Before departure, I have heard its amazing skyscrapers, high-density population and collision and amalgamation between different cultures in Hong Kong. However, when I actually standing in CBD of Central and Kowloon, sitting on front row of mini bus, closing to the Victoria harbor, I truly feel the impact comes from the word “ Hong Kong’’. Studying in Hong Kong is a wonderful experience.
I think in this short program, the challenge for me I think is how to control the time. As an architecture student, I prefer to design things logically. However, it is hard to present the whole thinking process in a small readable panel. Thus after the review of the first assignment, I learnt how todo less but effectively in limited time. Thanks for the video presentation, it becomes easy to show our site conditions and strong contrast around the Kat Hing Wai. Moreover It is luck to work with talented HKU students who come from various backgrounds. Using the story to show our site conditions also come from a smart girl who does not have too much landscape and architecture background. We believe the group talents all the time and this help us overcome difficult.
Through the past two weeks, I can feel a lot of pressure of people who live in Hong Kong. See all kinds of workers in MTR, people walk hurriedly on the street, and the limited living conditions. Hong Kong is a place where dreams could come true, thus I think, it is the reason that so many young people even come from all over the world are willing to fight in this battle.
One thing also shock me is that the strategy of developing Hong Kong. It is unbelievable that with such a high density in Kowloon and Central, more than 70% of land has not been developed in Hong Kong. It is truly a treasure for the offspring, and leave huge potential for future planning. Comparing with some megalopolis in Mainland China, overdevelopment has already brought some environment problems. Thus I have strong feeling that sustainable policy is the key of development of city and country. HongKong is a good case to study, and I still need more research about its whole system and policies. I think it will help a lot for my career.
UO Alumni dinner is a great opportunity to know many architects who are working inHong Kong. It is so exciting to listen to their stories and projects which is a huge encouragement for me to work here one day.
We start our video from Kam Tin’s most obvious symbol—Wall System. It is a rigid and visible boundary separate inside and outside area. Since the subsequent architectural construction, the original grid inside of Kat Hing Wai is not comfortable for resident any more, and the narrow alley is not a good scale for the houses on the two sides. Thus the historic wall more looks like a limitation and also does not obtain therespect it deserve. People prefer stay in the shade along the street and public space. Zooming up the map of our site, we decide to use this real architectural boundary as our main subject to extend the others boundaries of people’s life in this area.
We can easily clarify the sign and lane on the street which shows us the visible boundary. However, people on escalator leave the left side naturally for someone in rush also presents the invisible boundary. Sometimes this kind of invisible boundary is even more serious. Kam Tin is a traditional Hakka settlement, with the development of Hong Kong, more and more outsiders move in this area. Currently, the village mixed various people who have different nationality, skin color, even the language is not the same one. From our film record, we can see a strong boundary between various residents. They hardly share a public space, chat with each other. It is frustrated that getting video interview is so hard, because people are so sensitive to the camera. However, we try to record the necessary information from the observation and brief talking with residence.
The Kat Hing Wai reminds me of Hakka Earth Building Complex. It is located in Chunxi Village, Fujian Province, China. Both of these residential district used Wall System as defensive function at first stage. However, the difference is their inside area. Earth Building has larger public area inside of round wall, the designers left more potential activity area which also shape the behavior of users. It is lucky enough to see the original Earth Building which has more than six hundred years history. How I wish the original Kat Hing Wai still exist.
To sum up, the second assignment is very interesting, each of our group members contribute to this process. We recorded the film both on weekday a weekend for figure out the differences. I still remember the moment that when a suitable background music was found. It starts with kind of gloomy and becomes dynamic gradually. We recorded tons of fragments to consist of the final film. I love this way to show the project, because sometimes it is hard to present emotion when you actually stand on the narrow alley without animation.
The sights of the day ranged drastically, from the various skyscrapers to nature landscape to colorful local stores to very old buildings. These scenes refresh my memory which comes from thousands of Hong Kong movies. I am so excited to witness one of the most high density cities in the world.
The first week is so intense, and everything seems fast and efficient. We walked the city and got the new perspectives of Hong Kong historically and visually.
We attended the lecture with HKU students and worked with them for the study of specific site. My group studied walled villages located in Kam Tin, it is lucky to be arrived by MTR because it is really far from Hong Kong Island. Kat Hing Wai is a typical Hakka settlement, the most distinctive feature is its grey brick wall. However, it is kind of frustrating because various heights of new housings have substituted the traditional one and the surroundings looks disorganized. The garbage station is quite close to the only entrance and it is not smell good. The history of this site shows us that the strong walled system was used to be the defensive function previously but it contributes more as historical value now. It looks like a boundary limited the residences inside, it is hardly to take a breath when you were standing in the alley which is three feet wide. As our footprints cover the whole site gradually, some interesting parts were found, like some abandoned units were remodified to private garden between new housings and many ancient trees contribute to the huge area of shade which is used as rest area and the elderly women sitting at the entrance charge to the tourists. Thus, the emotion of people reflect from the strong wall system is the start of our study. We tried to dig out how did the wall shape the activity of those settlements and look forward the changes of feelings when people get rid of this limitation.