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HKU Medical School Lobby / Atelier Nuno Architects

HKU Medical School Lobby / Atelier Nuno Architects

© Edmon Leong © Edmon Leong © Edmon Leong © Edmon Leong + 21

  • Interiors designers: Atelier Nuno Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 300.0 m2
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2019
  • Photographs Photographs: Edmon Leong
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Junckers, Linfat Contracting company, Marmi Scala, Wing Tong Limited
  • Lead Architects

    Nuno Da Silva, Tang
  • Consultants

    Tino Kwan Lighting Consultants
  • Clients

    HKU Medical School
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© Edmon Leong
© Edmon Leong

Intention
When we were commissioned to renovate the main lobby of the University of Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, we saw an opportunity to bring people together on campus and to encourage new ways of relating to the environment, inside and out.

© Edmon Leong
© Edmon Leong

The medical building is located on a tree-lined hillside beyond the dense landscape of high-rises that defines much of Hong Kong, and its west-facing windows introduce abundant sunlight. We approached the project by conceiving of a space that is meant to be experienced simultaneously with its surroundings.

© Edmon Leong
© Edmon Leong

Design
We were drawn to a white finish for the interior, both for white’s association with the medical profession and as a way to foreground the natural setting. We wanted to catch the light with a design that fills the space and that engages with the human scale. The walls are cladded in white-painted curved plywood, and 0.8-millimeter-thick white powder-coated perforated aluminum panels are suspended from a structural frame on the ceiling. Light permeates the panels, drawing attention to changes over the course of the day. The metal volumes appear both white and solid, and both dark and transparent, filtering light together with the neighboring trees. The LED light tubes above the metal volumes negotiate with the natural light. As the sun sets, the lights glow more warmly, gradually intensifying and ultimately dominating the space. 

Cross section
Cross section

Rather than seeking to maximize height in the lobby, we created large, billowing forms that open downward. In the 6-meter-tall foyer, we dropped the ceiling height to 2.05 meters, offering a moment to engage closely with the contained light. To slow down this high-traffic space, we introduced a wooden stepped platform that also encourages social interaction.

© Edmon Leong
© Edmon Leong
© Edmon Leong
© Edmon Leong

Through the changing light and the shifting qualities in the materials that the light introduces, students can experience seasonal change intimately, in a space they interact with every day.

© Edmon Leong
© Edmon Leong
© Edmon Leong
© Edmon Leong

Our philosophy
Choosing ordinary materials was our most important consideration. In Hong Kong, luxury materials are typically celebrated, while more modest alternatives often go overlooked. White-painted finishes and perforated aluminum panels can be found in familiar spaces such as bus stops and underground rail stations; the commercial white paint used for the walls of the lobby also predominates elsewhere on campus. The prominent position of these ordinary materials in the lobby is meant to emphasize the possibilities of the everyday and, in an academic context, to suggest that all students have the means to succeed.

© Edmon Leong
© Edmon Leong

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Project location

Address: Hong Kong (SAR)

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "HKU Medical School Lobby / Atelier Nuno Architects" 25 Oct 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/927036/hku-medical-school-lobby-atelier-nuno-architects/> ISSN 0719-8884
© Edmon Leong

香港大学李嘉诚医学院大堂 / Atelier Nuno Architects

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