Zaha Hadid’s first permanent building in Hong Kong is due to complete this year and it has just been announced that the banded tower at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University will be used as the base for Hong Kong’s first Desigh Institute for Social Innovation. The fluid character of the Innovation Tower is generated through an intrinsic composition of its landscape, floor platesand louvers, that dissolves the classic typology of the tower and the podium into an iconic seamless piece.
These fluid internal and external courtyards create new public spaces of an intimate scale which complement the large open exhibition forums and outdoor recreational facilities to promote a diversity of civic spaces. The University has been aided in this venture by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust who donated HK$249m to the cause.
PolyU President Professor Timothy W. Tong explains: “This is the largest single donation ever received by the University since its establishment in 1937. We are truly grateful for the Jockey Club for their generous support to this project as well as many other initiatives undertaken by PolyU over the years.” After the building project was approved back in 2009, PolyU were required to fund a quarter of the necessary construction costs.
The Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation will support students in the study of social issues arising in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta Region, addressed through the themes of Service Design, Sustainable Environment, Holistic Health, and Adolescent and Family Development.
The building will become a blended space for academia and business as well as the development of research and product design for the betterment of local residents. Mr. T. Brian Stevenson, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, stated: “We believe that the Institute will provide a springboard of community education and training; foster student learning and help nurture a new generation of design professionals who are not only innovative but also socially conscious.”
UrbanismThe Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HK PolyU) is an urban endeavour by virtue of addition and growth over the last 40 years. The rich patchwork of various faculties, communities and facilities are strung together by a community of visually coherent yet different buildings. From a process of outward expansion, the HK PolyU is now looking inwards to develop itself by making creative use of its remaining void on the North side of the campus.
The Innovation Tower aims to use these voids to create an accessible urban space which will transform how the Hong Kong Poly University is perceived and the way it will be used. The building unashamedly aims to stimulate and project a vision of possibilities for its future, as well as reflect the history of the HK PolyU by encapsulating in its architecture the process of change.
The new Innovation Tower on podium level is established as an open public foyer that channels deep into the building through a column-free, open showcase forum. The long integrated path from Suen Chi Sun Memorial Square guides the visitor to the main entrance and from here, a generous and welcoming space openly leads its visitors access to supporting public facilities, shop, cafeteria and museum.
The podium level is a route that ramps and stretches through towards the open ground with relocated recreational outdoor facilities. From the entry foyer, a long escalator penetrates deep upwards through four levels of openly glazed workspaces.
These routes aims to promote new opportunities of interaction between the diverse types of users through its spaces through every level. Voids bring in natural daylight, fresh air and the sense of continuity of space. In this way, the programmes of the tower, which comprise of learning clusters and central facilities, are allowed to create coordinated repertoires and dialogue between respective volumes.
Location: Hong Kong, China
Architect: Zaha Hadid Arcjitects
Design Principal: Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Project Director:Woody K.T.Yao
Project Team:Simon Yu; Competition team: Hinki Kwong, Melodie Leung, Long Jiang, Zhenjiang Guo, Yang Jingwen, Miron Mutyaba, Pavlos Xanthopoulus, Margarita Yordanova Valova
Landscape: Team 73 Hong Kong Ltd
Consultants: AGC Design, LtdAD+RG
Client: Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Area: 15000 mq.