AIA Hong Kong

Merit Award for Architecture: Growing Up

Winner: New Office Works
Award: Merit Award for Architecture


Growing Up, a pavilion for the West Kowloon Cultural District, is situated in between the waterfront and the nursery park, where trees are grown for both the future park and throughout the city. The project is a direct response to this site context, transplanting everyday urban and architectural elements from the city to the park, and reflecting on what it means to grow in the city.

A large sloped roof is supported by a series of timber columns that, like the seedlings in the adjacent nursery park, grow from an intimate human scale to the harbor scale. A stepped landscape below, reminiscent of the city’s hilly topography, provides both seating and stage for different activities. Despite its simple volume, each angle of the pavilion reveals a different sense of porosity, materiality, and scale. The north and south elevations are characterized by transparency, the surrounding trees a seamless backdrop between the pavilion’s slender columns. However, as one moves around and the columns overlap in perspective, the pavilion edge becomes more solid and frames the waterfront view. The pavilion appears the most dense from the east, the structure of the steps forming an intricate screen to accentuate the transition from park to waterfront. In contrast, an open gathering space and distinct profile emerges from the harbor.