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Redevelopment of Tai Kok Tsui Residential Area (Thesis, 1998/1999)

By : Yeung Lai Kei

The project was designed and presented in 1999. An alternative way to redevelop an old urban area is explored without damaging the original street life, activities and character. An “urban hill town” consisting of a series of ramped-roof buildings was suggested. These ramped roofs of varied elevations above ground were connected to create a continuous elevated street: platforms in the sky. These were then connected to the ground and to various levels of the building complex.

Tutor’s Comments
The term “building-as-a-city” has been cheapened by misuse over the years, and is no longer as provocative as it used to be. However when the density and size of a building rise to an extreme as in this project, the alleged “building-city” indeed does become a “hill” or “mountain”. Here, both building and urban design principles may handicap the designer, and even prove counterproductive. Innovative ideas are needed in order to achieve a humanistic setting while tending toward maximum construction efficiency. This project shows the need to break boundaries between traditional building design, urban planning and landscaping. It is unique, thorough and seemed to include many attributes in a single entity. It might be a representative of what might be called the “No School” of design, as it were. The weakest note in the project must be the residential floor plans, which are fairly banal and repetitive. Yet the overall effect of the architecture remains gentle due to its clever massing and varied textures.

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