ZHAs sculptural "urban oasis" in Hong Kong to be LEED Platinum

October 13, 2020 by  
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At the heart of Hong Kong’s central business district, the 36-story Murray Road project designed by  Zaha Hadid Architects  has broken ground — and its energy-efficient design has already earned the building LEED Platinum and WELL Platinum pre-certification along with the highest 3-Star rating of China’s Green Building Rating Program. Inspired by the layered structure of a soon-to-blossom Bauhinia bud — the flower from the Bauhinia x blakeana orchid tree featured on Hong Kong’s flag — the glass skyscraper features a curved glass facade that will stand out from its more traditional boxy neighbors. The double-curved insulated glazing that wraps the building can withstand the region’s powerful summer typhoons while reducing the cooling load of the building.  Located at the core of the city’s financial district at the east-west and north-south junction of  Hong Kong’s  network of elevated pedestrian walkways, the 2 Murray Road office tower is strategically located for direct access to adjacent public gardens and parks. Supported by a high-tensile steel structure, the curved glass facade enhances indoor/outdoor connectivity between the interiors and lush cityscape. The building base has also been elevated above the ground to create new sheltered courtyards and gardens. Inside, the light-filled Grade A office spaces are column-free and feature five-meter floor-to-floor heights for maximum flexibility. Occupants will enjoy a contactless transition from the street to their workstation with a smart management system that uses a mobile phone, contactless smart card or biometric recognition for everything from passing security to calling the elevators. Occupant health also benefits from the building’s  air quality  monitoring system that automatically adjusts indoor air temperature, humidity and fresh air volume to meet demand. Related: Henning Larsen breaks ground on BEAM Platinum-targeted Shaw Auditorium in Hong Kong The smart air quality monitoring system is one of several smart systems designed to reduce electricity demand. Smart chiller plant optimization, high-efficiency HVAC equipment and daylight sensors, for instance, will achieve a 26% reduction in energy demand. Still under construction, 2 Murray Road will also use  recycled materials  to further minimize its carbon footprint.  + Zaha Hadid Architects Images via Zaha Hadid Architects

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ZHAs sculptural "urban oasis" in Hong Kong to be LEED Platinum

Glowing Wishing Pavilion is made with 5,000 recycled plastic bricks

April 13, 2020 by  
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To celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival of 2019, Hong Kong-based studio Daydreamers Design crafted a glowing lantern-inspired pavilion that also raises awareness of environmental issues. Dubbed the Wishing Pavilion, the temporary installation was constructed from 5,000 bricks made of recycled high-density polyethylene, the same type of plastic commonly used in water bottles. Manufactured in seven colors, the plastic bricks created a gradient evocative of a flame, an effect enhanced by the use of sound effects, music and LED lights at night. Commissioned by the Government of Hong Kong, the Wishing Pavilion served as the anchor pavilion for the “Mid-Autumn Lantern Displays 2019” at the Victoria Park Soccer Pitch No. 1, Causeway Bay from September 13 to September 27, 2019. Daydreamers Design created the pavilion as an evolution of its 2019 “Rising Moon” project, which also called attention to environmental issues. The pavilion’s 5,000 recycled plastic bricks are arranged to form a rounded, lantern-like structure stretching 18 meters in diameter and 6 meters tall, with no foundation work needed. The modular design allowed the designers to swiftly assemble the pavilion in just 12 days.  Related: 30,000 recycled water bottles make up this 3D-printed pavilion The pavilion’s lantern-like shape references two Mid-Autumn Festival traditions: releasing candle-lit lanterns with people’s wishes written on the sides into the night sky and burning tall, purpose-built structures for good luck and good harvests. Unlike these practices, Daydreamers Design’s eco-friendly pavilion is fire-free. The recycled plastic bricks were stacked to create a flame-like gradient ranging from yellow to red. The stacks also form a double-helix layout centered on a “burning lantern” sculpture. The pavilion opens up with a 7.5-meter circular skylight to frame the full harvest moon. “Mid-Autumn Festival, falling on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, is when the families reunite to celebrate autumn harvests, light up lanterns and admire the bright moon of the year,” the designers explained. “The rituals and celebration continued for 2000 years; the famous poem by Li Bai signifies the value and meaning of Mid-Autumn Festival. Wishing Pavilion intends to embrace the tradition, recall the harmonious union and raise awareness to today’s social challenge.” + Daydreamers Design Images via Daydreamers Design

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Glowing Wishing Pavilion is made with 5,000 recycled plastic bricks

These upcycled shipping containers make eco-friendly offices

January 2, 2020 by  
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Sustainable architecture focuses on low impact construction and natural or recycled materials. The new marketing suite for Goldman Westlink is just such a building.  Designed by A Work of Substance , the office space currently resides in Hong Kong’s Tuen Mun district, and was constructed from four shipping containers. The selection of shipping containers as the structure for the office was multi-faceted. They work as the perfect symbol for the client Goldman Westlink, which is a logistics company. In addition to representing the movement of goods, the shipping containers offer a sustainable option. They are recycled (or upcycled) , giving them a second life. Plus, the design is modular, allowing the company to break it apart and move it to another location. The construction and even a subsequent move will leave minimal impact on the land. Related: This prefab weekend retreat made from shipping containers can be ordered online Six interior spaces are born from four containers, all of which provide ample natural light and views of the surrounding scenery with massive windows. Timber accents soften the industrial feel of the metal and diffuse the building into the landscape. Stacking the containers allowed A Work of Substance to provide two stories of meeting and work space, along with an outdoor deck and sitting area. The long wooden board table and technology may resemble other office buildings, but the expansive views and minimalist design certainly do not. And while A Work of Substance prides itself on thinking outside the box, this is one box anyone would enjoy working in. A Work of Substance is an international design company with commissions spanning the globe, including Hong Kong, Niseko, Seoul, H?i An, Singapore, Bali, Flores, Paris, Megève Vancouver and Milan. As architects from A Work of Substance said, “At the very epicenter of hong kong’s design revolution, our 30-person shop uses design as a tool to rejuvenate culture and local neighbourhoods, creating works of substance that make hong kong a place people look to for inspiration. Ever daring and ever curious, we are constantly venturing into new projects and industries including the launch of our exclusive line of amenities, furniture and lighting. Throughout the evolution of substance we have developed strong partnerships with suppliers and deepened our knowledge of hong kong’s cultural landscape and its products.” + A Work of Substance Via Arch Daily Images via Dennis Lo

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These upcycled shipping containers make eco-friendly offices

Hong Kong welcomes Veda, the first vegetarian restaurant inside upscale hotel Ovolo

February 27, 2019 by  
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Hong Kong’s vegan and vegetarian scene has proliferated in the last few years, and now the autonomous territory of China has its first vegetarian restaurant within a hotel. Veda, inside the freshly revamped Ovolo Central Hotel, is open for business. Well-known Australian vegetarian chef Hetty McKinnon devised the menu, and MALE and KplusK Associates designed the space. Despite an upsurge in the availability of veg foods, Hong Kong is still the world’s third largest per capita beef consumer, according to Beef2Live . McKinnon isn’t necessarily trying to convert everybody. She’ll be happy to reduce consumption. “I remain undaunted in my vision to win diners over with the other major food group: vegetables!” she told afoodieworld.com . “I think it’s a matter of communication — even though the food I create is vegetarian, I want people to understand you don’t have to be a vegetarian to eat it. My food is inclusive, it’s for everyone — carnivores and herbivores alike. My recipes are not centered around the ‘without’; rather they are 100 percent focused upon the ‘with’ — with food, with flavor, with texture, with creativity, with thought.” Related: These are the world’s top vegan cities Diners will find lots of Asian influences on the menu, from Nepalese momos made with ricotta, spinach and smoked chili to a congee featuring shitake mushrooms, quinoa and kale chips. Desserts include dark sponge cake and a vegan fig cheesecake with caramel sauce. While everything on the menu is vegetarian, the many vegan options are clearly marked. The Ovolo Central has a modern look. Its façade boasts a glazed black metal grid that invites ventilation and natural daylight. The hotel describes the décor of its 41 rooms as having an “edgy, rock-n-roll vibe” with many commissioned artworks. The 700 square foot Radio Suite, designed by award-winning firm ALT-254, takes up the hotel’s entire top floor for unbeatable Hong Kong views. Ovolo is a private, Hong Kong-based, family-owned hotel brand with properties in Hong Kong and Australia. McKinnon has high hopes for Veda. “Hong Kong is a sophisticated, food-loving city with truly international people, so I strongly believe that they will embrace this new, healthier way to eat,” she told afoodieworld.com. “I applaud Ovolo for their forward-thinking approach to the future of food. A predominately plant -based diet is the way of the future — without getting too political, eating meat-free is one of the single biggest ways to reduce your impact on the earth . Frankly, it’s the smarter way to eat, for your body and the planet.” + Ovolo Central Images via WEILL

