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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.



Urbanism

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.



Architecture

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.

Scource from Dezeen
 

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Darn! This is such a very advanced architecture! Zaha Hadid is such an under-rated architect. He deserves more recognition!
 

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looks a lot like a proposed building in New York. The architecture is actually the same, only the general shape of the building changes... so this Hong Kong version isn't something that original.....
 

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Pompodian in Exile
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Darn! This is such a very advanced architecture! Zaha Hadid is such an under-rated architect. He deserves more recognition!
He's a woman.

Fab building not sure it will look quite as shiney as the renders do. I really hate renders like that they give you no clue as to what the building will actually be clad in or the internal finnishes.
 

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Cool and modern looking :)
 

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Industrial Twilight
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Wow, it's very sci-fi loooking. I could see something like this in Hong Kong, and now I can look forward to it.
 

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Iconic tower to be shrunk after PolyU foregoes appeal
28 May 2008
South China Morning Post

Polytechnic University has decided not to appeal against new restrictions that will see the height of a proposed landmark campus building being cut by a third under new height restrictions for Tsim Sha Tsui.

Outgoing president Poon Chung-kwong said the university had decided to go ahead with a smaller version of its HK$400 million "innovation tower". It will trim it from more than 70 metres down to at least 45 metres, the maximum allowed for the Tsim Sha Tsui East campus.

He said it was a pity the school had not submitted its plan two months earlier as it could have passed before the restriction was established.

"The problem is we need to compete with time," he said. "We need to have a new building by 2012. If we objected to the restriction now, we expect we would have to spend at least nine months in negotiations."

The proposed tower was designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, the first woman to win the coveted Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Professor Poon said the university and Ms Hadid would have to discuss trimming the building from 15,000 square metres to 12,000 square metres. "To look on the bright side, we will have 12,000 square metres in 2012 instead of zero square metres."

The tower is designed to cope with the expected increase in students in 2012, when enrolment will be affected by the new "three-three-four" structure - students will spend three years in junior secondary school, three years in senior secondary and four doing a degree course.

Professor Poon said the school would object to the height restriction in future building projects. "I will only oppose [the restriction] within our campus," he said. "Our university cannot ask for more land to expand horizontally, so the only way we can develop is vertically."

He asked the public not to worry about the so-called wall effect of massed, tall buildings, as the university in future would have only a few buildings over 45 metres high.

Meanwhile, he said he was delighted to receive calligraphy from Premier Wen Jiabao to mark the university's 70th anniversary. Mr Wen's note urged Polytechnic to strive for innovation, develop its potential and learn from the past.

"I am so honoured to receive it from Premier Wen, especially since this is my last year as president," he said.

US-based scientist Timothy Tong Wai-cheung will succeed Professor Poon as president next year.
 

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It's a shame that the height was cut. What difference is a single tower of 70m going to make in TST? It's not very tall. A world renowned architect designs for a building and now there are compromises.
 

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Planners lift height restriction for tower PolyU structure passes first hurdle
19 September 2008
South China Morning Post

City planners have provisionally waived a building height restriction for Polytechnic University's proposal to build an iconic 70-metre tower at its Hung Hom campus.

Planning Department officials yesterday agreed to make an exception to the 45-metre limit on buildings in the area, to make way for the university's planned HK$400 million Innovation Tower.

They were satisfied that the tower had to be that tall to accommodate its "fluid character" design, which, they said, could help burnish Hong Kong's image as a world-class city.

But the decision must be approved by the Town Planning Board's metro planning committee, which is expected to discuss the exemption today.

The university last year announced a plan to build the new structure to house the school of design and a museum showcasing local and international design classics.

The tower was designed by Zaha Hadid, who won a competition held by the university. She is the first woman to win the coveted Pritzker Architecture Prize, widely seen as the Nobel Prize for architects. The tower will be about 15 storeys tall.

The university applied for an exemption from the height limit, arguing that it needed the extra floor space to cope with the additional students it will get in 2012 under the government's new four-year university programme.

The university also said the new tower would be an iconic building, projecting a vision of possibilities for the future through its "fluid character" design.

During a three-week consultation last month, the project appeared to secure overwhelming support from the public. Of the 188 submissions received by the Planning Department, 187 supported it. Only one expressed concern that it would set a bad precedent.

In a paper tabled to committee members, the Planning Department said: "With [its] fluid character design, the building cannot be accommodated within the current height restriction {hellip} The [greater] building height may somewhat affect the visual openness at a section of Chatham Road South, but the overall visual impact on the surrounding areas, within and outside [the university], is not considered to be significant.

"By allowing relaxation of the height restriction for the new building, [the university] would be able to establish a new and unique identity in its main campus. The new iconic building might also help promote the image of Hong Kong as a world-class city," said the department.

Green Sense chairman Roy Tam Hoi-pong said he accepted making an exception to the height limit in this case.

"It is not a perfect option. But I appreciate the university's need for a taller building to accommodate more students under the new four-year university curriculum."
 

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horrible....
 
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