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AIA Hong Kong – Aug President’s Message

Dear Members and Friends,

Greetings from AIA Hong Kong!

August was a busy month for the Chapter with the Honors and Awards Adjudication, and our thanks go out to the Jury including Leslie Lu, AIA, of HK Design Centre, Michael Ngu, AIA, of architects61 from Singapore, Michael Thanner, Assoc. AIA, of Tange Associates from Tokyo, Hannes Pfau of UNStudio from Shanghai and Rocco Yim of Rocco Design Architects. Although it was a bit hectic for Vivian and Catherine we also managed to have an elegant dinner hosting the jurors at the President’s Room in the Aberdeen Marina Club, where they shared their experiences and the dos and don’ts of international practice. This was a great opportunity to learn from these award-winning architects who discussed the impact of varied regulations, building codes and zoning practices on their building designs and their ability to innovate. The fact that the conversation carried on until late was evidence of the success of the event.

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AIA Hong Kong x William Lim Exhibition Preview/Panel Discussion –
Fundamental: First Impression HK Design

Plus Panel Discussion “First Impression HK Design”

A landmark exhibition focusing on the life and career of Hong Kong architect and designer William Lim will be held at ArtisTree, Taikoo Place in the month of September. The exhibition examines Lim’s 40-year career, which has always been strongly influenced by his Chinese cultural roots. Please join us for a private opening event on September 4 offers a sneak preview to this exhibition and the opportunity to attend the panel discussion “First Impression HK Design”, with panelists Dr. Lars Nittve, Alvin Yip, and William Lim, moderated by Dr. Sujata S. Govada. >READ More info & after photos

HKUST 25th Anniversary Distinguished Speakers Series, Inaugural Talk by Prof Steven Chu

Established in 1991, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is an international research university dedicated to create knowledge and to educate well-rounded students to acquire a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. We are privileged to have your unswerving support all along, which is instrumental to HKUST for acting as an innovation hub to promote intellectual exchanges and realizing its mission to advance learning and knowledge. READ More>


AIA Hong Kong – July President’s Message

Dear Members and Friends,

Greetings from AIA Hong Kong!

In July, we had the F11 Heritage Building tour in Happy Valley, which, I am told, participants really enjoyed.

An Italian design competition for a site in Hong Kong was also launched; several Italian architectural firms have registered for this and are looking for AIA HK members to team up with. I encourage members to let the chapter know if they are interested so we can help you join one of the teams and collaborate on the competition. There are prizes for the four wining entries but the top ten entries will be exhibited in Milan, and Hong Kong as well.

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Zero Carbon Building and the City

The Zero Carbon Building in Kowloon Bay is the first building to produce net-zero carbon emissions in the hot and humid climate of sub-tropical Hong Kong. Completed in 2012, the project is a joint effort between the Construction Industry Council and the Hong Kong government’s Development Bureau. Ronald Lu & Partners is the architect and Arup provided sustainable design and multidisciplinary engineering services. The evening event started with a tour of the ZCB, followed by panel discussion of distinguished sustainability leaders covering architecture, engineering, design, policy, and technologies, sharing with AIA members the multiple-perspectives of zero-carbon buildings.

Dr. Christine Loh, Under Secretary of the Environment, HKSAR, is leading the city towards a sustainable future. She encouraged AIA architects to reach out to the community of professionals, and to engage stakeholders such as developers on the path to zero carbon. Anticipating the climate talk COP 21 in Paris this fall, she cited building local capacity expertise as the major challenge of Hong Kong in sustainable development. Loh also recognized architect’s and building professionals’ unique skill set in the low-carbon goal of Hong Kong. She cited public housing as one example in the government’s building stock that have the potential of replicating a well-designed prototype and the government agency is reasonably open-minded about innovative solutions.

Jeff Klein of Big Ass Fans, a U.S.-based company selling high volume low speed fans, shared with the audience the perspective of learning from a widget. using advanced building products in low-carbon buildings. Jeff has a passion in vendors actively support architects, engineers, and building professionals via research and development, and share quality information of advancing building performance. In engaging the architecture community, the vendors also is not in an active roles working with the architects realizing the goal of low-carbon buildings.

Dr. Raymond Yau, Arup Fellow and Director of Sustainability, led the team of engineers working closely with the architects in the integrated design of ZCB. The building is sited to capture southeast prevailing wind. Along with the architectural design, the transit zone from outdoor, to naturally vent area, to air-conditioned indoor area. Meticulous work is devoted to testing and commissioning to get the systems right. Foreseeing the future of ZCB will involves big data, how to collect and interpret the massive data gathered at ZCB and will need specialist with the skills to analyze and make use of data in meaningful way. And going in the direction of zero waste/ zero water use, and contributing to a healthy environment.

