THE CAMPHORA

2015

51-52 Haiphong Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Project Challenge

 

The project was to convert a 10 storey building built in the 1950s to a Hotel/ Serviced apartment. Petite in size, the building was originally constructed as a residential building with shop on the ground floor. Over the years, the balconies, available on each floor, has been enclosed to allow for more interior space. The design brief as requested by the client was to bring out the character of the original building without over indulgence through a meticulous historical pursuit, while giving it a contemporary touch. The building is to house 24 rooms on its eight number of floors, while having the reception and amenities on its fifth floor. The building is located in one of the busiest district in the city, surrounded by multitudes of colours, signboard, retail presence, and is within one of the most competitive district where premium branded hotels, chic apartments are all within walking distance, one of the challenge is how the design for the premises can help in differentiating itself from the rest and finds its position. The building is an old building by local standard, without any service ducts, the decision of how to lay the building services become also as important as to how to repartition the space as well as the choice of materials.

 

Solutions to Project Challenge

 

To bring out the character of the building from the exterior without over decorating the facade meaninglessly, the team has decided to open up the balconies, which has been fitted with windows for decades. The balconies were a rare sight to be seen nowadays, and its re-emergence, together with fine detailing on the addition of a drip line and balustrade cap help to highlight the profile of the curved edge, reminiscent of the iconic buildings of that era, those of the Streamline Moderne design movement. The recessed space not only gives the building an added dimension that differs greatly from the surroundings, it also adds to the premises an opportunity to sit out and look at the different sides of the city especially when one facade fronts one of the largest urban park. Each floor is divided into three units, with each accommodating a bathroom, a fully functional kitchen unit,  and access to the balcony. The building services travel vertically through newly created duct works, and making use of the balcony on the first floor to rejoin the various drainage outlets. The street in front has a number of landmark camphor trees, and to fuse the inside with the outside view, the palette used for the interior was mainly those of natural timber appearance and tone. The staircase and corridors leading up to the rooms were minimally treated, providing a moment of tranquility,  transporting the patrons from the hustle and bustle of the vibrant street activities to their urban sanctuary. 

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CONCEPT DESIGN for

EXTENSION TO TSUNG TSIN PRIMARY SCHOOL

2015

58 Tai Po Road

PAREKH HOUSE

2006

61 & 63 Wyndham Street, Central

The challenge in this project was how to design a 17 storey commercial building which serves as the head office for the client, on a geotechnically difficult site, having only technically a single front façade that is visible to the public, with serious excessive insolation from the sun, and despite a reasonably wide frontage, a relatively shallow depth of the site.

 

The design of the building took into account how to maximize the cross ventilation, capturing the splendid open view in front, and with the use of a custom designed sun shading system and a double glazed insulated façade system, create a contemporary addition to the neighborhood, activating what could have been just another one dimensional façade, optimizing the perceived dimension of the building and forms a harmonious integration to the existing fabric.

 

During the course of design development, while the functional criteria were some of the aspects that require detail attention on, the more difficult part was in fact the psychological perception of a planar surface, the distinction between the “served” and the “serviced”.

 

It was determined at the start of the project that one of the key design focus was how to have the façade to be read as one, instead of seeing a lobby and an office separately, without the use of any form of unnecessary shielding. Hundreds of models were used to study the relationship and how to erase momentarily this relationship by lines, proportions, and materials. 

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