Dragon-proofing: why skyscrapers in Hong Kong have holes
Have you ever realized that Hong Kong skyscrapers have holes in them? They're called dragon gates, and according to the Chinese principle feng shui these holes allow dragons to fly from the mountains to the water each day. It's believed that blocking the dragon's path could bring misfortune. Buildings with bad feng shui, such as the Bank of China Tower, have been blamed for surrounding companies going out of business.
— Business Insider
Double-paned, waterproofed windows for insulation? Check. Reinforced steel beams for stability during an earthquake? Check. Hole in the center of the building so dragons can fly through? View full entry
Stefan Al on why the shopping mall isn't dying
...it is not the mall that is declining, but suburbia. The mall, meanwhile, is becoming urban. In fact, a new breed of shopping centre is integrating so seamlessly into its urban surroundings that it can be difficult to draw any line between city and mall whatsoever.
On both sides of the Pacific, the mall is not “dead”. It has simply transformed...[but] “While the idea of the shopping mall becoming ‘urban’ has a certain appeal, the net effect is to turn the city into a shopping mall.”
— The Guardian
Stefan Al, author of Mall City: Hong Kong's Dreamworlds of Consumption, writes about how shopping malls in places such as New York, Melbourne, and Hong Kong are increasingly blending into the cities themselves — transforming into “a new breed of shopping centre”, Al writes. View full entry
Zaha Hadid's seminal artwork makes its Hong Kong debut
Ceaseless experimentation was the root of Zaha Hadid's architectural practice, as depicted in her early drawings and paintings. The Serpentine Galleries and Zaha Hadid Design teamed up to showcase Hadid's artistic prowess in the exhibition, “Zaha Hadid: There Should Be No End To Experimentation”, which opened today at the ArtisTree gallery in Hong Kong.
Presenting Zaha Hadid's artwork in Hong Kong for the first time, the exhibition shows her paintings, calligraphic drawings, and rarely seen private sketch notebooks, along with VR experiences and screenings of archival footage.Hafenstrasse Development; Hafenstrasse Development, Hamburg... View full entry
In Hong Kong, a housing shortage is leading people to live in 25 sq. ft. "space capsule pods"
Hong Kong is a crowded city. According to census figures reported by Quartz, 57,100 households live in spaces between 75 and 140 sq ft. And, for the most part, the conditions of these tiny homes aren’t exactly great. Enter Sandy Wong, the inventor of a “space capsule pod”, a 25 sq. ft... View full entry
Sick of the white cube? This Hong Kong gallery is going all black
[Empty Gallery] is entirely black—black walls, black floors, black fittings. When you first enter, it is completely, utterly dark. It is only when you reach the first of the main art spaces that dim lighting illuminates the works on display.
“Hong Kong is so fast; the language of advertising is so strong and loud and intense. We’re amped up all the time... It helps you give art a chance to communicate.”
Related on Archinect:Boyle Heights activists want all art galleries to GTFO of their neighborhoodNew Kulapat Yantrasast-designed Gagosian Gallery to open in San FranciscoSANAA chosen to design NSW Art Gallery expansionPrepare to soon spot the blackest of black materials in architecture View full entry
Zaha Hadid's Jockey Club takes RIBA's award for International Excellence
Fittingly, Zaha Hadid Architects' 15-storey, 15,000 square meter Jockey Club International Tower has raced ahead of all other structural competition, winning RIBA's award for International Excellence. Here, the ever observant Iwan Baan shows us why:And for good measure, here's a video tour: View full entry
Take a look at the rapid urbanization of China's Pearl River Delta
The region where the Pearl River flows into the South China Sea has seen some of the most rapid urban expansion in human history over the past few decades – transforming what was mostly agricultural land in 1979 into what is the manufacturing heartland of a global economic superpower today.
