Design Team: John Chan, Liang Xiao, Enoch Chu, Fiona Bao, Cy Lau, Manfred Yuen
Clients: K11, Roadking, Groundwork
Text description provided by the architects. After an extensive 18 month study on existing Hong Kong Playgrounds for the Hong Kong Government, we began exploring further into the complex idea of play. Toy as Architecture, Architecture as Toy, is a series of projects where we test the boundaries that separates architecture and play.
Groundwork was commissioned by K11, a shopping mall in greater China to imagine and bring to life a playable art piece. Fairyland Playscapeis an explorative, jumping gym platform where guests are encouraged to let go and have fun. The 400 square meter large inflatable was inspired by the Chinese classic literature “Journey to the West”, bringing the story’s “Yushan” (Jade Mountain) into the modern world.Fairyland Playscape demonstrates a progressive approach to architecture and how we interact with architecture. The experience encourages kids and adults to take risks and to challenge themselves to have fun. Fairyland Playscapeis a humongous architectural structure but it is also a humongous toy. Is an incredibly successful exhibition, the place was gelled together by sci-fi music composed by Eugene Leung and lighting decisions.
After Fairyland Playscapewe were given another opportunity to work on the familiar theme. Pavilion of Roadsis pavilion designed for Road King Properties, a Hong Kong real estate developer who started as a Chinese road developer in the 1990s. The entire structure was made of interconnected mini 4 wheel drive hobby cars tracks. The pavilion is not only a striking visual icon within the exhibition hall, it was also a portal for guests to connect and mingle. Our decision to wrap the space with functioning 4 wheel drive toy car tracks was heavily inspired by the client’s slogan “The Endless Road”. These winding “roads” that defines the space became a symbol of nostalgia reminding us of our childhood, whilst embodying the spirit of Road King’s motto.
As kids, we have all played with racecar tracks, however as we aged, we outgrew the tiny racetracks. So we have decided to take these nostalgic toys and magnify them. By surrounding guests with blown-up versions of familiar toys, as well as allowing them to play and interact with them, we hope to draw guests back into the nostalgic place and associate happy, carefree days to the exhibition, so that they may leave with a memorable experience. Thus the pavilion is not separate from the experience, but actually part of the experience.