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Hong Kong welcomes Veda, the first vegetarian restaurant inside upscale hotel Ovolo

Hong Kong faces ‘growing mountain of waste’ in wake of China’s trash ban

February 7, 2018 by  
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On January 1st, China banned imports of 24 kinds of trash – and the move is wrecking havoc on Hong Kong . Reuters describes a “growing mountain of waste” piling up in a city that recycles little of its garbage. Doug Woodring, founder of the Hong Kong-based Ocean Recovery Alliance, told Reuters, “Hong Kong is a rich city with third-world quality recycling. It has been too easy to send unprocessed waste to China.” Every year, Hong Kong sends 5.6 million metric tons – two thirds of its garbage – into landfills . They used to export more than 90 percent of recyclables over to China – up until the start of the year. Reuters reports that mountains of cardboard and newspapers are piling up on Hong Kong’s docks as plastic trash heads to landfills. Related: China bans ‘foreign waste,’ causing recycling chaos in America The government says it doesn’t have the space to create a productive recycling industry. Critics say the city hasn’t done enough to upgrade its waste management system. Woodring, for example, told Reuters the government has depended too much on expanding landfills, saying in regards to recycling, “Hong Kong has the capability to build processing plants. There is plenty of land. The land has just been misused and misallocated.” Deputy director for environmental protection Vicki Kwok told Reuters the government is planning to increase the size of three active landfills. The government also plans to begin charging people for the things they toss out – but it could be two years at least before they implement the move. They also hope to open a facility in 2018 to turn food waste into usable resources or energy – however it will only be able to recycle 200-300 metric tons daily. That’s just a fraction of the 3,600 metric tons of food waste Hong Kong generates in a single day. The government has announced measures to fight the waste dilemma like funding local recyclers, according to Kwok, but green groups say the local recycling industry isn’t able to process all the junk once shipped off to China. Via Reuters Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

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Hong Kong faces ‘growing mountain of waste’ in wake of China’s trash ban

Hong Kong votes to end its massive ivory trade by 2021

February 2, 2018 by  
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In an historic vote, the Legislative Council of Hong Kong voted 49-4 to ban the trade of ivory by 2021. The conclusion of a campaign waged by organizations such as Avaaz and WildAid Hong Kong , the ban could save tens of thousands of African elephants from poaching each year. The vote comes two years after Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying pledged to end the ivory trade and over a year since the government submitted its plan to end the world’s largest ivory trade. To force action in the Legislative Council, US-based global actvist group Avaaz gathered one million signatures in support of ending the Hong Kong ivory trade. “It was a huge boost to be able to deliver a million voices into the debate before we voted for the ivory ban,” Hong Kong legislator Hon Elizabeth Quat told Avaaz . “The world stood with us, and it made a difference.” After Avaaz activists applied additional pressure, including a social media campaign featuring Hong Kong superstar Li Bing Bing, a traditional media campaign, and in-person protests, the ban was called up for a vote and passed overwhelmingly. Related: Hippos could be threatened with extinction due to demand for their teeth While the vote is a positive step forward, it leaves much to be desired. “Every positive step to us concerning elephants is good news,” Philip Muruthi, vice president of species protection for the Nairobi-based African Wildlife Foundation, told National Geographic. “But the urgency of the issue as it pertains to elephants hasn’t been taken seriously here.” In the past decade, the African elephant population has dropped from 490,000 to 350,000, primarily due to poaching . Mainland China banned its legal ivory trade last year, but there are concerns that a black market may take hold. “With the later implementation of the Hong Kong ban, those with ivory in mainland China might perceive a potential back door for unloading their stock,” Richard Thomas, spokesman for TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring organization, told National Geographic . “It will be critical to closely monitor and document ivory stockpiles and secure borders to ensure this door remains firmly shut.” Under the new Hong Kong law, smugglers could face up to 10 years in prison and a $1.3 million fine for illegal ivory trading. Via Avaaz and National Geographic Images via Avaaz (email)