— The Guardian
Shenzen (1964)Shenzen (2015)Macau (1991)Macau (2015)Hong Kong (1964)Hong Kong (2015)Guangzhou (1949)Guangzhou (2015)Some related content:China plans to build a fleet of floating nuclear power plantsA more optimistic view on China's ghost citiesSmog-choked Beijing plans "ventilation corridors" to... View full entry
Win the "Architectural Guide China", a handy travel book of the country's architectural history
Architectural Guide China is a unique travel guidebook that presents up-to-date insight into the rich architectural histories in Eastern China's megacities, which continue to create widespread impact through rapid urbanization, population growth, and the consequential effects on the natural... View full entry
Dense, Denser, Hong Kong: Alex Nimmo captures the patterns of a crowded metropolis
Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities on the planet. To accommodate a rapidly growing number of inhabitants in a limited area of land, the emphasis is on space efficiency – which often translates into extremes of verticality and compact living.
Alex Nimmo grew up in the English countryside but moved to Hong Kong three years ago. The contrast, as you might imagine, was sharp.
↑ Bel Air↑ Sheung Wan↑ Quarry BayAll images by @alexnimmo on Instagram.Related:Hong Kong tops Bloomberg's list of "Most Crowded Cities" by 2025Asia’s richest man is building Hong Kong apartments barely bigger than a prison cellVertical Horizon 2nd Edition: Romain Jacquet-Lagreze's... View full entry
Get Lectured: The University of Hong Kong, Spring '15
Archinect's Architecture School Lecture Guide for Winter-Spring 2015Archinect's Get Lectured is back in session! Get Lectured is an ongoing series where we feature a school's lecture series—and their snazzy posters—for the current term. Check back frequently to keep track of any upcoming... View full entry
MoMA's “Uneven Growth” case studies conclude with exhibition this month
MoMA began its "Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities" initiative last year aiming to advance international discussion on disproportionate urban development and its potential consequences. To address this issue, six interdisciplinary teams spent 14 months in workshops designing proposals that investigate new architectural possibilities for six metropolises. Each case study will be exhibited to the public at MoMA starting on November 22.
But the discussion doesn't end there. MoMA also created a user-generated Tumblr that collects examples of emerging modes of tactical urbanism taking place in the six cities.Here's a glimpse:LAGOSBy NLÉ (Lagos, Nigeria and Amsterdam, Netherlands)Zoohaus/Inteligencias Colectivas (Madrid, Spain)HONG... View full entry
Big businesses and baby steps: Weekly News Round-Up for September 22 and 29, 2014
Friday, October 3:Eisenhower Memorial clears key hurdle on Gehry design: In a positive step for the Memorial's Approving Process Odyssey, the National Capital Planning Commission has OK'd the Commission on Fine Arts (the other federal body that must approve the design) to vote on the... View full entry
Joyce Wang Studio’s MOTT32 in Hong Kong wins World Interior of the Year 2014
Joyce Wang Studio's MOTT32, an underground bank vault-turned-restaurant in Hong Kong, scooped up the World Interior of the Year 2014 award today at the Marina Bay Sands. The "super jury" of the INSIDE: World Festival of Interiors competition nominated 60 interior design projects worldwide, which were then narrowed down to nine category winners. When deciding upon the World Interior of the Year out of the category winners, the jury unanimously decided on MOTT32.
The 10-person team of Joyce Wang Studio explored Hong Kong culture's past and present in transforming the former storage facility, which housed expensive family heirlooms for wealthy Chinese immigrants, into the MOTT32 restaurant. The dining space has remnants of forgotten heirlooms, Chinese... View full entry
Hong Kong tops Bloomberg's list of "Most Crowded Cities" by 2025
Bloomberg published their predictions for the top forty most densely populated cities by 2025, with current #1 Hong Kong keeping the top spot, at nearly twice the projected density of #2, Salvador, Brazil. Hong Kong's population growth is predicted to grow by 32.8%, while Salvador's is nearly... View full entry
China's Pearl River Delta: Tying 11 Cities into a Megaregion
Today, on China’s southern coast, the integration of the Greater Pearl River Delta (PRD) is turning fiction into fact (sans the harsh lawman), with 11 cities linking to create an urban area of 21,100 square miles (55,000 sq km) and a population of up to 80 million.
The nine cities of the PRD, plus the special administrative zones of Hong Kong and Macau, are becoming increasingly linked by a series of bridges, tunnels, roads, and high-speed rail networks.