Metamorphosis in Hong Kong Documented in 'Cocoon' Photo Series

01:00 - 23 May, 2014
Metamorphosis in Hong Kong Documented in 'Cocoon' Photo Series, © Peter Steinhauer
© Peter Steinhauer

In 1994, a routine construction technique that has been practiced in Hong Kong for over 100 years caught the attention of photographer Peter Steinhauer - and led him to put almost a decade of work into capturing this unique urban phenomenon. The bamboo scaffolding and fabric wrappings he photographs serve the simple purpose of catching construction debris, but at a glance they look more like works by Christo and Jeanne Claude, the artists that have made their name wrapping buildings like the Reichstag in Berlin.

The resulting photos showcase the colossal towers of Hong Kong wrapped in brightly-colored fabric; their usually varied facades are made monolithic, like a plastic massing model rendered full-size. Steinhauer named his photo series "Cocoons" due to the effect they create over time: the buildings metamorphose under cover and emerge transformed.

Read on for more photos of these urban cocoons

© Peter Steinhauer © Peter Steinhauer © Peter Steinhauer © Peter Steinhauer +24

Crafting Urban Life in Three Dimensions: An Interview with Adam Snow Frampton by James Schrader

01:00 - 20 May, 2014
Crafting Urban Life in Three Dimensions: An Interview with Adam Snow Frampton by James Schrader, Footbridge in Central, Hong Kong. Image by Adam Frampton
Footbridge in Central, Hong Kong. Image by Adam Frampton

The following are excerpts from one of 41 interviews that student researchers at the Strelka Institute are publishing as part of the Future Urbanism Project. In this interview, James Schrader speaks with Adam Snow Frampton, the co-author of Cities Without Ground and the Principal of Only If, a New York City-based practice for architecture and urbanism. They discuss his work with OMA, the difference between Western and Asian cities, his experiences opening a new firm in New York, and the future of design on an urban scale.

James Schrader: Before we get to future urbanism, I thought it would be interesting to look a bit into your past. Could you tell me about where your interest in cities came from? Were there any formative moments that led to your fascination with cities?

Adam Snow Frampton: I was always interested in cities, but not necessarily exposed to much planning at school. When I went to work at OMA Rotterdam, I was engaged in a lot of large-scale projects, mostly in the Middle East and increasingly in Asia, where there was an opportunity to plan cities at a bigger scale. In the Netherlands, there’s not necessarily more construction than in the US, but there is a tradition of thinking big and a tendency to plan. For instance, many Dutch design offices like OMA, West 8, and MVRDV have done master plans for the whole country.

UNStudio Selected For Fifth West Kowloon Venue

00:00 - 14 May, 2014
UNStudio Selected For Fifth West Kowloon Venue, Foster + Partners' now abandoned 'City Park' Masterplan for West Kowloon Cultural District. Image © Foster + Partners
Foster + Partners' now abandoned 'City Park' Masterplan for West Kowloon Cultural District. Image © Foster + Partners

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority has selected UNStudio, in collaboration with AD+RG, to design its fifth major arts venue, the Lyric Theatre, which will sit alongside Herzog & de Meuron's planned M+ arts venue at the Western end of the Cultural District. The 1,200-seat theatre will be Hong Kong's first world class dance performance venue for ballet, contemporary and Chinese dance. It will also temporarily serve as a venue for drama, opera and musical performances during the construction of the other venues in West Kowloon Cultural District.

Read on after the break for more on the West Kowloon Cultural District and UNStudio's appointment.

House in Sai Kung / Millimeter interior design

01:00 - 12 May, 2014
House in Sai Kung / Millimeter interior design , Courtesy of Millimeter interior design
Courtesy of Millimeter interior design

Courtesy of Millimeter interior design Courtesy of Millimeter interior design Courtesy of Millimeter interior design Courtesy of Millimeter interior design +21

Jockey Club Innovation Tower / Zaha Hadid Architects

01:00 - 12 May, 2014
Jockey Club Innovation Tower / Zaha Hadid Architects, © Virgile Simon Bertrand
© Virgile Simon Bertrand
  • Architects

  • Location

    Hong Kong, Hung Hom, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Jockey Club Innovation Tower 賽馬會創新樓
  • Design

    Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher
  • Project Director

    Woody K.T. Yao
  • Project Leader

    Simon K.M. Yu
  • Area

    15000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

© Doublespace © Iwan Baan © Virgile Simon Bertrand © Doublespace +61

City of Imagination: Kowloon Walled City 20 Years Later

00:00 - 2 May, 2014

Twenty years ago, one of the world’s most unusual and unexpected pieces of architecture was razed to the ground: Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City, the most densely populated area on earth. Squalid, dark, and labyrinthine, the informal city was not only a hotbed for organized crime, but also a vibrant community of commerce and hope. Now, the Wall Street Journal has released this short documentary, bringing the city back to life and revealing why it holds a special place in world culture today.

Pak Loh Times Square Restaurant / NC Design & Architecture

01:00 - 21 April, 2014
Pak Loh Times Square Restaurant / NC Design & Architecture, © Nathaniel McMahon
© Nathaniel McMahon

© Nathaniel McMahon © Nathaniel McMahon © Nathaniel McMahon © Nathaniel McMahon +16

Boathouse Home Office / Bean Buro

01:00 - 2 April, 2014
Boathouse Home Office / Bean Buro, Courtesy of Bean Buro
Courtesy of Bean Buro
  • Architects

  • Location

    Aberdeen, Hong Kong
  • Contractor

    R&C Engineering
  • Area

    1200.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Bean Buro

Courtesy of Bean Buro Courtesy of Bean Buro Courtesy of Bean Buro Courtesy of Bean Buro +20

MVRDV Begins Work on Cheung Fai Conversion in Hong Kong

01:00 - 26 March, 2014
MVRDV Begins Work on Cheung Fai Conversion in Hong Kong, © MVRDV
© MVRDV

MVRDV has begun construction on an adaptive reuse project that will transform a former warehouse in Hong Kong’s newly designated business area of East Kowloon - the Kwun Tong district - into a “luxurious loft style working environment” for creative companies. The 14-story structure will be stripped down to its raw concrete bones and reconstructed with glass and stainless steel to provide up to 37 naturally lit, affordable office units.

Spring / Joey Ho Design

01:00 - 14 March, 2014
Spring / Joey Ho Design, © Dick Liu
© Dick Liu
  • Architects

  • Location

    Centre Point, 181-185 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
  • Architect in Charge

    Joey Ho
  • Design Team

    Noel Chan
  • Area

    697.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

© Dick Liu © Dick Liu © Dick Liu © Dick Liu +9

International Summer Programme: Cities in Asia

00:00 - 12 March, 2014
International Summer Programme: Cities in Asia

Cities in Asia HKG-SHA-SIN is a four-week design and research studio organized by the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Architecture. Taught with daily learning activities by a diverse group of faculty members from the University of Hong Kong, and speakers from internationally renowned universities and independent research groups, this course offers participants a design studio experience within Asia's most vibrant contexts.

Cavendish Heights Residence / AFFECT-T

01:00 - 2 March, 2014
Cavendish Heights Residence / AFFECT-T , © Luke James Hayes
© Luke James Hayes
  • Architects

  • Location

    Mannings - Jardine's Lookout, 5 Perkins Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong
  • Architect in Charge

    Luke Hayes
  • Area

    178.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

© Luke James Hayes © Luke James Hayes © Luke James Hayes © Luke James Hayes +18

The Indicator: The Slum Exotic and the Persistence of Hong Kong’s Walled City

00:00 - 28 February, 2014
The Indicator: The Slum Exotic and the Persistence of Hong Kong’s Walled City, © Greg Girard and Ian Lambot
© Greg Girard and Ian Lambot

Whenever I see sensational exposes on the supposedly sublime spatial intensity of Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City (demolished in 1994), they strike me as nothing more than colonial fantasies that have little to do with the reality of living in the midst of one of the world’s cruelest slums. You see the Walled City pop up constantly like it’s still a valid or even interesting subject. This informal settlement has been diagramed, photographed, and written about for decades from an aesthetic point of view, rendering its victimized and oppressed inhabitants all but invisible. Not to say that this wasn’t home to a lot of people and that no “fond memories” were formed there, but still, like all slums, it was a tough place to live, fraught with contradictions in the haze of hope for a better life.

