Varela J.


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Cheung Wing-Chung
Varela Joana

Working with extreme urban density: Hong Kong. A prototype of mixed-use building in Hong Kong.

Groupe de suivi
Gugger Harry – Dietz Dieter – Blättler Ralph – Kirchhoff Ulrich Nikolaus


Urban sprawl, a solution to house fast-growing metropolitan populations, dilutes the substance of cities and generates extensive uniformly built fabrics lacking structural poles of attraction. Hong Kong is one of the seldom exceptions of this general tendency. Constrained by its geographic conditions and its historical background, the city has remained compact and reached elevated levels of density. This extreme concentration of population and its impact upon urban form constitute an excellent laboratory to experiment new forms of density. Furthermore, Hong Kong becomes even more relevant as it is a development model for its emerging Chinese neighbours. Our intention is to maintain and enhance density in the urbanized areas and to improve the living environment in the denser cores of the city. The main challenges are to provide more public spaces and to ensure equal light and spatial qualities for everyone. To achieve this objective, the project must find an architectural solution that proposes a new interpretation of the standard Hong Kong tower. Firstly, we would like to avoid the urban barrier created by the common podium typology, by making the latter more permeable and public. Secondly, the density of Hong Kong encourages the existence of a mixed-use building, combining various functions and allowing for the cohabitation of public and private programs. Consequently the various programs can be located optimally in the building according to factors such as light, view, orientation and connection.



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