DesignerWong Ka Hei、Chan Yin Tat
CountryChina, Hong Kong
With Hong Kong’s limited space and increasing housing prices, there is a serious housing shortage especially consequential during these turbulent times (Covid 19). When seeking answers to the aforementioned problems, we observed how human ingenuity resolved such issues, expanding and building illegal structures to meet their unanswered needs…Unauthorized Building Constructions (UBC).
One in four Hong Kong properties have illegal structures. At first glance, one would often regard such typology as unwanted; creating messiness within Hong Kong’s fabric. However, with closer analysis one would discover the beauty and potential within this craziness. Hoping to create a sustainable housing solution, we took inspiration from the physical and abstract concepts of UBC’s to address promising issues presented from Covid 19. The concepts are the following:
The construction of UBC’s utilize simple and affordable truss and bay construction can be adopted to different needs depending on the user. This simple and versatile construction system inspired our prefabricated modular slice design, utilizing economical materials that can be easily sourced locally. The design is easily transported on a cargo truck and easily constructed, providing quick but reliable shelters during recent unpredictable periods.
The informality of UBC’s invites a diversity of programs to be conducted within a small room, creating richness and vibrancy within a habitable space. From small gardens for cooking to kiosks for personal projects; our design enables such informal spaces to develop and thrive. Such space allows individuals to express and grow oneself even under restrictions within their building.
Work has infiltrated into our homes, which were once spaces of tranquility and privacy; hence created imbalance. Facing such inadequacies of space, UBC simply expands and transforms depending on their needs. The pods are designed to offer similar flexibility, through a sliding unit that enables the private and public space to compress or expand depending on personal needs.
The rooftops of Hong Kong’s ‘Tong Lau’ are often overlooked and unused, offering a great potential to create deeper communal interactions however often lost in modern residential typologies. A sense of connection and intimacy with close neighbors are crucial during troublesome times, to prevent burnout and loneliness during quarantine. Our flexible design enables several buildings to become interconnected, allowing for greater communal spaces within proximity to one’s home, ultimately forming a Community Among The Clouds.