HKSAR Government Headquarters / Rocco Design Architects

01:00 - 28 February, 2014
HKSAR Government Headquarters / Rocco Design Architects , Courtesy of Rocco Design Architects
Courtesy of Rocco Design Architects
  • Architects

  • Location

    Admiralty, Hong Kong
  • Project Team

    Rocco Yim, Bernard Hui, William Tam, C M Chan, Henry Ho, Boris Lo, Lucia Cheung, William Lee, Wicky Choi, Herbert Hung, Ivy Yung, Queenie Szeto, Angela Fong, Joseph Kong, Sze Hoi Wai, Alonzo Cheng, Chan Chi Chung, Fiona Ching, Chris Wong, Tong Hui Ching, Ivan Chui, David Ho, Dathan Wun, Gary Ng, Agnus Lau, Mike Morgan
  • Area

    131574.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2011
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Rocco Design Architects

Courtesy of Rocco Design Architects Courtesy of Rocco Design Architects Courtesy of Rocco Design Architects Courtesy of Rocco Design Architects +19

Bamboo Micro Housing Proposal / AFFECT-T

01:00 - 27 February, 2014
Bamboo Micro Housing Proposal / AFFECT-T, Courtesy of AFFECT-T
Courtesy of AFFECT-T
  • Architects

  • Location

    Hong Kong
  • Architect in Charge

    Luke Hayes
  • Area

    15.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of AFFECT-T

Courtesy of AFFECT-T Courtesy of AFFECT-T Courtesy of AFFECT-T Courtesy of AFFECT-T +25

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Selected to Design Island School in Hong Kong

00:00 - 24 January, 2014
Schmidt Hammer Lassen Selected to Design Island School in Hong Kong, Island School, Design Competition Illustration. Image © schmidt hammer lassen
Island School, Design Competition Illustration. Image © schmidt hammer lassen

schmidt hammer lassen architects, in collaboration with Thomas Chow Architects, has won a commission to design a new Island School in Hong Kong. Envisioned as a “sustainable learning landscape,” the 28,000-square-meter, state-of-the-art facility aims to promote optimal learning through flexible classroom spaces and by establishing a deep connection with the surrounding landscape and local community. 

VPANG + JET + Lisa Cheung to Design West Kowloon Arts Pavilion

00:00 - 23 January, 2014
VPANG + JET + Lisa Cheung to Design West Kowloon Arts Pavilion , Courtesy of WKCDA
Courtesy of WKCDA

A team consisting of VPANG architects ltd, JET Architecture Inc and Lisa Cheung has been announced as winner of a competition to design an arts pavilion for the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (the "WKCDA") in Hong Kong. With completion planned for 2015, the pavilion is expected to be used as a small-scale exhibition and events space for independent artists and designers. It will also serve as the primary home for exhibitions and programs organized by M+, Hong Kong's museum for visual culture, before the completion of Herzog & de Meuron’s museum building in late 2017.

2013 Hong Kong Biennale, UABB (Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism /Architecture)

01:00 - 20 January, 2014
Make Out City, BKK Collective (Architect Kidd, Chat Architects, Studio Make, Things Matter)
Make Out City, BKK Collective (Architect Kidd, Chat Architects, Studio Make, Things Matter)

Now in its 5th edition, the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism / Architecture (UABB) is the only biennial exhibition in the world to be based exclusively on the themes of urbanism and urbanization. The Biennale is co-organized by Shenzhen and Hong Kong, two of the most intensely urban cities in the world, where political and economical contexts have shaped unique urban dynamics.

On display until February 23rd, the Hong Kong Biennale is curated by Colin Fournier, together with Executive Curators Joshua Lau and Allen Poon of TETRA and Travis Bunt and Tat Lam of URBANUS.

The Biennale is “informed by the singularity of Hong Kong but it will not be primarily about Hong Kong, just as the Venice Biennale is not about Venice: it will be about the cities of the world, making use of the unique bi-city setting of the Biennale as a platform to address global issues in a visionary and critical way.” You can read the complete curatorial statement here.

Photos and more about the individual exhibits after the break: