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AIA Hong Kong – Central Police Station Building Tour

On February 28, a small group of AIA members was given a rare opportunity to don hardhats and prowl around behind the scenes of one of the most anticipated heritage renovation projects in Hong Kong – the revitalization of the historic Central Police Station and Victoria Prison.  The project is a partnership between The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and the HKSAR Government.  Representatives from the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the prime contractor, Gammon, jointly led a guided tour of a the 3.37 acre site. With a collective history dating back to the 1840s, the low-rise terraced site contains three declared monuments:  the former Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison.  Three local and international architectural firms were commissioned for the refurbishment and repair works of 16 buildings of historical or architectural significance, as well as several open spaces in the compound.  In addition to the restoration of historically significant buildings, the central parade ground was excavated to accommodate concealed underground plant rooms, and two new geometric aluminum-clad buildings are also being constructed in order to add new space for commercial use.  The new buildings will feature a custom cladding created from recycled materials, and will provide a thought-provoking juxtaposition between the old and the new.

Once a cluster of law-and-order institutions closed to the public, the site is being transformed into a cultural destination where heritage, contemporary art and leisure elements will be creatively integrated for all to enjoy. The scheme is consistent with the award-winning entry submitted by AIA Hong Kong member Thomas Schmidt, AIA, in a 2005 “Ideas Competition” held by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects and Central & Western District Council, prior to the HKSAR government’s decision for the best use of the then soon-to-be decommissioned site.  Currently under construction, the opening is tentatively scheduled for the second half of 2016.

Contributor: Tom Schmidt, AIA

M+ Public Forum IV: Where We are Now and Where We are Going

Construction of M+ is now well underway and the M+ collection is growing steadily across the areas of visual art, design and architecture, and moving image.

In this upcoming public forum, M+ Executive Director Dr. Lars Nittve and Edman Choy, Associate, Project Director from Herzog & de Meuron will provide an overview on the latest progress of the M+ project; in addition, Chief Curator Doryun Chong will provide an update on the progress of the M+ collection and recent acquisitions. READ More>

Date: March 10, 2015 (Tuesday)

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Venue: The Hong Kong Jockey Club Amphitheatre, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

HKU Architectural Department: Public Lecture by Prof. Iain Borden

Lecture Synopsis:

How do we experience urban space, and how are the politics of the public realm made manifest through these experiences? In this talk, I consider recent work on automobile driving and, in particular, on-going research about skateboarding to explore how the different ways of moving through cities involve different cultural meanings, conflicts, negotiations and opportunities. With reference to Henri Lefebvre’s political and spatial theory, issues touched upon include aspects of appropriation, spectacle, social inclusion and exclusion, historic preservation and privatization. Examples of skateboarding practices referred to range from Los Angeles and London to Hong Kong and Kabul. READ More>


AIA Hong Kong – February President’s Message

Dear AIA HK Members and Friends,

I would like to take this opportunity to give you an update on some of the things the Chapter has been involved in over the last month.

In January we started the year with a Kick Off Party at Ping Pong, a trendy bar in Sai Ying Pun, well attended by members and Corporate Affiliates (CAs), along with potential new members and CAs. It was great to see continued support from the members and friends of AIA Hong Kong. We then had our first building tour to JCCAC and the SCAD, both of which are adaptively reused buildings within Sham Shui Po district.

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HKU Architectural Department: Public Lecture – “The Speculative City”

Lecture Synopsis:

This interdisciplinary symposium will explore the role of speculation in the current and ongoing reshaping of the urban environment. What is speculation, how has it been defined by scholars and practitioners of different disciplines? What agents are involved in speculative practices and who are the beneficiaries and losers in the speculative city? How has speculation changed the ways we value what exists in the present and what assumptions are associated with projected visions of the future? We posit that such questions are fundamental for understanding not only contested urban processes amidst accelerating capital accumulation in recent years, but also evolving paradigms of planning, architecture and urban design, which increasingly need to confront the growing tensions between the short-termism of capital and long legacy of the built environment. These dynamics all point to the primacy of speculation as a contested terrain of everyday struggle as well as emerging individual and collective aspirations.   This symposium will explore the possibilities of considering speculation in interdisciplinary and integrative conversation.

It will draw scholars from different disciplines and traditions willing to bring their preferred models, theories and methods to bear in a fresh look at urban theory vis-à-vis the lens of speculation. READ More>

The Shortlist For The ‘Building Of The Year’ Awards Showcases Innovation Across The Globe

From a pool of over 3,000 buildings designed and created in the past year, the folks over at Arch Daily have narrowed down their annual Building of the Year nominations.

The shortlist contains five buildings per category — which range from houses and housing to educational and healthcare architecture. The competing designs hail from locales as diverse as Chile, Vietnam, Italy, China, Poland and Burundi, imagined by familiar firms like Shigeru Ban Architects, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Kengo Kuma & Associates and Grimshaw Architects. Whether it’s an iceberg-inspired apartment complex in Denmark or a region’s first library, the stunning creations represent some of the most boundary-pushing, awe-inspiring buildings popping up all over the world in the 21st century.

Below is a preview of 25 of the most impressive buildings in the running. When you’re done feasting on the visual wonder that is architecture today, you can vote for your favorite projects here until February 4th, 2015. READ More >