New building well designed for community engagement and greening
Walking around Hong Kong, you will find unique architecture in every district. The Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) under the Development Bureau has all along been committed to incorporating sustainable innovative designs and green features into various building projects, so as to ensure the quality, cost effectiveness and sustainable development of community facilities, and provide public spaces for community engagement and public enjoyment. Recently, the new Tsing Yi Southwest Leisure Building designed by the ArchSD was awarded the 2016/17 Hong Kong Institute of Architects Merit Award of Hong Kong (Community Building). It is definitely a recognition and great encouragement to our colleagues who have taken part in the project. I have particularly invited the architect of the project, a Senior Architect of the ArchSD, to share with us the design concepts and the distinctive features of the building.
The Tsing Yi Southwest Leisure Building, located at 70 Chung Mei Road, Tsing Yi, has been open to the public since July 2017. Within a site area of about 6 700 square metres, the building boasts a wide range of leisure and sports facilities, including a sports centre and an indoor swimming pool. The sports centre provides a multi-purpose arena that can be used as two basketball courts/two volleyball courts/eight badminton courts; two multi-purpose activity rooms; two dance rooms; and a children’s playroom. Together with the open space outside, it is a great place for local residents to have social gatherings and engage in leisure and sports activities.
Energetic and dynamic design
Architecture is a combination of science and art. Public perception of a building is to a great extent influenced by its appearance and interior design. According to Senior Architect of the ArchSD, Mr LAU Tin-hang, Peter, energetic and dynamic elements are specially injected into the design of the Tsing Yi Southwest Leisure Building. Examples include the hatched lines and tilted surfaces on the external walls as well as the folded ceiling design of the sports centre which symbolise the vibrancy and energy of athletes in action. Furthermore, the ceiling of the swimming pool is designed to imitate a swimmer performing the butterfly stroke. The bench in the form of an electrocardiograph inside the concourse also reminds people of a racing heart during exercise. The tilted walls on the exterior of the building give it a modern and stylish look, which also reflect the architect’s endeavour to think out of the box and shun the traditional block-shaped buildings.
It is also worth mentioning that ample public spaces are earmarked inside and outside the building for visitors to wait and rest in a spacious, comfortable environment. The 15-metre-high climbing wall outside the sports centre is so orientated after careful consideration that it will give climbers a panoramic view of Tsing Yi. It will sure become a new popular place for wall climbing aficionados.
Footbridges to enhance accessibility
To enhance the leisure building’s accessibility and connectivity to the surrounding areas, the community factor is taken into consideration in the design process. The architect connects the building with a covered walkway to the footbridges of neighboring estates so as to facilitate the residents to travel to the building and increase its utilisation.
Environment-friendly elements are also adopted in the building design, with a greening ratio of 30 percent for the project, which helps reduce the heat island effect. Glass walls and skylights are used to allow natural daylight to penetrate in order to bring down the lighting system’s power consumption. Various energy saving and renewable energy facilities are used in the indoor air-conditioning design, including the water-cooled chillers, automatic demand control of chiller water circulation system and fresh air supply with carbon dioxide sensors, heat pump for space heating, dehumidification and heating of water in swimming pools. Furthermore, the building also uses a wide variety of environment-friendly materials, such as eco-pavers, eco-timber, recycled polymer sports flooring subfloor and self-cleaning tiles. The building is a shining example to promote green buildings through the substantial reduction of material waste.
In a compact and high-density urban living environment like Hong Kong, it is not easy to significantly increase personal space per capita. Redesigning public spaces, be they meeting places, places for activities/leisure or places for inspiring creative ideas, plays a pivotal role in enhancing Hong Kong’s liveability. We, as in the past, will continue to actively explore innovative building layouts and designs to cater for our people’s ever changing requirements for living, working and leisure spaces. We are fortunate to have a dedicated team of professional architects, the unsung heroes who dare to dream and build for this unique city and give a new dimension to the building projects in various communities.
19 November, 2017