Designer: Olivier Ottevaere
In the context of Hong Kong’s longstanding tradition in precast construction, ‘House Me Tender’ expands on the use of concrete precast technology in high-rise construction, by pushing both industry and academic research in new directions. It proposes a self-supporting structure made of precast volumes of different sizes and functions, from standardized main living spaces to customized extensions. A 9-storey prototype was first developed in detail with a team of professional engineers and precast experts as proof of concept to further support the hypothetical development of a 40-storey high-rise, the dominant building type in Hong Kong. Visual catalogues of precast plugins allow future residents to personalize parts and order straight from the factory according to the dimensions of living space. Protrusions of plug-in elements provide shaded and naturally ventilated exterior spaces, desirable in a subtropical environment.
The design scheme aims to offer individualization through mass production using reconfigurable formwork. Such flexibility also allows for apartment sizes to be adjusted over time in response to inhabitants’ needs. The project thus offers a clear production/structural/tectonic and social agenda. Individualization, through mass production from reconfigurable formwork and adaptability of apartment sizes overtime, from recombination of modules, make up the overall identity of the building and ultimately accounts for its social agenda.
It has won one international award: Best Residential Future Project Award 2015, Architectural Review, London The AR jury commented: “This proposal cleverly exploits the Hong Kong precast tradition. It envisages plug-in possibilities which would please tenants and enliven the local built environment.”
It has been exhibited at the 16th Venice Biennale 2018 as part of the Hong Kong exhibition titled: ”Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape”.
It is has been published in two peer-reviewed journals (Journal of Engineering Technology and HKIA Journal), presented at two international conferences (ACE 2014, AAE 2016) and lectured to professional bodies (HKIA, HKIE).