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Hong Kong votes to end its massive ivory trade by 2021

Tiny homes made of concrete pipes could be the next big thing in micro housing

January 10, 2018 by  
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The micro-housing trend has really taken off over the last decade, and a new age of tiny urban homes is now upon us. Created by James Law Cybertecture , the Opod Tube House is made from a repurposed concrete pipe and designed as an affordable home for young people who struggle with housing costs in the world’s major cities. Unveiled recently in Hong Kong, the tiny tube houses are created out of repurposed concrete water pipes that measure a little over eight feet in diameter. The tubes are designed to accommodate one or two people and come with approximately 1000 square feet of living space. The interiors are equipped with the standard amenities, including a living room with a bench that converts into a bed, a mini-fridge, a bathroom, a shower and plenty of storage space for clothes and personal items. Related: Totally Tubular TubeHotel In Mexico Offers Up Accommodations In Recycled Concrete Pipes According to the architect behind the design, James Law, the inspiration behind the tiny tube homes is practical, both for young people looking for homes as well as city governments trying to provide affordable options. Although the structures are far from being lightweight at 22 tons apiece, they require little in terms of installation and can be easily secured to one another, which reduces installation costs. The tubes are easily stacked and can be installed in any small unused spaces commonly found in cities. The architect envisions entire tube communities installed in alleyways, under bridges, etc. Law explained in an interview with Curbed , that the concept is feasible for any urban environment , “Sometimes there’s some land left over between buildings which are rather narrow so it’s not easy to build a new building. We could put some OPods in there and utilize that land.” + Opod Tube Housing + James Law Cybertecture Via Apartment Therapy Images via Opod Tube Housing Facebook

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Tiny homes made of concrete pipes could be the next big thing in micro housing

Enchanting Christmas tree nursery is made from 16,000 recycled drink cartons

December 22, 2017 by  
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A glowing Christmas wonderland has popped up in Hong Kong with an inspiring environmental story. Local studio AaaM Architects transformed 16,000 recycled drink cartons into a festive Christmas tree nursery aimed at raising environmental awareness and promoting recycling. Named ‘Jungle All the Way’, the collection of 36 festive trees was created with the help of over 1,600 primary school students and is located in the courtyard of a revitalized heritage building. The 16,000 recycled drink cartons were collected by local primary schools over the past few years. With the help of the students, AaaM Architects flattened and refolded the cartons and, after combining them with plastic and aluminum, used them to create three-dimensional Christmas trees . Eight different “species” of trees of varying heights were made. Public visitors are also encouraged to participate and add their own recycled products to the installation. “The reality and necessity for public participation in order to bring true changes and awareness laid the root for the concept of a nursery forest, where it was spatialized for social interactions and engaging experience to take place,” wrote the architects. “[We] rethought the temporary installations not as a decorative end product, but as a catalytic instrument in both material and ideological terms among the waste recycling process and its education to achieve true sustainability .” Related: Top 10 crazy christmas trees made from bottles, bikes, shopping carts and more! The 36 trees are laid out into the shape of a giant Christmas tree visible from above. An experiential path leads visitors through the forest and is punctuated by key messages, benches, and public engagement areas. The trees are lit from within for a glowing effect. All materials will go back into the recycling process after the exhibition ends. + AaaM Architects

