GALLERY INDEX

Shell Game: Exploring Variation and Integration in Pre-Fabricated Facades

Related Staff : Jason Carlow

Studio Instructor: Jason Carlow
Student Participants: Chan Ming Tsun Calvin; Chan Shun Ki Vanessa; Choy Siu Kwan; Kok Dannes; Kwong Yan Kit Kyle; Leung Shuk Yu Tiffany; Li Tsz Man Frederick; Ng Yuen Yee; Oram Alessandra Barbara Suzanne M; Tang Wai Lam Peony; Ung Wai Lun Norman; Yang Hui Bella

This research-based design studio sought to reconsider the static conformity of typical Hong Kong residential building facades that are driven largely by building code limitations, economic concerns and Fordist mass production. Students considered how building codes might be analyzed and reworked to improve performance through strategic variation. The studio brief was written to challenge standardized facades that are often repetitively applied to buildings without regard for issues like solar orientation, view or context. The studio took a more critical approach toward the overall residential tower design with a particular interest in the ‘thick’ skin of Hong Kong’s residential towers. Students made careful surveys of existing residential towers built over the course of the last three decades and traveled to the Pearl River Delta cities of Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou to visit various factories producing cladding systems and architectural interiors. The studio used the extremely dense and highly repetitive, South Horizons Housing Estate on Ap Lei Chau Island in Hong Kong as a site to test a series of new performance based, pre-fabricated façade systems.

The façade was used as starting point to rethink the entire tower typology and to generate new ideas about typical floor plan layouts, interior furnishings, structural systems and overall master planning strategies. Students looked to digital modeling software and prefabricated systems to yield not only a better performing building envelope, but one that creates a less uniform and monotonous urban environment.

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UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE