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|June 6th, 2008, 06:23 PM||#1|
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HONG KONG | Innovation Tower | U/C
Innovation Tower at Hong Kong Polytechnic University by Zaha Hadid
Architect Zaha Hadid was appointed last month to design a new building on the campus of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Called the Innovation Tower, the building will house the institute’s School of Design.
Below is text on the project from Zaha Hadid Architects, followed by a press release from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University:
INNOVATION TOWER, HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY [HONG KONG, CHINA] 2007-2011
The fluid character of the Innovation Tower is generated through an intrinsic composition of its landscape, floor plates and louvers, that dissolves the classic typology of the tower and the podium into an iconic seamless piece. These fluid internal and external courtyards create new public spaces of an intimate scale which complement the large open exhibition forums and outdoor recreational facilities to promote a diversity of civic spaces.
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HK PolyU) is an urban endeavour by virtue of addition and growth over the last 40 years. The rich patchwork of various faculties, communities and facilities are strung together by a community of visually coherent yet different buildings. From a process of outward expansion, the HK PolyU is now looking inwards to develop itself by making creative use of its remaining void on the North side of the campus.
The Innovation Tower aims to use these voids to create an accessible urban space which will transform how the Hong Kong Poly University is perceived and the way it will be used. The building unashamedly aims to stimulate and project a vision of possibilities for its future, as well as reflect the history of the HK PolyU by encapsulating in its architecture the process of change.
The proposed vision of the new Innovation Tower presents a unique opportunity to re-examine and address a creative, multidisciplinary environment. Our concept in its first instance, collects the variety of programmes of the school. Having undergone a strict process of examination of the multiple relationships amongst their unique identities they have been arranged in accordance to their ‘collateral flexibilities’. Priority lies in the drawing in of the campus staff, students and public into a welcoming new space that acts as both the building’s entrance and organiser for the existing complex.
The first architectural gesture is to raise the landscape of the existing football field and tennis grounds, so as to place the main pedestrian entrance of the new school building on a level open to it’s immediate context at podium level. The free ground below becomes accessible from the established main campus route (Yuk Choi Road) to proposed workshops, parking and access to future development on ‘Phase 8’. The new Innovation Tower on podium level is established as an open public foyer that channels deep into the building through a column-free, open showcase forum. The long integrated path from Suen Chi Sun Memorial Square guides the visitor to the main entrance and from here, a generous and welcoming space openly leads its visitors access to supporting public facilities (shop, cafeteria, museum) through a generous open exhibition ‘showcase’ spanning over two levels between podium and ground level.
The podium level is a route that ramps and stretches through towards the open ground with relocated recreational outdoor facilities. From the entry foyer, a long escalator penetrates deep upwards through four levels of openly glazed workspaces. The myriad of workspaces accommodated within the new school offer themselves as a variety of visual showcases.
The route through the building becomes a clear upward cascade of showcases and events allowing the student or visitor to visually covet and engage work and exhibits throughout its circulation passage. These routes aims to promote new opportunities of interaction between the diverse types of users through its spaces through every level.
Voids bring in natural daylight, fresh air and the sense of continuity of space. In this way, the programmes of the tower, which comprise of learning clusters and central facilities, are allowed to create coordinated repertoires and dialogue between respective volumes.
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