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2015 Highlights

Design Awards
This year, the jurors selected 19 submissions for Award distinction. Specifically, (1) Honors Award for Architecture, (2) Merit Awards for Interior Architecture, (3) Merit Awards for Urban Design, (2) Merit Awards for Unbuilt/Other and (2) Merit Awards for Sustainable Design.

In addition, two recipients of the AIA Hong Kong Scholastic Award 2015 have been selected by the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The AIA Hong Kong would like to express sincere thanks and appreciation to the jurors for participation. The jurors for the 2015 Design Awards include:

Mr. Michael Ngu, FSIA AIA ARAIA RIBA – Jury Chair
Chief Executive Officer, architects61, Singapore

Mr. Leslie Lu, HKIA AIA
Principal, Hong Kong Design Institute / Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education
Head, Department of Design, Vocational Training Council (VTC), Hong Kong

Mr. Hannes Pfau
Director, UNStudio, Amsterdam

Mr. Michael Thanner, Assoc. AIA
Principal Architect, Tange Associates, Tokyo

Dr. Rocco Yim, BBS JP FHKIA RIBA Hon. AIA (HK)
Executive Director, Rocco Design Architects, Hong Kong

Mr. Gregory Leong, AIA
Chair, 2015 Honors & Awards Committee

Mr. Brian Jan, Assoc. AIA
Technical Advisor, 2015 Honors & Awards Committee

Scholastic Awards
The AIA Hong Kong is pleased to announce that this year’s recipients of AIA Hong Kong Scholastic Awards are:
Mr. Sian Wong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Ms. Jiang Meng, The University of Hong Kong

Honorary Membership & Citations
The AIA Hong Kong is pleased to announce this year’s Honorary Members and Chapter Citations recipients.

AlA Hong Kong Chapter Citation

Hong Kong Green Building Council

In recognition of significant contributions in the Chapter’s region for promoting green building awareness to the public, for advocating sustainable building policies to the Government, and for developing practical solutions to improve energy and resource efficiency in the high-rise, high density urban environment of Hong Kong.

Alliance for a Beautiful Hong Kong

In recognition of significant contributions in the Chapter’s region for publication of their grass-roots efforts to defend and preserve Hong Kong’s natural trails and pedestrian areas, green belt zones, built artifacts and heritage architecture against encroaching development and destruction.

AlA Hong Kong Honorary Affiliate Membership
Mr. Ruy Barretto, SC Hon. AIA (HK)

In recognition of distinguished achievement in the Chapter’s region for his continued support of non-profit citizens’ environmental action groups with expert legal counsel and guidance in the advocacy of preserving both the built heritage and natural beauty of Hong Kong.

Dr. Victor Lo Chung Wing, GBS OBE JP Hon. AIA (HK)

In recognition of distinguished achievement in the Chapter’s region for his public leadership roles and commitment to design excellence with the West Kowloon Cultural District Museum Committee, and the Hong Kong Design Centre and its annual flagship event, the Business of Design Week.

St. Andrew’s Church Life Centre by Nelson Chen Architects Ltd.

Winner: Nelson Chen Architects Ltd.
Award: Honor Award for Architecture

Historic Background         

St. Andrew’s Church was built over a century ago, in 1906, when Kowloon was still rural, and the church served as a boundary marker of the extent of occupied development. G.R. Sayer then described in a picturesque essay: “Beyond St. Andrew’s Church… there are few, if any, buildings. The Nathan Road is almost entirely undeveloped, and broad flats [of land] are given over to watercress growers”.

Today, bustling Nathan Road is called the “Golden Mile” of commercial activity in Kowloon, and St. Andrew’s Church offers a spiritual oasis amidst its dense urban surroundings. This historic site is now appreciated as a living heritage from which to glorify and serve God in the local community and beyond.

Over the past decade, a series of building restoration and interior renovation works have been seamlessly completed, culminating in a UNESCO Asia Pacific Award for Cultural Conservation in 2006. However, at the same time, severe space shortages were impacting the capacity of this thriving church to grow in essential ways: worship space for a growing congregation, city outreach ministry programs, classrooms for youth and children, prayer and meeting rooms, etc.

Design Proposal

On this heritage-listed site, there were no obvious solutions: historic buildings are protected   by the Antiquities and Monuments Office, while the narrow existing driveway to an elevated site restricts emergency vehicle access beyond the street frontage. Besides, any new structure could well be viewed as disrupting the heritage outlook of the entire compound.

Thus, this major extension to St. Andrew’s Church was proposed as a largely underground building, below an existing front courtyard to be restored with replanted trees and landscaping on a new roof garden. The new structure of 2,875 sq.m. comprises an 800-seat auditorium with baptismal pool, vestry and entrance on Nathan Road. The subterranean amphitheatre is skylighted above the altar/stage as well as along the semi-circular perimeter walls to allow   natural light to penetrate throughout.

The lower level is devoted to youth and childrens ministry, with classrooms and meeting rooms arranged around a central, stepped conversation pit, which doubles as a smaller worship and performing space for youth fellowship. The new extension is connected to the historic church building by stairways to the roof garden as well as a lift for disabled access.

A major benefit of this underground building is the ability to introduce a contemporary addition that is still visually compatible with its heritage site, by preserving and enhancing the original buildings and grounds. Existing retaining wall stones were restored and reused at the new entrance facade to extend its heritage presence on Nathan Road. In addition, the thermal mass of the landscaped green roof lowers overall energy consumption.

Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel, Tokyo by CL3 Architects Ltd.

Winner: CL3 Architects Ltd.
Award: Merit Award for Interior Architecture

A private garden in the metropolis.

Life in the heart of Tokyo provides many conveniences, but it can be very hectic at the same time.

The hotel aspired to create a private garden in the heart of the city. A contemporary garden offering a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere with the first step inside, whilst retaining the style and elegance expected in a fashionable metropolis.

Life a Japanese Zen garden, the design approach is ‘Asian Minimalism’, with attention to the stimulation of the senses using: lighting, touch, texture, comfort, art, the environment, which have been carefully considered in the development of the design.

A landscape stair connects the lobby to the restaurant in the lower ground level, where a relaxed library/greenhouse atmosphere creates a comfortable dining experience in the city.

The typical guestroom area is only 200sq.ft. but is designed for every comfort, with full amenities, including a four piece bathroom and independent toilet cubicle. Large mural artworks and special carpet designs, incorporating the private garden theme, complete the overall hotel concept in the guestrooms.

arvato Shanghai Headquarters by M Moser Associates Ltd.

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

Repurposing a light industrial loft building led to the creation of the new Shanghai headquarters of arvato, a leading international provider of digital marketing, customer relationship management, supply chain management, financial and IT services.

The project brings arvato’s corporate, design, customer and client service functions under one roof, while providing staff with a warm, modern and vibrant work environment conducive to team-building and collaboration.

From concept design through design development, engineering and fit-out, all elements of the project process were integrated under a single team for a streamlined, low-risk delivery. The project team maximised re-use of the building’s existing structural and industrial elements to minimise material waste, cost and time while retaining hints of its original character. The entirely new interior spaces developed within this sustainable framework were designed to feel clean, natural and youthful.

Starting with the main entrance, the entire building was transformed into a series of large, flexible open working environments. These are interspersed with atriums, private meeting spaces, and small ‘phone booth’ rooms which function as idea-sharing and client-facing areas.

Located centrally within the workspace is a distinctive open ‘Idea Hub’. The collaborative ‘nerve centre’ of the building, it is both where all major circulation routes converge, and where creativity is fostered with the aid of an integrated AV system and ‘chalkboards’.

Timber Scooper by Upscaling Operations Ltd.

Winner: Upscaling Operations Ltd.
Award: Merit Award for Un-built/Other & Sustainable Design Award

This design & fabrication project seeks to provide a way out to the wood recycling practice in Hong Kong. It promotes a more sustainable design methodology to be practiced by architects when using wood as material. Such design methodology runs parallel with a fabrication technique developed for the optimization of wood re-surfacing.

With the help of computation and digital fabrication, the architect can be well informed of the production, or re-production in this case, on construction materials and begins to take control over the fabrication process. Design decisions can be easily made based on the limits of the manufacturing process.

Parametric design is incorporated to give architects the control of such pattern. The profile of the stroke, the depth of stroke, separation between strokes within a row and the distance to the adjacent row can all be controlled. Intersections of these strokes are unpredictable as the control of each scoop is independent. Wood re-surfacing by means of organized scooping will therefore create an attractive organic pattern.

The aim of using recycled materials is to prolong the life-cycle of construction materials. It is often neglected by both the industry and the clients.

Guiyang Nanming Riverfront Cultural CBD Master Plan by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Winner: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Award: Merit Award for Un-built/Other

The next generation of the great Chinese migration is re-focusing the country’s attention on its interior. Up to 100 million people are projected to move to western cities including Guiyang and Chongqing in the next 5 years. What will their lives be like, and how will they impact the millions of people already living in these cities?

The Nanming Riverfront Cultural CBD Master Plan suggests a path forward for Guiyang based on renewal of its historic urban core, an 800-hectare district along the banks of the Nanming River. It advocates for extensive networks of natural and man-made open spaces, allowing landscape to become the primary driver of city form in 54 hectares of new parks. It focuses infrastructure investment on transit, and plans for adjacent development at densities far exceeding common practice today — including up to 12 million square meters of new floor area. It knits together existing city assets and culture along the Nanming River to create a bold new identity to position Guiyang as the cultural gateway to Western China. And it approaches every scale of development through the lens of sustainability and resiliency, including provision of district-level renewable energy, water reduction, high-performance landscapes, and transportation networks designed to reduce carbon impact by up to 40%.

