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A first look at Zaha Hadid’s delayed Hong Kong tower

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Work is nearing completion on Zaha Hadid Architects’ new 15,000m2 Innovation Tower School of Design at Hong Kong Polytechinc University.

The fit out of the 76m-tall scheme will continue into the New Year.  The building, which will have a capacity for 1,450 students, opens next Spring.

Won in competition in 2007 and originally scheduled to complete in 2011, the building is Zaha Hadid’s first permanent structure in the Chinese city.

The architect’s view

The building is a beacon structure symbolizing and driving the development of Hong Kong as a design hub in Asia; a fitting setting for the institution’s many different design education and design research programs.

[We have] re-examined the characteristics of, and demands placed upon, a ‘creative multidisciplinary environment’ – envisaging a solution that dissolved the classic typography of tower and podium to create a seamlessly fluid new structure. A tower that establishes a vision for future achievements and references the University’s rich tradition.

Conceptually, the university’s many different programs and the inter-relationships between them provided a guiding principle – ‘collateral flexibility’ – which was used to govern the tower’s internal logic; to create a building which is inherently organized and understood to visitors from the point of entry.

Surrounding playing fields have been raised to create a new surrounding landscape and place the main pedestrian entrance at podium level, with the space liberated below used to create access routes to the main campus. At podium level an open public foyer, the end point of a long path running from Suen Chi Sun Memorial Square channels deep in the main structure, bringing visitors to a generous space containing shops, cafeteria, museum and exhibition area.


Previous story (AJ 17.01.12)

New name for Zaha’s delayed Hong Kong tower

Zaha Hadid Architects 15,000m2 innovation tower scheme in Hong Kong was officially named the Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation following a ceremony today

The 76 metre-tall building – originally scheduled to complete last year but now expected to finish in 2013 – will be Zaha Hadid’s first permanent structure in the Chinese city.

The 15-storey tower is currently under construction and was given its new name in a ceremony today.

The project is backed by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and received a £20.8 million donation from The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) Charities Trust.

Hong Kong Jockey Club chair Brian Stevenson said: ‘We believe the Institute will provide a springboard for community education and training; foster student learning and help nurture a new generation of design professionals who are not only innovative but also socially conscious.’

Cees de Bont, professor and dean-designate at PolyU School of Design,  added: ‘The School is home to many internationally-renowned designers, and I am delighted to see the development of Innovation Tower designed by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid and the establishment of the Design Institute for Social Innovation.

‘The building will definitely become a landmark and strengthen Hong Kong’s status as a design hub, and the Institute will help us chart new course in advocating design for social goods.’

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