Institute of Topology

Related Staff : Christian Lange

Studio: Christian J. Lange
Students: Chan Florence Joyce, Justin Adrian Chan, Lau Yik Tung Andrea, Yeung Yan Yin, Chan Tak Yeung Sam, Zhang Zhengrong, Chan Yim Yi Diamond, Tong Pui Heng Hannah, Zeqin Xu, Olga Cech, Fung Sin Yu Stacey, Yeung Yin Ting Isabella

Since the early 1990’s the architectural discourse has been influenced largely by digital technology and concepts of mathematics. Many architects have borrowed such theoretical models for their own designs and their philosophical position. The rise of digital technology and the infiltration of it in architecture have lead in general to a much more complex formal and spatial language in the profession. Although some architects have mastered to deal with the complexities and contrac­tions of intricate spaces and morphologies, the majority of architects who are dea­ling with digital forms today are lacking the ability to formulate meaningful spaces. A fundamental question in Architecture is still how the inside relates to the outside and vice versa.


The studio therefore investigated topological surfaces as a driver to generate alternative approaches to architecture. These surfaces are highly intricate systems that reveal complex spatial qualities. Unlike Cartesian Geometry, Topology is not de­fined by points in space and is not concerned with shape and size. It mainly deals with properties such as connectivity and continuity, which is a prerequisite for a holistic approach to Architecture.


The studio had two main objectives. On one hand it was a hands-on investigation into topological systems and their potential of creating continuous space. On the other hand the studio sought to tackle the issue of a coherent architectural spatial and morphological language that addresses exterior and interior but also structure, organization and circulation. The studio used the fictitious program of an Institute of Topology on the campuses of Poly U in Hong Kong as a testing ground to experiment with these concepts.

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