Why Should People Come?
Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor is a landscape to be seen from outside. It lacks the sense of place when one is in it. The recovery of emotional connection to the waterfront has to be dealt with before designing the physical connection to the surrounding area.
The Victoria Beach/Great Lawn
The design proposal intends to bring nature back to Hong Kong at a maximum level of intensity. “Nature” is not necessarily in the form of vegetation or a waterfront park, but as a psychological refuge and interactive space with the water for Hong Kongers that had existed since the human settlement in the area.
According to the competition’s introduction, the shoreline will be fixed and the new promenade will be provided. The design proposal completes this historical moment with the extra but absolute layer that is how nature and man (the water/the land/the Hong Kongers) should interact.
Before Hong Kong’s land reclamation, the tidal shift had determined human behavior for more than a thousand years since the Paleolithic Era when the human settlement began in the region. During the relatively recent development marked by the beginning of the reclamation of the land in the 19th Century, a static and more controllable behavior has been introduced. However, at the same time, the long history of a coded psychological interactive relationship with the water was lost.
The Interactive Great Lawn, which is built on a 90m x 300m x 0.45m flat structure, rotates and moves by borrowing the power of nature’s tidal shift. The high tide pushes the Interactive Great Lawn to the land, making the Promenade smaller/narrower and also exposing the Central Waterfront coastline. The low tide, in turn, pulls the Interactive Great Lawn out to the water creating a wider Promenade.
Our design proposal re-creates “the beach” where the thousand years of Hong Kong’s natural history is embedded and for its people who have been coded to live with the water and played on the shore.
It is a hybrid beach of the 21st Century.