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Nantai Ring of Life – A Transformer Towards A Healthy City by AECOM Asia

Winner: AECOM Asia
Award: Honor Award for Urban Design

Nantai Island is planned to become the new heart of Fuzhou. The transformation of its 60km waterfront provides the opportunity to reshape urban life for citizens, create an engaging year round open air part that prioritizes people’s wellbeing, and improve riverfront landscape quality.

The existing site has a fragmented land use where city life is separated from waterfront by buys roads; people rely on cars for daily life, with environment degradation increasing. The “Nantai Ring of life” formed a connected, environmentally sound waterfront greenway system with strong recreational experiences that relates to the local context. The loop road is also designed in anticipation of international sport events such as marathons, triathlons and bike racing.

The “Ring of Life” includes an eco-recreational driveway, a cycling path, a riverfront promenade, and an ecological landscape corridor that preserves water sensitive areas and connections to city open space network.

The “Ring of Life” is divided into five sections, each with a color theme-lacquer red, water blue, wood yellow, Banyan green and tile violet, highlighting aspects of Fuzhou history, culture and urban context, to represent their unique landscape experience. They are interpreted through material, planting, signage, landscape features and embankment system. Throughout, each citizen can find his lively place in the heart of this rapidly growing metropolis.

The “Ring of Life” transforms a 60km fragmented waterfront into an exemplary multi-functional lifestyle greenway that better integrates the city, enhances the city image and ameliorates the well-being of its citizens.

The Wenying Lake Park: The Renaissance of An Urban Utopian Garden by AECOM Asia

Winner: AECOM Asia
Award: Merit Award for Urban Design

The Chinese coal belt city of Datong had yearned for large open space for a long time. Not only has a heavily polluted city that needs breathing rooms, the city also needed room to stretch. The planning of the Wenying Lake Park and the extension of the ecological corridors brought the new real estate investment to the city, as it marks the new era of the lifestyle to the Datong people to enjoy the extensive green space in their daily life.

The Wenying Lake was once a prominent component of the City’s “Utopian Garden.” However, the Lake and its adjacent areas suffered deep ecological degradation due to the unprecedented rate of growth in urban development in the past few decades. The purpose of the project is to restore the ecosystem through meticulous planning and design, bringing back to life its waters and natural habitats in order to revive the Wenying Lake to its former beauty.

The planned diversion of water from Northern China’s Yellow River system helped to solve the water supply issue and provide a guarantee to begin rejuvenation of the ecosystem. The original concrete levy was transformed into soft banks associated with marshlands and wetlands that are designed as bird sanctuary. The western edge closer to the city, is hard paved landscape comprised of plazas and the Esplanade. With extruded decks and platforms, these enable people to get closer to nature, or to where the best view is to see and enjoy vistas into the natural surroundings.

Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts District Master Plan by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Winner: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Award: Honor Award for Urban Design

What makes Beijing a unique city lies in its time honored history which cannot be separated from Tianqiao – the Bridge of Heaven.  Old Tianqiao was once a bustling hub of cultural activities and the cradle of folk arts traditions of opera and tea houses.  However, China’s rapid urbanization is encroaching on and radically diminishing its cultural landscapes. The Tianqiao Performing Arts District intends to re-establish the cultural heart of this Capital City with a new collection of modern and traditional performance venues that respect its sensitive, World Heritage context.  Creating both a community resource and a signature destination, the walkable District will significantly enhance the neighborhood’s tradition of providing spaces for artistic expression, which range from fortune and storytelling and variety shows to acrobatics and full-on operatic performances, within a set of richly articulated public spaces.  The site also occupies a prominent position between the national cultural relics of the Temple of Heaven and the Temple of Agriculture.  The urban farm, first of its kind in scale and goals, sets a new standard in modern, ecological and urban agricultural living, and serves as a model for future development throughout China. Showcasing modern advances in agriculture, high speed rail, and sustainability, this food production destination will be a monumental amenity for the community.  This, forming an ensemble with the landmark Tianqiao Theater, National Ballet of China, Tianqiao Acrobatic Theater, and China Opera and Dance Drama Theater will all together the District will establish China’s version of “Broadway” in Beijing.

