Reclaiming Central: the Negative Object and the Water-Front
Platform: Ecologies Sustainability Regeneration (ESR)

Related Staff : Kokora, Michael

Students: Chan Sik Chi, Ho Jun Yin, Kwan Long Yin, Tong Ka Hei Surin, Tsang Tin Kin, Yam Ka Kit, Chao U Cheng, Ho Ho Ming Victor, Jiang Jing, Lam Chun Fung, Lo Mei Yu, Mok Ka I, Ng Cheuk Yin Priscilla, Ng Kang Yuen, Wong Pui Kei Peggy

Studio name: Architecture & Urban Design

Ecologies Sustainability Regeneration

Study the Central Waterfront site as a whole to look for opportunities to invert city – harbour relationships. 

This studio re-evaluates critically Hong Kong’s Central waterfront with the design of negative space as “object” while creating a series of new ecologies: terrestrial, marine, economic, and political and reclaim Central as a new form of public space for Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Island’s waterfront has evolved gradually overtime, shrinking the harbour through successive reclamation efforts. While Central has been “re” claimed from the Harbour, and despite its proximity, one rarely experiences, sees, or meaningfully experiences the Harbour. In many ways, the water “front” is still at Central’s “back”. This studio aims to invert this relationship and bring the water “front” back to Central. Hong Kong’s Harbour can be more than an object to be looked at (from a safe distance), quickly crossed (ferries), or dumped into (storm water).

Nearly all major waterfront cities are addressing resiliency planning and sea level rise as an inevitable reality. Hong Kong is conspicuously absent from this global discussion when it could be advancing new ideas. Combined with the exploration of negative space, the studio studies other waterfront resiliency / sea level rise efforts (not to appropriate means and methods) but to invent new means of engagement with the harbour in light of cloudbursts, storm surges, and sea level rise. All studio work are phased toward this future (ie. +25-75 years from now).

The studio works with the School of Biological Sciences and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), both of whom have been studying Hong Kong’s ecology and biodiversity while working to promote soft engineered shorelines at the Hong Kong harbour.