Mapping Modern Architecture in Hong Kong

Department: Architecture

Dr Cole Roskam and his team members won the Faculty KE Awards 2014 for his project Mapping Modern Architecture in Hong Kong.  The main objective of this project was to expand and deepen the general public’s knowledge of the Modern Movement, an important era in Hong Kong’s architectural and cultural heritage. Docomomo Hong Kong was organized by a group of committed academics and local residents to identify, catalogue and map major examples of modern architecture in Hong Kong. This project also encourages The University of Hong Kong (HKU) students to explore the history of Hong Kong’s built environment and their urban contexts. The group has worked to identify, catalogue, and map major examples of modern architecture in Hong Kong so as to create a channel for knowledge exchange between the project team members and the greater Hong Kong community through the study of modern movement while raising public awareness with respect to Hong Kong’s architectural heritage. Encouraging HKU students to begin to explore the history of Hong Kong’s built environment and their urban contexts, too is a major project objective.

Through the launching of a public exhibition, website, and student outreach programme, the project has also endeavored to raise residents’ and visitors’ awareness concerning the significance of modern architecture to Hong Kong’s built environment and cultural heritage. It also constitutes a valuable tool in introducing the public into the key concepts behind modern architecture and the global connections it reveals between Hong Kong and the world.

In 2011 debate was heating up in Hong Kong over plans to redevelop the Central Government Offices (CGO), which were built in the 1950s. To architecture aficionados, they represented a fine example of the modern movement that influenced much of 20th century design. But to some in the community, they were eyesores. How could the doubters be won over?

This question was pondered by a group of scholars from HKU, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE) as well as concerned residents, who decided to launch a Hong Kong chapter of the international organisation Docomomo (which stands for the Documentation and Conservation of the Modern Movement) to raise awareness about surviving examples of architectural modernism in Hong Kong.

羅坤博士(Dr Cole Roskam)及其團隊憑著「編目香港之現代主義建築」獲建築學院頒發2014年學院知識交流獎。該項目的主要目的是擴大和加深大眾對現代運動的認識,而現代運動是香港的建築和文化遺產的一個重要時代。

2011年本港各界就重建1950年代落成的中區政府合署展開熱烈討論。該建築群對建築學愛好者來說,彰顯着現代主義運動對許多20世紀設計的影 響;然而社會上也有人認為它們與現時的高樓大廈顯得格格不入。究竟應如何讓更多社會人士明白這些建築物的價值呢? 為此,來自香港大學、香港中文大學、香港大學專業進修學院的學者及關注該議題的市民決定建立國際組織Docomomo(即Documentation and Conservation of the Modern Movement的英文縮寫)-「記錄與保護現代建築運動」在香港的分會,以提高人們對香港碩果僅存的現代主義建築之認識。

香港作為前英國殖民地和活躍的國際轉口港,香港在十九世紀末和二十世紀初受到現代建築的影響,也對其產生了重要作用。Docomomo 香港不但製作小冊子和網站,還舉辦公眾展覽和學生推廣計劃,令市民和遊客意識到現代建築對香港建築環境和文化遺產的重要意義。該機構希望將來能再次舉辦展 覽,並為本地居民和遊客設計觀賞本港現代主義建築的行程

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UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE