Of course, exclusively at Pretty Architecture: INNOVATION TOWER
Zaha Hadid’s dynamic Jockey Club Innovation Tower slices through its tight, irregularly shaped plot on the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Seamlessly integrating a concrete podium with a louvered glass façade on the upper levels, the 250-foot-tall building houses the institution’s design education and research programs and includes a lecture hall, classrooms, design studios, and workshops, as well as exhibition spaces and a communal viewing lounge.
From a client brief that originally called for 12 homogenous residential towers, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has proposed an alternative community-orientated design comprised of a low-rise, yet high-density residential building of 981 apartments with accommodation around three sides of the rectangular site. Each side of the building has been shaped to optimize its environmental orientation, creating a sequence of interconnected internal and external courtyards, gardens and public spaces for both residents and neighbours.
By gradually fragmenting the overall volume of the design, its relationship with its context is customised to become solid in some areas and permeable in others. This transition from solid to porous reflects the extreme contrasts which characterise the surrounding urban fabric: from the noisy commercial side with its eight-lane motorway; to the quiet, low-density suburban developments that spread to the base of the mountains in the distance. Adapting to these varied adjacencies gives the project many different degrees of integrated public and private open spaces.
“The idea of iconic architecture serves the purpose of filling the explanatory gap that inevitably opens up because the methodology and motivation behind the unusual appearance of a radically innovative design cannot be fully explained to the general public.”