HK Re(Generation) Case Study II – Possession’s “Alive Bridge”
A few weeks ago, we published as a starting point a series of articles that aims to aware everyone’s mind. Showing case studies and an open feasibility proposal on the topic well known by everyone “Waste and Humans” … How are we doing with our world, cities, neighbourhoods, streets, buildings, homes, habits? Something easy to see when living in a big dense city like Hong Kong, but being a global problem (accepted or not) that we all suffer.
Maybe is the sad human nature, that only make us react when it affects us individually?. When you feel it on your own feet at the beach, when you see it in a hike, when you get it in your lungs on a morning run, or just while walking to work on your daily basis… yes, is “Waste”.
But waste, and all the matters that surround is not just some plastic in a bin or polluted air. Depending on your eyes you can see waste in many ways: unused spaces, one use products, wrong construction process, non-recycling habits, overproduction society, etc. All having the same sad and truly result, an unpleasant present and most likely worse future for all of us…
*here a worth related topic documentary to see after reading this article. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huX1bmfdkyA).
Our research/proposal project is a small seed about regenerating public spaces while tackling at the same time the excess of waste production in any city, in this case, we focus in Hong Kong where Enzyme was founded. We described both problems: How Hong Kong produces an excess of waste per capita compare to other big cities and the abandoned conditions of some public spaces of the city, read more in our first article.
Today, we want to share with you our second case study, about another “leftover space” even being one of the most important places in the history of the city. Possession Street and Tai Tat Tei, where back in 1841 Commodore James Bremer, commander-in-chief of British forces in China, took formal possession of Hong Kong.
As mentioned above, Possession Street and Hollywood Road Garden has not only an historical value but also nowadays, as is a landmark ending Hollywood road (one of the most visited road by tourist in HK island) as well as, being a pedestrian connector from upper lascar road (famous for the antiques market) and the park. This connector bridge is being used not just as an elevated path but also home, shelter and meeting point for local elderly, showing the potential it has of multi-activities and the key factor in the area.
The main problem we find as soon as we walk down Hollywood road and get into Tai Tat Tei (the park) is that it becomes a dead-end point of a route, with an unclear exit at the north gate of the park, a gate that leads into a leftover alley where local elderly meets in a sad corner, where seemingly the only place they won’t be pushed away.
With this proposal, our main aim is not to make move them but to integrate the local elderly culture in a nice environment, giving them a spot as part of a lively activities on this pedestrian bridge, it could lead visitors from the park to upper lascar gaining in this sense a useful loop of heritage all the way through the bridge.
An alive bridge that would host multiple activities, from basic resting and picnic spots for the office and schools that surrounds it to weekend temporal markets, street art events and many other cultural interventions that could be scheduled by their community or the recently renovated art centre by electrics HK.
Here is where we try to tackle the waste problem. We want to make use of recycled materials, waste materials and some durable ones that can be reused in the future.
The most durable, light and local reusable material in the construction industry of Hong Kong is bamboo. It is the perfect construction system to build shedding structures such as canopies. With the same construction system as the Hong Kong famous scaffoldings, we can create light structures that are braced to the facade of the surrounding facades.
Sitting areas will be built out of the timber that can be extracted from construction pallets and other construction waste.
Planters and other steps and sitting areas can be done out of volumes built with melt plastic, then it will be filled moulds to become durable street furniture.
We can also add a new pavement for the area such a screed, sand, pebbles or something similar that could be done as well out of reused waste.
The last construction ingredient will be the local greenery. Thanks to the weather of Hong Kong local vegetation doesn’t need almost any maintenance.
We decided to move forward with just two ideas of the same family that follows the brief classified by activities and functions: lunch box points, street art walls, lights events, foldable kiosk for markets, DIY green farms, etc. having as the main goal to give an adaptable shelter to the already users, the local elderly.
1. A series of vertical fins will mark the path to follow between the 3 entrances and the park. These fins made of composite recycled waste from HK construction sites, enhance the starting point of many to come interventions of the regeneration project.
2. Attached Pavilions are simple structures made from bamboo that provided shading for the seating areas. Not only being cheaper compared to the first option but it also allows the whole space to adapt to the surroundings with a less aggressive look and method, as redesigned scaffoldings of the city.
Both options are modelled using ArchiCAD. All images and documentation such sections, floor plans and diagrams are extracted directly from those models. Renders were done in Twinmotion and finalised in Adobe Photoshop.
The fact of having this BIM model of both design options will make the documentation and construction stage much easier, realistic and efficient. The target is to prepare a set of documentation with details but also to start to extract costs and schedules out of the different elements and pieces we will require to build this up.
Which one do you prefer? We are pushing these interventions to move forward from an idea to a reality. Now is the moment of involving the community, users, government and investors, so if you are interested to know about the whole initiative and help to be part of it, please download the full reports and contact us to make this happen!
Enjoy and lets Re(generate) Hong Kong!