In the latest Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA) Annual Awards, Aedas was no doubt victorious once again with two preservation/renewal projects: "Art Community": Revitalisation Project in Wan Chai, Hong Kong and Center 66 in Wuxi, China. As the highest architectural awards program in Hong Kong, the HKIA Awards recognizes outstanding architecture designed by HKIA members.
Aedas once again won the highest honor, Medal of the Year, in addition to the Special Architectural Award--Heritage and Adaptive Reuse for the Revitalisation Project. For Center 66 -- a mixed-used development built from a historic building with features dating to the Ming Dynasty -- Aedas received a Merit Award for a Commercial Building outside Hong Kong.
Below are photos of the Revitalisation Project, which preserved and revived an early 20th-century shophouse building into a public space for arts and culture.
"Objective: This project conserves a rare and intact Shophouse ensemble (Grade 2 Historic Building) dated 1910s and revitalizes the old district of Wan Chai.
The team achieved three almost impossible tasks of:
"Reveal Urban Pattern: Wan Chai streets and blocks track the urban evolution of Hong Kong from historical fishing village, to colonial trading port, and to a diversified city. Revitalizing this rare and intact urban historic ensemble for compatible community use and harmonious streetscape indeed sustains our mission of urban progress."
"Revived Historic Fabric: With innovative techniques, old Shophouse space can be adapted into modern leisure / commercial use. It also conserves historic features, consolidates structures, improves indoor environment, and comply with current Building Regulations.'
Innovative Restoration Techniques: Innovative methods can upgrade traditional building techniques, and integrate them with modern technologies to comply with contemporary standards and regulations. This approach perpetuates historic fabric to serve public for this generation and the next."
"Present Architectural Value of Shophouse: Pre-war Shophouse records the historic progress where early colonial safety and health building codes modifed traditional Chinese dwellings. Adaptive re-use of this Shophouse ensemble demonstrates architectural innovation can revive our traditional fabric once again to suit modern use and standards."
"Occupants' Guideline: Through good conservation practice and collaboration with users, professionals can help to build up knowledge for Social Enterprise in managing and maintaining the historic building. Design guidelines enable Retailers to devise compatible shopfronts respectful of historic generic configurations. Pre-install fixtures facilitate versatile public functions without damaging historic fabric. Collaboration with operators help train staff to practice long-term maintenance of building."
"Timber Stair Re-Assembled: Instead of conventional approach of retaining old structure for visual purposes, the original timber stair here was meticulously re-assembled with concealed structural support to enable safe walking by public.
Increase Loading to Traditional Timber Flooring: Historic timber joists and floor boards were carefully removed for repairing by traditional carpentry and treated for modern moisture and mould resistance, and re- assembled on original brick corbels, but strengthened by concealed steel structure."
"Sustainability: This project retains architectural heritage, revitalizes our old district, and adapts to suit viable public use for this generation and the next. Holistic sustainable approaches include:
"Versatile Green Wall: Inspired by traditional pot plants along old Shophouse balconies, the innovative green walls are composed of infinitely interchangeable planter boxes hung on movable gates, enabling a versatile adaptation of the public open space either for installation arts or display screens."
"Interactive Environment: Modern expression of Annex block contrasts with the historic blocks. Its transparent curtain wall and harmonious movable timber louver screens allow interactive visual exchange and environmental control, similar to the traditional Shophouse French Doors.
Faithful Evolution of Streetscape: Instead of re-inventing or freezing the old appearance, this design respects historic changes. This project faithfully re-instates the more intact portions and features, but introduces contemporary design and materials to the remaining blocks to integrate with the historically reconfigured bulk, thereby presents the 100-year evolving urban streetscape of Wan Chai."
Key Project Facts:
Site area: About 780 sqm
Building height: About 23 m tall
Gross floor area: About 2,400 sqm
Open space: About 300 sqm
Antiquities Historic Grading: Grade 2
First completion: 1910s
Completion of this major revitalization: 2013
Client and Project Manager: Urban Renewal Authority (URA)
Authorized Person: C.M.Wong & Associates Limited
Structural Engineer: C.M.Wong & Associates Limited
Geotechnical Engineer: C.M.Wong & Associates Limited
M&E Consultant: J. Roger Preston Limited
Quantity Surveyor : Rider Levett Bucknall Limited
Conservation Consultant : Centre for Architectural Heritage Research of The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Main Operator : Hong Kong Arts Centre
Main Contractor: Woon Lee Construction Co. Limited
Conservation Contractor: Ding Hsung Construction Company
Main Contractor (Demolition & Foundation Strengthening): Hsin Chong Construction (Engineering) Limited
Main Contractor (Foundation Strengthening): Pacific Construction Limited
Photos courtesy Aedas
Click the thumbnails below for more photos.