Altered Estates: Common Ground
HKU / Pratt Institute (Hong Kong, 2020)
The need for cost-effective public rental housing in Hong Kong is an issue that brings together social, economic, political and architectural interests. The current deficiency of affordable housing supply taxes the city’s collective resources. The need to conserve land, buildings and habitat, to make use of existing housing estates and sites, and the limited supply of places that are both affordable and desirable for young families and singletons provides an opportunity to extend the systems that support living in the city.
Altered estates | Common grounds presents a quartet of research-based speculative projects. Each piece examines strategies for altering and extending public housing at the scale of the block, the estate, the site, and the territory. Bringing together a faculty-student team from the University of Hong Kong’s Division of Landscape and Pratt Institute’s Department of Graduate Architecture and Urban Design, the proposals look at ways to understand the site, landscape and tower block as a composite resource; recasting each as a combined three dimensional and topological “ground.” Additions to the tops, facades and lower flowers are joined with watersheds and the variegated topographies of the region to harness water, enhance biodiversity while seeking to mix generational populations, public and private development projecting what the estate of the 21st century could look like.
The following propositions speculate upon actual sites within Hong Kong and were developed as part of a larger collaboration comprising four teams for the upcoming Venice Biennale International Architecture Hong Kong Exhibition.
Project credits: HKU (Division of Landscape Architecture): Students Brian Cheung, Charlene Koo. Faculty Supervisors – Ivan Valin, Natalia Echeverri; Pratt Institute (GAUD): Students – Sandra Nataf, Kenith Mak. Faculty Supervisors – David Erdman and Hart Marlow