M K Leung, Director of Sustainable Design at Ronald Lu & Partners, led the evening tour and shared with the audience the process and propagation. MK advocated that concept design should be initiated with more efficient process at the outset. And architects should make a more active role in utilizing data and simulation in design stage. Through this integrated design process, the for and orientation of ZCB reduces envelope heat gain and photovoltaics panels are oriented in optimize renewable energy output. The hierarchy of passive design, active design, and renewable energy.

Sean Quinn, Assoc. AIA, Director of Sustainability at 10 Design, challenges the general notion that zero-carbon with case studies of S, L, XL, and XXL zero-carbon buildings. Sean proposed that although most successful cases of zero carbon buildings are < 5000 sq.m., there are also successful cases of large-scaled ZCB such as NREL in the US, or BedZED in the UK. Perhaps more specific to Asia, is the opportunity to create mega-scaled low-carbon development with not only one but many low-carbon buildings. In the design process, the architects not only work with single owners, but also with master planners and multiple-stakeholders.

During the panel discussion, Dr. Christine Loh encouraged architects to get involved in the dialogue about achieving low-carbon goal in Hong Kong. Government offices and public buildings constitute substantial building stock, all with potential for recommissioning. Although there is a consensus of the importance of building energy code, including more flexible in performance method, Dr. Raymond Yau also amplified that architects and engineers need to be mindful not to stifle innovation in the process.

Contributor: Vikki Lew, AIA


AIA Hong Kong – June President’s Message

Dear Members and Friends,

Greetings from AIA Hong Kong!

AIA Leadership Series

As you know, June was a busy month for all of us with the AIA Leadership Series, and the Hong Kong visit by AIA President Elizabeth Chu Richter and AIA CEO Robert Ivy. We were pleased to welcome Elizabeth and Robert on June 4 with a luncheon at Ista, and I am glad some of you were able to join as well. It was a great opportunity to have a conversation over Indian food and learn more about AIA’s repositioning efforts and some new initiatives. Elizabeth and Robert visited the Chinese University with Prof. Nelson Chen the next morning, followed by the Young Architect’s Forum at Ronald Lu’s office – thanks to Ronald for sponsoring the venue as well as the event. This gave participants an opportunity to learn about new initiatives at AIA National and to raise issues and concerns specific to emerging architects.

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Architect 2030 –
Urban Climate Initiative – Toward Zero Emissions

This year, more countries and states than ever have joined a global marketplace  that quantifies, regulates, and trades carbon. What does this evolution in the global carbon debate mean for our cities and built environment, in Hong Kong and the region?   Please join AIA Hong Kong for an interactive evening lecture and discussion with two foremost experts on green architecture and energy reduction through design.  The Honourable Wong Kam-Sing, Secretary for the Environment of the Hong Kong SAR will share Hong Kong’s new ‘Energy Saving Plan’.  Mr. Edward Mazria, FAIA, founder of the sustainability think tank Architecture 2030, will share an update on current initiatives and developing goals and accords in the region.  Speakers will address climate change mitigation through design, and discuss methods for achieving carbon reduction goals locally and globally with a focus toward zero emissions.
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Lecture: City of Darkness Revisited

For nearly 50 years, the extraordinary community of Kowloon Walked City cut a dark presence in the heart of Hong Kong, rarely mentioned by most Hong Kong residents and forever seen as a place dominated by vice and crime.  Yet even with this reputation, without legislation and with little regard for basic services, planning regulations or building standards, the City no only survived, it positively thrived.

How could such a place exist in a modern metropolis without administrative oversight, ‘triply neglected – to use a Hong Kong term – by the British, Chinese and Hong Kong governments?  Who would choose to live or work there, and why?

This talk aims to answer these questions, explaining how the City came about in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War by exploring its earlier history and the politics that informed every aspect of its subsequent growth (architectural and social), the myths that surrounded it, the sensitivities that defined its final clearance and how it remains a potent force in popular culture today, both in Hong Kong and worldwide.

About the Author

Ian Lambot trained as an architect and worked briefly for the Richard Rogers Partnership before arriving in Hong Kong February 1979, where he lived for the next 18 years.  After stints running an architectural model-making studio and working with Foster and Partners – on the early stages of the Hong Kong Bank project – he set up Watermark Publications, publishing in the years since numerous books on architecture, design and engineering, including four volumes on the work of Norman Foster and, of course, City of Darkness; Life in Kowloon Walked City.  He now lives in the UK where he continues to design and publish books.

Speaker: Ian Lambot

Date/Time: Wednesday 10 June 2015 / 6:30 for 7:00 pm lecture.

Venue: Centre for Visual Arts, 7A Kennedy Road, Mid-Levels.

Booking: Please email in advance of to reserve your place, and pay at the door.