About RIBA The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a charitable organization established in 1837 under the Royal Charter in the United Kingdom. The RIBA is a global professional membership body driving excellence in architecture, with more than 42,000 members worldwide. The objectives of the RIBA are the advancement of architecture and the promotion of the acquiring of knowledge of the arts and sciences connected therewith. Its mission is to advance architecture by demonstrating public benefit and promoting excellence in the profession. The RIBA Hong Kong Chapter (RIBA HK) was launched in 2012 and currently has over 800 members in Hong Kong. RIBA HK provides members and local practitioners with a dedicated platform to meet and exchange ideas through networking opportunities and a forum for local activities and debate. RIBA HK also contributes to public outreach and education activities strengthening professional skills and knowledge both locally and regionally. ‘Through RIBAZINE the RIBA HK Chapter is providing a promotional platform for local Architects who have an association with the RIBA. This is the second in a series of regular issues and features Quad Studio, an innovative young practice currently engaged with a number of diverse and dynamic projects in China. We would like to thank ROF Media for producing RIBAZINE.’

John Campbell Founding Chair RIBA HK Chapter