Arriving to Honk Kong from Kowloon by ferry is specially impressive. No matter when, night or day, the skyline of Hong Kong reveals itself as one of the most moving landscapes in the world. We believe that new Hong Kong ’s Central Waterfront should show a vibrant design comparable to these skyline, joint with a successfully addressing of the set of program parameters established by the OZP.
The design of Hong Kong Central Waterfront must have enough singularity (icon) to act as an a atractor for both citizens and visitors of Hong Kong and, at the same time, this singularity can not be unaware (Alien/Foreign) to the specific situation of Hong Kong, this means it should make a direct reference to the identity and the current cultural context of Hong Kong. With this aim, we see the skyline as a hallmark of Hong Kong and also a powerful seminal element in the design. Our first question would be: is it posible to apply with simplicity this skyline to the shoreline of the Central Waterfront?. If this conceptual action is possible, we would come up with a design that Hong Kong citizens could identify as their own with a relative naturalness, boosting, in this way, its usage from the very beginning. The skyline and the piers.
A harbour environment can evolve towards a more dynamic area and greater diversity of usages; however, this evolving process does not necessary mean its pre-existent. We believe that harbour usage must remain in the area and, even,
promoted it to make a close bound to the common usages, including leisure, of citizens and visitors of Hong Kong. Without this harbour usage, we consider that the area would lose part of its identity and would be void from the historical memory point of view from Hong Kong. The harbour system of Hong Kong is wide, and the maritime flow of the zone is intensive, therefore we can find a high grow in the number of docks of Victoria Harbour. This numerous docks conform an horizontal skyline of incomes and outcomes from and to the see in a clear analogue to the building skyline. Our core idea is to highlight this analogy, and develop in our design a Hong Kong Central Waterfront model that take advantage of the special morphology of docks, translating somehow the power of skyline to the shoreline.
The shadows of the skyline.
Currently, we can feel how skyscrapers project their presence over the harbour and also, over the future Hong Kong Central Waterfront. Changeable shadows of skyline appear every day in the competition area. This projection, can be the first approach to the new shoreline, acting as a formal basis for the supporting lines of our proposal.
However, in spite we are interested in those variant shadows, we consider they are no more than a plain 2D abstraction over the harbour, therefore we believe that it is even more necessary to achieve a closer degree to the physical and human scale of the competition area with its 3D nature. As we said, shadows are insufficient for our aim. We believe that it is possible to reach a next step in the design of this shoreline/skyline if we take into account the tides as a parameter that provides depth and 3D to the proposal, not only in a spacial scale but also in a temporal one. The water layer, like shadows, reach different levels through day and night. Our main idea is to bring dynamics to the area by basing our general proposal of design in a set of factors that are completely specific for Hong Kong, i.e. its skyline,
its insolation or its tides, but in spite its specificity are novel and offer open possibilities of change and improvement. We finally believe that this evolving profiles are a key factor for a design in Hong Kong, because they capture the spirit of the city, its constant change, its growth and its confidence.