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Date/Time Event
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
He Jianxiang: The Hidden City

This lecture will show O-office’s critical observation and architectural practices in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, which witnessed an unprecedented wave of urbanisation driven by the spirit of “making” and “mass production”. The architect attempts to rediscover the hidden proxemics within the unstoppable urban process that has seemingly swallowed the original urban-rural structure built through history in the region. Constructed in four interrelated episodes – arch-scenario, urban ruin, the village-city and landscape – the lecture presents O-office’s alternative design strategy and micro space-time operation mostly in fragments within the vast urban mise-en-scène which has been dominating the region’s geography.

He Jianxiang is a founding partner of Guangzhou-based O-office Architects and Visiting Lecturer of the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. He received his MArch from KU Leuven, Belgium, and worked in both Europe and China. He has won major national and international awards, including Iconic Awards and Design for Asia Awards, and was selected as a Design Vanguard in 2015 by Architectural Record. Last year, he spoke at Emerge! AIA Hong Kong Young Architects Forum. O-office was featured in recent Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennales of Urbanism\Architecture, and he is a member of the Biennale’s Academic Committee.

The lecture is part of New Chinese Architecture series at the School of Architecture at CUHK. AIA members please RSVP via the Chapter by March 22, 2017.



8:45 am - 7:15 pm
Architecture Field Trip - The Pearl River Delta Megalopolis: Three Cities / Three Scales

The Pearl River Delta Megalopolis, which includes Hong Kong, is the largest urban agglomeration in the world in both size and population. Continuing its role as China’s economic growth engine, the region’s environment has undergone tremendous change in recent years.  Not only has the development of extensive transportation infrastructure enhanced physical connectivity, but architects and urban designers have continued to have a profound impact on the design of buildings, neighborhoods and cities.

In order to expand on this year’s theme: AIAHK20++, the Chapter has organized a one day field trip to reinforce our role in promoting the exchange of ideas between professionals active in Hong Kong and the wider region.  With the establishment of AIA Shanghai in 2012 providing a platform in the Yangtze River Delta area, AIA Hong Kong has taken the lead in providing our members with opportunities to explore current trends at the south eastern tip of the Pearl River Delta. By examining projects in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Zhuhai, participants in this tour will be better able to understand the potential influence Hong Kong and overseas designers can have in shaping the urban environment of this megalopolis.


Projects We Will Visit

Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition (MOCAPE), Shenzhen

Client: Shenzhen Municipal Culture Bureau & Shenzhen Municipal Planning Bureau

Architect: Coop Himmelb(l)au

Part of the master plan for Shenzhen’s new urban center, the Futian Cultural District, MOCAPE has established itself as a major new attraction in Shenzhen’s fast growing urban center. The project was conceived as the synergetic combination of two institutions, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the Planning Exhibition (PE), whose various program elements are now housed together in a monolithic body wrapped in a multifunctional façade.  The transparency of the building envelope and the interior lighting allows for views from the exterior deep into the heart of the space, thereby accentuating the shared entrance and circulation between the two museums.


Nansha Bay Development, Guangzhou

Client: Fok Ying Tung Group

Architect & Urban Designer: Richard Reid and Associates

The site for the new town of Nansha Bay is a former 2,500 acre quarry bounded by the Pearl River on the north-east and a range of hills, forests and mountains along the south-west.  The master plan called for a dense, compact ‘European urban village’ for living and working that would foster mixed use development, be economic to build and ecologically sustainable to maintain, and that could be developed incrementally. The first phase of the project, the Marina Quarter, is already under construction.


Hengqin New District Master Plan, Zhuhai

Client: Zhuhai Hengqin New District Planning & Land Bureau

Urban Designer & Planner: SWA Group

Hengqin New District is located in the southern part of Zhuhai City, Guangdong Province. Its geographical advantage is that it will become the only area connected to both Hong Kong and Macao by road after completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, when it will be just 40 minutes’ drive from Hong Kong and separated from Macao by a river. Hengqin, designated as a national-level ‘new area’ in 2009, became part of the Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone in 2015. Its preferential policies and international business environment have enticed a number of enterprises from both home and abroad to set up offices here, while the high-quality residential facilities on offer have lured many talented professionals to live in the district.



08:45 Gather at Lok Ma Chau MTR Station, Hong Kong

09:15 Visit MOCAPE, Shenzhen

12:00 Lunch at Nansha Grand Hotel

13:00 Visit Nansha Bay Development, Guangzhou

15:30 Visit Hengqin New Area, Zhuhai

19:15 Return to Hong Kong



– Central Government’s Liaison Office in HKSAR

– Coop Himmelb(l)au

– CPPCC Guangzhou Committee

– Fok Ying Tung Group


Event Sponsor


Annual Gold Sponsor

6:15 pm - 8:45 pm
AIA Hong Kong - Intersection between Global Institutional Architecture and Local Heritage Sites: The University of Chicago Hong Kong Center
Venue:The Helena May

In order to expand on this year’s theme: AIAHK20++, the Chapter’s first Quarterly Meeting will reinforce our role in promoting AIA members’ design and professional practice through an in-depth discussion of the University of Chicago Hong Kong Center project.

