theW+ Architectural Tours with Hogan: Design Institute
Hong Kong’s latest architectural renaissance jump-started within the educational sector in 2010 with the iconic, Hong Kong Design Institute aka. the HKDI located in Tseung Kwan O.This highly original building was first conceptualized less than 10 years ago after it won first place in an ideas competition for the non-profit public school devoted to all things Design. Since it was built, construction of other design schools with similarly iconic avant-garde architectures in the city followed, all authored by award winning and globally recognized architects such as Daniel Libeskind for the Run Run Shaw Media Centre (2011) and Zaha Hadid for her “Innovation” Tower (2014) at CUHK’s Kowloon campus.
Pedestrians can access the vertical campus on many levels.
The difference between the Hadid and Libeskind campuses and the HKDI, is that HKDI’s winning architects don’t have the starchitect status nor long building history of the other two. Named CAAU (Codelfy & Associes Architectes Urbanistes), the Lille and Paris, France based studios, have basically hit jackpot with this winning project. At 42,000m2 large, HKDI is the first ever completed building within their company portfolio, and it’s a beautiful and thoughtful one at that… everything works spatially and volume-wise, with no gimmicky forms or odd cheap finishes.
And after walking around the school’s site two weeks ago, I was completely convinced that CAAU could not have done a better job with the HKDI, which is a feat in itself considering Hong Kong’s complicated construction process (especially with all the permits to build anything a-traditional here.)
Internal streets on many levels connect the building with surrounding environments.
HKDI, which can house up to 4,000 students, is most notable for its four tree-tower trunks clad in a lattice steel diamond shaped-structure holding up an awe-inspiring glass box raised 7-storeys high. Dubbed the “White Sheet”, the architects saw this sheet as a “metaphorical presentation of creativity”, floating in air, connecting all other parts of the campus’ multidisciplinary functions, many meters above ground.
The glass box above is the metaphorical ‘White Sheet’ of Creativity. Photographed by Lightseed Studio.
The otherwise flat site, has been made more dynamic with all auditoriums, dining, and gallery functions placed within an artificial plinth on the ground, sandwiching the towers housing the classrooms, with the glass box on top holding other shared functions like study areas and the main library (with a view.)
Towers clad in lattice steel structure.
From a detail standpoint, this building is far superior structurally, materially, and finishes-wise, than the other buildings in Hong Kong of its ilk by far more seasoned architects. The 60m long escalator which takes students from ground level to the glass box, works well enough exactly how it was intended to work, and the external lattice structure which was constructed on site (not-prefabricated at all) is the the building’s overall design signature which looks neat with no water rust on the paint and with very clean joint details amongst all its structural parts. It still looks new after so many years.
While CAAU was the design architect, the project was made possible with collaboration with P&T Group, the local architects who designed our last Architectural tour stop, The Velodrome. Ove Arup Hong Kong is the project’s structural engineering team (also same with the Velodrome). The HKDI was first established in 2002, and houses departments for Design, Fashion/Textile, Printing/ Digital Media, and Multimedia + Internet Technology.
Glass canopy brings light in while protecting interior open spaces from the elements.
Latticework structure of the HKDI built on site looks as good as new.
There are very elegant moments here when the tree trunk goes beyond the glass box above. (It could have gone horribly wrong, but it didn’t.)
So many sublime moments to connect and contemplate.
Our Architectural Tour at the Hong Kong Hong Kong Design Institute was made possible through partnership with Hogan Autumn / Winter 2014’s Simon Holloway Collection for Casual Business. For three decades, Hogan has provided comfort and style for gentlemen everywhere. These days a plugged-in and fast paced society has changed the way we travel, choosing instead destinations that allow us to discover, explore, and document our creative inspiration. For smart shoes that allow guys like us to negotiate, network, and explore the world from day to evening, Hogan is there.
WEAR Hogan / VISIT Hong Kong Design Institute . 3 King Ling Road, Tseung Kwan O, NT HK . Tiu Keng Leng MTR Station Exit A2 . T: +852-39282994 / DESIGN CAAU Codelfy & Associates Architects Urban Planners / STYLE PHOTOGRAPHY Ken Wu - Lightseed Studio