Ideas for the Village: Rethinking Village House typologies in Hong Kong

Related Staff : Christian Lange, Weijen Wang

Studio: Christian J. Lange & Weijen Wang
Students:Li Zhixin, Lee Man Yee, Long Yi, Wang Lu, Chiu Francesca Yuen Wa, Louie Wai Ning, Ng Chun Hei Avery, Ting Lok-yung Lawrence Tomos, Wong Kin Man, Liu Vincent Chuen Yung, Wang Yix

When it comes to housing, Hong Kong is known for its high-rise buildings. Yet, there is a small percentage of housing that is dedicated to another much smaller typology: The village house in the New Territories. This typology is mainly defined by two major parameters. Height and footprint. The results of these simple rules are conventional 2100 sq ft boxes that in most cases are constructed with reinforced concrete and finished with generic ceramic façade tiles.

The site of the studio was situated in Yuen Long Shing Uk Tsuen in the New Territories, where the village is currently planning to build 32 houses in one go. The studio took on the site and the program as a testing ground to generate a set of counter proposals to the generic approach of village housing and to speculate on alternative solutions for the proposed masterplan aiming towards different solutions for the environment and the dwellers.

The typology of the house has been always a testing ground for architects to experiment with new ideological, spatial and material ideas. In Hong Kong architecture is to a large extend shaped by the building code and the desire for space maximization, two parameters that can go against the development of ideas. The studio tried to work with these constraints, while experimenting with different material systems and unconventional spatial organizations in order to develop new ideas for this typology.