The Center, construction on which started in June 2016, is already home to the Chicago Booth Executive MBA Program in Asia. It will eventually host workshops and conferences for scholars from across the academic spectrum as well as the University’s first undergraduate study-abroad program in Hong Kong, and joins the University’s Centers in Delhi, Beijing, London and Paris in bringing together researchers and students for interdisciplinary collaboration.

The design by Bing Thom Architects skilfully weaves the campus into the contours of Mount Davis, touching down only at points of least intrusion. The historic Pok Fu Lam hillside site was originally part of the Jubilee Battery, in the late 1930s and 1940s, then a British Army Royal Engineers’ mess and quarters in the 1950s, and, still later, a detention center. Highlights of the project include adaptive reuse of several key heritage buildings and the design also features an abundance of greenery with panoramic views of Hong Kong Harbor.

The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with principals of Bing Thom Architects and leaders of both the University of Chicago and Hong Kong’s Antiquities Advisory Board moderated by Philip Liao, AIA, founding partner of Philip Liao & Partners, who is also a founding member of the AIA Hong Kong Chapter.

This event is intended to be a tribute to the celebrated architect Bing Thom, AIA, who passed away last year and who was a friend and long time supporter of our Chapter.


Guest Speakers:

Bing Thom Architects

Bing Thom Architects is an innovative architectural and urban design practice with an emphasis on community-minded work. The firm, founded in 1982, is now led by Principals Venelin Kokalov and Michael Heeney who direct a team of 50, specializing in architecture and planning, engineering, sustainable building, interior design, project management, landscape design, and construction. With offices in Vancouver, Hong Kong, and Washington, DC., the staff originate from a dozen different countries and bring diverse language skills and multi-culturalism to the practice:

  • Venelin Kokalov, Principal
  • Francis Yan, Managing Director, Hong Kong office
  • Earle Briggs, Director
  • Shinobu Homma, Director


University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, established in 1890.  It has many prominent alumni including 92 Nobel laureates who have been affiliated with the university as professors, students, faculty, or staff, the fourth most of any institution in the world.  It is also well known for its professional schools including the Booth School of Business which has a substantial Hong Kong based alumni population.  With an estimated completion date of 2020, the Barack Obama Presidential Center will be housed at the university and include both the Obama presidential library and offices of the Obama Foundation.

  • Gavin Tun, Director of Design & Project Management
  • Simon Wong, Project Manager


Antiquities Advisory Board, Hong Kong Government

The Antiquities Advisory Board is a statutory body consisting of experts in various fields related to heritage conservation.  The Board was set up to advise the government on any matters relating to antiquities and monuments and on whether an item or building should be declared as a monument or a proposed monument.  It also advises the authorities on measures to promote the restoration and conservation of historic buildings and structures and on measures to promote awareness of and concern for the conservation of Hong Kong’s heritage.

  • Andrew Lam, Chairman


Philip Liao, AIA, Founder & Principal Partner, Philip Liao and Partners




Event Sponsor


Annual Gold Sponsor

11:00 am - 1:00 pm
AIA Hong Kong Site Tour: Bing Thom Architects - The University of Chicago Hong Kong
Venue:The University of Chicago

AIA Hong Kong’s first building tour of the year will feature Bing Thom Architect’s University of Chicago Center in Hong Kong, soon to be the University’s new Asian hub and home to its renowned Booth School of Business.

The Pok Fu Lam site includes the historic remnants of a military detention center and features an abundance of greenery with panoramic views of Hong Kong Harbour.  The design mandate was to respect both the heritage buildings and the natural landscape. Inspired by the magnificent views, steep topography, and memories of the past, the resulting design carefully weaves the academic program into the challenging site, touching down only at points of least intrusion and bridging across and connecting the scattered heritage blocks to create an environment that unifies old and new, natural and man-made. The sensuous building form, accentuated by generous glazing and rhythmic sun screens, pays respect to the scale of the foliage and serves as a light foil to the memory laden heritage buildings.

The tour will precede our Chapter’s First Quarterly Meeting on February 13 (Monday). Speakers from Bing Thom Architects, the University of Chicago, and the HK Antiquities Advisory Board will share the design of this remarkable building and discuss the intersection between global  institutional architecture and local heritage sites.  Event details and registration here.

The tour will be led by Francis Yan, Managing Director of Bing Thom Architects Hong Kong office, and Gavin Tun, Director of Design & Project Management of the University of Chicago.


Annual Gold Sponsor

6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
AIA Hong Kong - 2017 Kick-off Party
Venue:Bitters & Sweets

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