The Green Intervention 2016 + [ second prize awarded ]

Site Area : 5,068 m2
Building Area : 4,564 m2
Total Area : 40,900 m2

The choice of city

For this project, KIM MIN JAE ARCHITECTS have chosen ‘Hong Kong’ where is one of the most densely populated city in the world. Here, architecturally and urbanely, I focused on how to make a sustainable intervention in Central, a district of Hong Kong Island. In this district, there are rows of skyscrapers including the office buildings, shopping malls and residential apartments with rapid economic growth in the past 100 years. Hong Kong is suffering a severe housing shortage and a low percentage of green space and common space. To solve these problems, a new urban model above the existing building rooftop was proposed.

The Choice of Crisis Architecture

Central Market which is the first wet market in Hong Kong is located in the central of Hong Kong. The market building has historically several architectural styles. And the latest BAUHAUS structure was completed in 1938. Basically, the market is a 4 store reinforced concrete structure and contains 200 booths inside. The main architectural character is spacious space with a central court, high ceiling and window walls for natural light and ventilation. In 1994, the western part of its second floor was converted into the ‘central escalator link alley shopping arcade’. This pedestrian corridor is linked by two footbridges to Hang Seng Bank New Headquarters Building and Central Elevated Walkway, and another footbridge to the Central-Mid-Levels escalator. Namely, the market building plays a key role as a public node connecting between Central and Mid-Levels dynamically.  The building is a historically, architecturally and urbanely important place and for that reason the issue of whether to demolish or refurbish the existing market building has been debated for years. The most recent decision is leaning in favor of supporting the refurbishment.

Solution as ‘Urban Vertical Green Node’

A new urban model is introduced by connecting the existing Mid-Levels Escalator’s and the Central Elevated Walkway’s circulation up to the new building’s high level, considering the importance of the location where is the start point of Central-Mid-Levels escalator so that the existing urban fabric is strongly connected into the new programs.  The new market building plays an important role as a public node to enhance urban circulation. Along the new path, pedestrians can enjoy and observe that various plants and flowers grow.  The common farm facilities will be introduced as well where can experience farming culture. It makes them exposed to green space in the midst of their busy city life.

Coexistence and Separation of Two Circulation

The key strategic planning issue is how to make residential programs which is a main program for this project, public programs which is important urbanely and commercial programs coexist. Another key issue is how to separate residential and public circulation effectively. To do this, two cores for public programs are located on the East and West side and four cores for residential programs are located at each corner of the market building. Pedestrian route , public and commercial programs are planned in the outer boundary of the building. Residential programs are planned around the central court inside the building.  Thus, private program users and public program users will be in the same building, however, they would not intrude on their space and will be able to coexist at the same time.

Residential Programs as Livable Community

Before residential space planning, particularly considered the specialty of family members around the area. In Central, it’s a decent percentage of single households and young couple households. Therefore, the single households, two-person households mix appropriately with four-person households in the new building. At the same time, the same size unit s are placed side by side and common farm facilities for residents are set up between groups of the units. As a result, it can encourage residence to interact with each other naturally and also help residence relax and experience cultural activities.

Consideration of Sustainability

The existing central market used natural daylight and ventilation maximally through the huge court, high ceiling and window wall. Likewise, in the new building, the existing central court is extended vertically, openable windows are installed on the north and south side of each residential and retail units. In a way of vertical extension above the rooftop, only wood structure is used. Moreover, the new building collects rainwater through the drainage under the wooden floor and on the roof edge for recycling in farming.

High Technology of Wood Structure (Kerto LVL)

To realize the tall wooden building, Kerto-S LVL(Laminated Veneer Lumber) beams are used as the primary structural system. Due to the advantage of Kerto LVL types(lightweight, stiffness, quick installation, noise control, long span, strength,  fire resistance, etc), they are used for other architectural elements. Specifically, Kerto-T LVL studs are used for long vertical louvers & wall studs and Kerto-Q panels are used for various size of vegetation container & load-bearing external / internal walls and Kerto-Ripa floor elements are refered to develop the floor system.

The City Above The City Int’l Competition for Architect Group

Result : Second Prize 

Design by KIM MIN JAE