Hong Kong: Day 1

Today, I left for my two week long trip to Hong Kong/Macau – and I have so much cool stuff to show everyone!

Firstly, we flew out of San Francisco International Airport (designed by SOM), which happens to also be related to us at CMU. I think this is correct that in our 3rd year, we can participate in the Epic Metals Steel Decking Competition. It turns out, that the Epic Metals Corporation, who sponsors this competition, also provided the decking for the SFO International Airport! I tried to find more specific information about the decking, and I think the decking that Epic Metals used for SFO was the Archdeck Curved Roof Deck Ceiling System.

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After a 13.5 hour flight, we finally arrive at the Hong Kong International Airport, designed by Foster + Partners. I wish I knew what to say more about the project, but I think the description given by the Foster + Partners website will be better than any description I could try to make.

It amazes me though at how easily it is to take architecture for granted. I’ve been to both of these airports almost twice every summer since I was 13 months old, and only now am I really beginning to understand all of the thought and effort into these types of buildings, and how they are designed by master architects. It makes me sad at how unconscious we can be to good architecture.

After getting situated into our hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon side), I went out to do some window shopping with my cousin and brother when I stumbled upon this jewel:


As I entered the department store, something even more amazing appeared as you will see in the next series of photographs.

I love it so much. It reminds me of “The Virtual Dimension” reading by Stan Allen when he speaks of a field upon a field causing a pattern or figure to occur. In this case, it using the two fields of a checkerboard pattern and optical illusion to create this fuzzy crosshair figure. I tried to look up online the creator of this amazing wall but with no success. I wonder if it was the work of an architect, and if so, is this considered architecture? This reminds me of a feud that a couple of students had over Gaston Nogues and his work. Some thought that his work was architectural and others perhaps more decorative. It’s interesting to me that it’s not even terms like sculptural or abstraction that are difficult to grasp, even our own profession and field of study has no definitive definition.

Further into the department store is a patio space that looks out into the harbor. Here is the view:

What’s very exciting about this almost sad looking peninsula, is that this is the site for the new West Kowloon Cultural Center! Just recently, a decision was made for the West Kowloon Cultural Center Competition with Foster + Partners as the victor. Here are some subsequent articles about the participants and conclusion of the competition.

Lastly, I thought this clothing store was kind of fun. Shout outs to any Walter Gropius fans out there. Hopefully there will be more to come!

Sharon

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