Extraordinary pressures occur across all scales of this project. At the largest scale, they can be found in the existing social and economic DNA of China, especially within the Pearl River Delta. They are perceptible in both architectural and urban form, describing the phenomenal spatial dimensions from the Pearl River Delta to Hong Kong. The pressure charges space and relations, causing cities to merge and hundred year histories to be called into question.
We cast this phenomena of extraordinary pressure in a dualistic condition of packed solids and charged voids. The packed solids are pressurized from the inside out; the charged voids are an active emptiness that keep the forces in balance. They are simultaneously born out of the pressures of China’s continued urbanization. They are manifest in the balance between the extreme packaging of the Housing Estates (Hong Kong’s vertical suburbs) and the emptiness of Victoria Harbor.
The urban village is a self-growing, phenomenally dense housing typology that can be found most prevalently in Shenzhen. Its extreme type of density has its relevant Hong Kong precedence in the historic Kowloon Walled City that was demolished in 1993 due to its unlivable, crime infested environment. The New Kowloon Walled City takes over the former Kai Tak runway: the ultimate packed solid replacing a charged void. Three scales of dimensional tiling strategies makes up the phenomenal density of the development, and gives way to shared sectional open spaces called the “midlevels.” It is in these voids that richness that spills out of the dense surroundings can be experienced.
The monorail intersects the development at a unique moment where the units aggregate to take on larger floor plate dimensions openings at the midlevels, transporting density in and out of the Kowloon Walled City. A ground tram runs the length of the project and provides transportation at the pedestrian scale.
New Kai Tak Masterplan
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