Add-on Housing: Alternative Redevelopment Model for Hong Kong

Related Staff : Au Fai

Student: Lau Cheuk Hin Lincoln
Supervisor: Fai Au

Thesis Abstract

In face of the decaying urban fabric of Hong Kong, the current pace of redevelopment under the existing model is far from efficient. At the same time, the issue of Housing shortage of our time in Hong Kong is unprecedented. With shrinking living spaces and monopolized markets, middle-class and grass root residents have little to no influence on the market.

Instead of purchasing the properties of existing buildings, which is an expensive and lengthy process, the development potential of the space above existing buildings are acquired. New developments with structural steel as main structures are erected on top of the existing building while minimizing the disturbance of the current structure and inhabitants.

At the same time, the proliferation of homogenous new housing developments featuring podium-tower approach, and glass curtain walls prohibits residents of any chance of customization and expansion, which otherwise is enjoyed and celebrated in many tenements buildings of Hong  Kong. In James Wine’s High Rise of Homes, the theoretical project was re-envisioning the possibility of high density living with individual character of a house. The thesis attempts to re-interpret such thinking by using timber structures as unit in-fill, which allows unit mutation and varying facade choices according to the tenement’s needs.

By making use of lightweight hybrid structure of steel and carbon-sequestrating construction materials of timber, the thesis seeks to explore the potential of proposing an alternate housing redevelopment model led by architects and aims to offer more reasonable options for homeowners and tenants.