Total Floor Area
650 m.sq.
Hong Kong

A young & public space designed with an old Southern China legacy - a communal square under the shadow of branches, in front of an ancestor shrine under the same family tree

This project started with three core organising elements aiming to reshuffle a decades-old community centre.

CORNERS are filled with backbone programs of the centre.By docking the most area and natural light demanding programs aside, it allows a central locale with a 360 degree panoramic view of all CORNERS. Allusers are welcomed by this programmatic unfold at the COMMUAL.

COMMUNAL offers a miniature concourseto the centre. It elevates a generic passage ways, a branch of slightly wider than a usual corridor space, to a meeting locale. It shall encourage pauses, encounters and socializations of the users. At times, it can be transformed and becomes an extension of the Multi-event Hall or the Youth Tetris zone.

ALCOVE is peripheral functional additions. It widens the otherwise brick wall thick separation between the COMMUAL and the CORNERS and frees those additions from being walled rooms.User engages with the functions of the ALCOVE by sidestepping from the COMMUAL effortlessly.

The ALCOVE is articulated expression which marks the programmatic unfold in a broad spectrum of characters of the CORNERS

TREE CANOPY is the inspiration for the ceiling at the COMMUAL. Having one or two magisterial banyan trees or the like planted at the most public area of a village was a tradition for the pre-urbanized GuangDong province of China. Its canopy and the shaded area define a favourite social space in its neighbourhood. This is where plenty of social activities take place; chess playings, story tellings, gossips and children games.

The ceiling is a reflection of the movement pattern in the COMMUAL. It literally becomes the branches. Then it evolves by overlaying triangular leaves which resembles the YWCA logo.

The result is an organic web of solid and void. The solid is ceiling panel with alternating perforation; whereas the void accommodates all the outlets of building services; no access panel, extra cut, punch and trimming for the solid.

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