The plan can become a model for Western Chinese cities to implement, at the micro-scale, the macro-level government imperative to develop China’s vast inland areas, and to do so in a manner responsible to both the heritage and future of the country.

Huishan North Bund by Perkins Eastman

Winner: Perkins Eastman
Award: Merit Award for Urban Design & Sustainable Design Award

Huishan North Bund, a 255,000 m2 mixed-use development, enjoys “front row seats” facing Shanghai’s Pudong skyline and the bustling Huangpu River. After 150+ years when this historic stretch of riverfront was occupied by maritime uses, this once sequestered site has become Shanghai’s next great place—reuniting citizens with the waterfront by means of a public plaza, esplanade, and marina serving as the project’s centerpiece and creating a one-of-a-kind brand.

Comprising six office buildings, a shipping exchange, a SOHO tower, and a retail building with shopping concourse—all framing the marina and plaza–the architecture of varied expressions establishes individual corporate identities. Differing curtainwall façades of aluminum, stainless steel, granite, terracotta, and high performance glazing enable controlled absorption of sunlight and of the marina’s reflected light. All buildings include accessible green roofs, rainwater harvesting, ice storage, greywater recycling, water-conserving fixtures, operable windows, raised floor, and a centralized Building Automation System. These features, together with convenient access to multiple modes of transit (ferry, two subway lines, bus), form a comprehensive sustainability program. The development has received LEED, BREEAM, and China’s Green Building Assessment Standard certifications. At the sky-lit retail concourse level, each building offers employee amenities including fitness center, cafeteria, conference center, day care, and convenient shopping with direct connections to public transit and adjacent developments.

Notably, the 12,000 m2 marina is the District Energy System’s source for heat rejection and a storm water reservoir. The marina also creates a beneficial micro-climate for the surrounding plaza through evaporative cooling in warm months.


Yong River Platform Park by AECOM

Winner: AECOM
Award: Merit Award for Urban Design

Major regeneration is underway along Yong River to transform it into Ningbo’s National Hi-Tech District. Located 5km east of the city centre, the 83-hectare Platform Park is the centerpiece of this urban development, providing a significant open space for adjacent new communities, technology sector, universities and cultural facilities including an historic temple.

The site sits behind a flood protection levee and forms part of an important ecological corridor connecting Yuyao and Fenghua Rivers to Hangzhou Bay. Given the site’s rich resources, an urban design framework was developed to create a series of ‘platforms’ promoting social interaction, providing opportunities for education, cultural discovery and strengthening ecological systems between the new district and waterfront.

Typical of urbanisation in China, local villagers were relocated into new affordable housing on the western end of the park. These dense, high-rise apartments have poor open space provision and are dominated by hard surfacing, discouraging physical activities and contact with nature. The concept of a ‘Platform Park’ manifests in new green space and a structure that dramatically intersects with the levee, merges with plazas, and rises up at key locations to maximise river views.

Phase 1 of the park was completed in 2013, providing a much-needed community space for local residents, especially multi-generational families. The park transformed the way people connect to the waterfront, providing safe continuous access for recreation and social activities. Old docks became viewing decks for observing wildlife on tidal mudflats, while indigenous wildflower meadows provide a colourful and water-sensitive habitat for precious fauna.

Wolong Lake Waterfront Park by AECOM

Winner: AECOM
Award: Merit Award for Urban Design

Wolong Lake is located in Kangping County, the northern end of Shenyang City of Liaoning Province. As the largest lake in the area with profound water source, a swap of natural wetland surrounds Wolong Lake that provides habitats for migrating birds; and many of them endangered species. The superior ecological environment makes Wolong Lake part of the important green frontier in northern Liaoning, moderating the climate and ecosystem while preventing Ke’erqin Desert expanding from Inner Mongolia to the south.

Over the years, the unchartered wetland adjacent to the Lake had occupied by farmers and fishermen; parcels circled and fish farms built. Eventually, a levee was built around the Lake to prevent the waves and floods from eroding the residents’ properties. However, the levee also dissected the connection of the wetland and the Lake. The water circulation was cut off. It eroded away the life span of the wetland and expedited the demise of bird habitat. The green frontier was broken.

With the latest expansion of the County, the relationship between nature and urban environment was brought up to examine. When a waterfront park was planned to mark the entry from the new district to the Lake, it was determined to be an opportunity to revitalize the wetland and restore the green frontier. Low capacity development design approach ensured the wetland function well as the buffer between the Lake and the development from the city.