Alibaba “A” Community Development by Andrew Bromberg Assoc. AIA

Winner: Andrew Bromberg Assoc. AIA

Award: Merit Award for Unbuilt / Other

The Alibaba “A” Community Mix project explores a highly integrated and overlapping mixed-use typology. It attempts to test the threshold of where individual programmes collide, overlap and even morph into interaction spaces with rich ambiguity. Located within a new technology core in the capital of Sichuan, China, the project serves as a modal development to the district. The project consists of office, corporate headquarters, showrooms, hotels residential, SOHO and retail uses.

The major components of the office and headquarters are positioned on the northern edge of the site relating to a major vehicular corridor with good frontage. The residential components are positioned on the southern side of the site toward less contextual density and satisfying required southern light exposure. The design then explores how to knit these elements together while maximizing opportunities for interaction.

Positioned between the formal business area in the north and the informal residential area in the south, an outdoor plaza named the ‘incubator’ is the heart of the proposed network of interactions. A canyon is formed from the mass of the different uses fronted by the northern sides of the residential towers. The Soho function, which has both residential and commercial relationships, is used to knit the residential towers and the incubator together and absorbing the canyon walls on the south. The retail component then becomes the civic glue typing the canyon together with the surrounding incubator to activate the plaza as a retail loop.

Chinese Rhenish Church by Index Architecture Ltd.

Winner: Index Architecture Ltd.
Award: Merit Award for Unbuilt / Other

All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

It is all about light…

The concept of the design of Rhenish Church in Yuen Long is driven by the Power of Drama of Light.

The church is oriented in the East-West axis to maximize the lighting drama to be experienced inside the sanctuary. Morning light from the east passes through the narrow vertical slot window, together with a horizontal wooden log made from a tree that once stood on the site, they form the Holy Cross. The log is lit from behind thus making the Cross shines in darkness. In later afternoon, lights filter through the stained-glass openings on the west wall. The West wall, which is also the highest point of the church, functions as the “Bell Tower”. With this siting of the church, it provides the opportunity of using a large open space within a tight building lot for various outdoor church activities.

The building is a three-storey structure. The first tow floor layouts fulfill the daily functional and social activities of the church. The exterior tow floor is clad with granite to echo the surround single stone houses in this rural neighborhood, the white stucco exterior above provides a stark contrast to the stone base and defines the most sacred place, the Sanctuary.

The Vaulted roof resulted in a triangulation which evokes the Trinity. It points towards the Cross to the east side. The vaulted ceiling acts as a giant light reflector to give ambient reflected light inside the Sanctuary. The slope and drainage of the roof allow the rainwater to be collected and redirected towards the scupper above slot window, forming a metaphysical connection between Nature, Light and the worshippers’ Spirits.

HK:SOS Hong Kong Single Occupancy Strip by Carlow Architecture & Design Ltd.

Winner: Carlow Architecture & Design Ltd.
Award: Honor Award for Unbuilt / Other

This design project seeks to address typical modes of standardized design and production by investigating the use of parametric design and modeling technologies for pre-cast building facades. The project also addresses issues of density and urban compaction, specific to cities like Hong Kong, by proposing a radically thin, residential building type.

A typical high-rise, Hong Kong apartment building is unfolded into a linear array of rooms resulting in a strip of exterior and interior space that provides the project with a conceptual platform. The unfolding revealed a thickened façade system where window projections, balconies, and mechanical systems on the exterior were directly related to furnishings, rooms and space on the interior. By rearranging a series of residential programs into a thin strip, the project pushes the design of a domestic environment to a spatial extreme.

The project utilized advanced parametric modeling tools to develop a catalogue of projecting bay windows that offer subtle variation in window height, width, depth and orientation. In the prototype, spaces for living, dining, cooking, bathing and sleeping are arranged in a linear array of miniature rooms. Window units are angled and inflected to adjust for privacy or views. Room types can be sequenced differently on each floor according to the desires of the occupants. Units are stacked on top of each other to create a building that may be attached to the blank party walls of industrial or commercial buildings to take advantage of highly valuable, under-utilized space in a hyper dense city.

Top Plaza by Ronald Lu & Partners

Winner: Ronald Lu & Partners
Award: Merit Award for Interior Architecture

This boutique office was designed for a private equity fund company in Zhujiang New Town, Guangzhou’s newly-built CBD. The overall interior design concept embraces an international outlook through openness and superior quality. The sensibly-articulated space is a harmonious display of architecture and arts, rigidity and softness. The designers streamlined the office functions and created a crisp, clean space that is both dynamic and volumetric while remaining humane and versatile.

The mix of vibrant colours and the open circulation flow ensures that every notable attribute of the 450 sq. m. office space is highlighted, making it a regional icon as well as a showcase of international office culture. The colour palette chosen creates pleasant, delicate elements throughout while the obstacle-free treatment reinforces the importance of space integration over rigid separation.

HKU Dining Hall / Auditorium by Index Architecture Ltd.

Winner: Index Architecture Ltd.
Award: Honor Award for Interior Architecture

Pre-condition:

The site is 30m x 26m x 7.5m. It tapers from the east to west thus forming a fan shape tapering to the east where there is a view to the surrounding neighborhood.

The clients would like to have a multi-purpose room which functions as cafeteria, lecture theater, exhibition space, as well as catering for the yearly HKU’s traditional “high-table” dinner for this residence hall.

Upon our first site visit we were told that all the existing infrastructure, namely 6 sizeable air ducts and the miscellaneous chilled/hot water pipes, electric data wiring etc, were not to be touched and could not be re-routed. They ran along the North and South side of the hall and presented an extremely negative visual impact.

Our first intuition: What would be the best solution to conceal them?

Concept:

We came across an image of the disassembling of a stranded minesweeper USS Guardian. We were immediately inspired by it.

The full of the ship functions as a skin to conceal the functional components of the warship, not unlike the situation of the ducts and wiring of dining hall. We imaged the space to be clad by three-dimensionally curved panels that form a “half-hull” on both side of the space. Geometrically, each panel is slightly different than the next in order to fit the infrastructure elements behind. The architectural experience directs the view to the nature and beyond.

Construction:

The panel is design as weaved synthetic rattan sandwiched with acoustical batting. Rattan is the perfect material to accommodate both the warped surface while providing acoustical performance. Where the panel turns vertical one can pivot it 180° to reveal the “other” surface designed for display, thus meeting the exhibition flexibility requirement of the clients. The choices of material for both the ceiling and the floor are of darker tone in order to accentuate the unique geometric formation of the hall.

Tencent Guangzhou Office by M Moser Associates Ltd.

Winner: M Moser Associates Ltd.
Award: Honor Award for Interior Architecture

This design was the result of a project to adaptively reuse six dilapidated factory buildings – part of a former textile industry site – into an inspiring, brand-defining workplace for Tencent, one of China’s leading social media companies.

Externally the buildings were restored but little changed from their original appearance, preserving their industrial character and a part of local history. To form them into a single campus, they were linked together with open-sided bridges.

Inside, a key feature is the main entrance foyer with its full-height internal facade of meeting and work areas. Their irregular shapes, shifts of material and colour, and the insertion of natural foliage combine to suggest a stand of trees. This impression is furthered by the ceiling’s ‘cloud’ contours and the natural light that floods the space.

An important aspect of the work areas are the mezzanine floors inserted into the buildings’ existing shell. These maximise the ex-factory’s vertical space, creating a ‘buildings within a buildings’ composed of layers of open-plan work, meeting and social spaces.

Re-use of existing structures, the installation of efficient lighting systems, and careful sourcing of materials (including recycled, reclaimed and low-VOC materials) contribute to the high level of sustainability achieved by the project.

Facebook by Richards Basmajian

Winner: Richards Basmajian
Award: Honor Award for Interior Architecture

High above Victoria Harbor, this office features many of the amenities most of us can only wish for, from a singing-and-dancing Micro-kitchen to a ping pong table to a treadmill – equipped, of course, with a worksurface – to a massage chair with a million dollar view. Even the individual desks – there are no offices here – are motorized for vertical adjustment to ensure that every individual’s size and working position is accommodated.

For this is the new Facebook Hong Kong office, occupying half of one floor at One Island East in Quarry Bay.

Although the company provided extensive guidelines as to the quantity and size of every facility from the four ‘cozys’ (the smallest meeting rooms) to the All-Hands space, and from the IT Help Desk to each of the storage areas, there was still room for interpretation and, especially, for the infusion of local color and flavor into the design. Working closely with the Facebook team, the premises was brought to life over a period of six months, culminating in numerous trips to local showrooms for ‘that last piece of eclectic furniture’ to give the interior the feeling of a home away from home – a place the staff wouldn’t necessarily want to leave at the end of the workday.

Even the graffiti lion and skyline on the reception wall and the homage to the King of Kowloon’s famous calligraphy on a freestanding column are evidence of the Hong Kong theme – but this office has the social-by-design Facebook DNA throughout.