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Enchanting Christmas tree nursery is made from 16,000 recycled drink cartons

Hong Kongs Skypark is an urban oasis for millennials

July 10, 2017 by  
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A gorgeous green oasis has surfaced in one of the world’s most densely populated areas in Mongkok, Hong Kong . New World Development’s Adrian Cheng teamed up with Dutch architecture studio concrete to craft Skypark, an innovative luxury development where like-minded millennials can connect in beautiful co-living spaces. The project’s crown jewel—and the inspiration behind the development’s name—is the unique rooftop park, as well as the rooftop solar and wind turbines. Partially powered by clean energy , Skypark paves the way for local developers to take a more eco-friendly approach in construction. “Inspired by the crowded and narrow streets of Mongkok, where space is limited and people bump into each other, concrete created a place for residents to escape the chaos and for people to truly connect,” wrote the architects, which designed the residential complex with young professionals in mind. “Almost literally, by ‘breaking down the walls’ of a generic clubhouse , an open and transformable public space was made.” Garden designer Adrian L Norman created the Skypark roof garden using principles from New World Development’s Artisanal Movement concept that combines creativity, craftsmanship, and community. The sky park is distinguished by its large lawned garden, called The Lawn, that offers residents the luxury of picnicking next to stunning panoramic views. A wealth of other social spaces are available, including private nooks and an outdoor kitchen with a grill. Below the rooftop garden is The Aurora, a modern clubhouse on the 28th floor with an indoor swimming pool, poolside bar, library, and a gym. The Sky Stairs, a set of oversized steps with colorful cushions that double as seating, connect The Lawn with The Aurora. Related: A Lush Living Wall Skirts Aedas’ New Composite Building in Hong Kong The rooftop wind turbines generate electricity for some of the lighting, while solar energy is used to heat the clubhouse showers. Recycled rainwater is used for rooftop irrigation. The Skypark was completed in March 2017 and comprises mostly studio and one-bedroom apartments. + New World Development + concrete Via Dezeen Images via concrete

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Hong Kongs Skypark is an urban oasis for millennials

Tropical park with native species will add much-needed green space to Hong Kong

January 30, 2017 by  
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The concrete jungle of Hong Kong will soon become a bit greener. Landscape architecture firm Gustafson Porter + Bowman revealed landscape designs for Taikoo Place to create a new public space that will inject much-needed green space to the dense urban environment. The 69,000-square-foot project will promote biodiversity and public awareness of Hong Kong’s local landscapes with the planting of 53 native trees grown specifically for the park. Taikoo Place’s landscape design will offer a sequence of active and passive spaces, from open areas suitable for jazz concerts and markets to more intimate meeting areas. The park spaces will be tied together by large bands of brown and white granite that run through the site, surrounding streetscape, and lobby of one of the development’s planned towers. Taikoo Square, the largest space in the design, comprises water features designed using 3D modeling to introduce dynamic movement and sounds that reference the former Quays that had existed on the site. Densely planted tropical plants and over 70 trees that provide shade and a cooling microclimate will be neatly framed by sculpted stonework. “To promote biodiversity and raise public awareness of Hong Kong’s heritage of Fung Shui woodlands, 53 of the trees are native species , grown specifically for the project,” writes the firm. “Fung Shui woodlands are remnants of native woodlands which are protected from agricultural clearances due to their spiritual significance. At Taikoo Place, these remnant species have found a new home and bring additional natural elements to an otherwise dense urban space.” Related: Glowing bamboo pavilion promotes ecological design in Hong Kong The lush public park is designed as part of the HK$15 billion redevelopment for Taikoo Place spearheaded by Swire Properties. The development’s planned pair of Grade-A office towers, designed by Wong Ouyang, will target LEED Platinum ratings. The towers will be connected by a new elevated walkway designed by Hugh Dutton Associés. The project is slated for completion in 2021. + Gustafson Porter + Bowman Via ArchDaily Images via Gustafson Porter + Bowman

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Tropical park with native species will add much-needed green space to Hong Kong

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