GALLERY INDEX

Negotiated Grounds: Generative Prototypes

MArch Studios 2021-22

Related Staff : Jersey Poon, Kent Mundle, Donn Holohan, Joshua Bolchover


The studio will continue its on-going investigation into how architecture can inform and alter the process of urban transformation. The aim is to conceptualise architecture and territory not as an issue of scale, but instead as a dynamic and complex set of relationships, both urban, material, and ecological.

This year we are pushing the design of spatial generators, prototypes that have the capacity to adapt and change to the specific constraints of a context. For us, site comes at the end, while the engines of spatial transformation are prioritised at the start of the design process. The objective is to position a role for the architect as a key agent to shape territories in urgent need of alternative design strategies, in locations where top-down planning methods are simply not working.

We will explore two main sites, each of which is having to negotiate conflicting forces and different speeds of transformation. In each location the latent conditions are unstable.  In Hong Kong’s border zone, the site is liquid, set within a constantly shifting wetland ecology. On the other hand, conservation agencies and government departments wish to preserve the natural ecology, while local villagers and developers contest this approach and are pushing for new economic drivers. In Kathmandu, Nepal, the ground is subject to devastating earthquakes, rendering it also liquid. In the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake, empty sites are being rebuilt rapidly based on increasing migration into the city.

KEYWORDS: Transformation, Obsolescence, Experimental structures, Rural-Urban, Material tectonics

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UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE