AIA Hong Kong

AIA Hong Kong 2019 Q1 Newsletter

Dear Members and Friends of AIA Hong Kong:

We hope everyone’s year got off to a good start and you’re looking forward to the lead-in to summer. At AIA Hong Kong our first quarter brought the second instalment of our AIA Leadership Series – Hello Fellow with Professor Nelson Chen, FAIA; two engaging Building Tours – of the French International School and Haw Par Mansion; further development of our cooperation with The Chinese University of Hong Kong School of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong Department of Architecture, Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Design Trust and RIBA; and our annual Kick-off Party, of course.

In the coming quarter we have a major, joint symposium with AIA International Region and the US Green Building Council –The International Green Building Symposium – on June 12, 2019 (Wednesday); three tours of landmark conservation projects; and our fun outing in May! We encourage everyone to join in.

Chapter Q1 Meeting – AIA Hong Kong FAIA Leadership Series / Hello Fellow with Professor Nelson Chen, FAIA, FRIBA, FHKIA  

We enjoyed an engaging, intimate ‘fireside’ chat with Professor Nelson Chen, FAIA, at the Gaggenau Poggenpohl Showroom in Causeway Bay. Introduced by his former student – Florence Chan, AIA, Professor Chen shared his career experiences of both practicing architecture professionally and teaching architecture in a university degree program.

The AIA Fellowship program was developed to acknowledge architects who have made significant contributions to architecture and society and achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. Fellowship recognizes the architect as an individual and honors the awardee on an international level. The AIA College of Fellows seeks to stimulate a sharing of interests among Fellows and encourages them to promote the purposes of the Institute, advance the profession of architecture, mentor young architects, and be of ever-increasing service to society.

We thank Professor Chen and our sponsors – Gaggenau, Poggenpohl, Kitchen Infinity, BeTrue – for making this evening possible and we look forward to continuing this series with more of our FAIA members.

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Building Tour / French International School

The French International School at Tseung Kwan O provides an open and active learning environment for kindergarten, primary and secondary level pupils. Completed in September 2018, the 19,600 m2 campus sets an outstanding example for sustainability, with its strategic use of daylight, extensive landscaping and energy saving features.

The facility was designed by Henning Larsen –practitioners of sustainable design and inclusive design strategies– and the tour was led by Henning Larsen’s Elva Tang and Claude Bøjer Godefroy, together with Jean-Charles Querette, International Associate. AIA, who served as Project Manager for the school.

Tour participants gained insights into the architect’s renowned approach to daylighting design while experiencing how the school’s collaborative learning vision has been implemented while integrating many state-of-the-art sustainable design strategies.

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Building Tour / Haw Par Mansion

The former Haw Par Mansion, a Grade II historic building located in Causeway Bay, has been revitalized into the Haw Par Music Foundation. The original estate was built in the 1930s and consisted of a four-story mansion, a private garden, and the landscaped Tiger Balm Garden – which has since been demolished. The Mansion itself has been under preservation by the government since 2001.

Tour participants were treated to an informative and entertaining presentation by conservation architect, Roger Wu, on the estate’s history, the important cultural influence of Tiger Balm Garden and the Aw family, and the challenges of adaptive reuse and conservation projects in Hong Kong.

Built in the Chinese Eclectic style, which incorporated both Chinese and Western design elements and construction methods, the exterior of the Mansion features flying eaves, dougong bracket sets, red columns, and a green-glazed tiled roof and ridge decorations. On the interior, however, some distinctly Western features begin to appear in the form of an entrance porch and bay windows, and the floor layout is symmetrical, with a Palladian staircase and fireplaces, in the Western tradition.

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Emerging Architects / Young Architects Group, ARE 5.0

Thanks to a generous AIA Fellowship Grant, the YAG has upgraded our comprehensive lending library of ARE 5.0 study guides and flash cards. These materials are available at the AIA office.

AIA Hong Kong hosts monthly ARE study groups at the Chapter Office in PMQ and, at present, Hong Kong is one of only three locations outside the U.S. where the ARE 5.0 exams are offered. Our study sessions are led by licensed AIA members and integrate content review, study strategies, tips & tricks, and sample questions.

In addition, we are starting a peer-to-peer Bootcamp that will meet weekly, via conference call, to help keep you motivated and accountable.

Remember – Becoming a licensed architect requires a lot of time and commitment. Through weekly meetings, you will be able to both help, and learn from each other, and to keep a study schedule.

Please signup at Be sure to include your full name, affiliation and email address.

Collaboration / Docent Training and Architectural Tours with Asia Society Hong Kong

Building on the success of our first docent training series and Architectural Tour of the Asia Society Hong Kong Center (ASHK) in 2018, in the first quarter of 2019 we conducted two more rounds of docent training and a second Architectural Tour of the Center.

Transformed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and opened in 2012, the former Explosives Magazine of the old Victoria Barracks in Admiralty was re-established as the Asia Society Hong Kong Center –a fine example of repurposing a heritage site in a city where conservation and development are almost always in conflict.

Going forward, we will continue this program of quarterly docent training and Architectural Tours with ASHK. Trained docents will be qualified to lead architectural tours of the Center and all docents will enjoy gratis access to one AIA Hong Kong event for each 1-hour session they lead.

Collaboration / CUHK, HKU, Design Trust, GSD

In case you missed it, we have been collaborating with CUHK and HKU to keep you up to speed on the academic lectures offered in Hong Kong. Members have heard Winy Maas, Rocco Yim and many others offering interesting and thoughtful discussions on architecture and the built environment.

We were also lucky enough to have our members join the Design Trust exhibition on pocket parks in Hong Kong. The group has been pairing emerging architects with mentors in the field, then working with stakeholder groups to develop interesting and adaptable design options for Hong Kong’s many pocket parks.

And Last but definitely not least, we are continuing to connect with students and alumni groups in town. In January, we teamed up with Harvard GSD alumni and a group of visiting students for a great evening of connecting across the globe. If you have any suggestions for more of these interesting opportunities, please let us know!
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