School of Architecture, CUHK

Alumni win HKIA Young Architect Award 2021

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The Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA) has announced the results of its Young Architect Award 2021, focusing on the theme “Urban Playspace for All”.

Joshua LAM Wai Hon (MArch 2018) is the Winner of the Award. With his design “The POP – Fun popping out of thin air”, Joshua proposes an inflatable structure that could be squeezed into any residual space or urban fragments, turning itself into a surreal playscape of laughter and vibrancy. The POP consists of flexible bean-like inflatable seating elements, sculptural slides and equipment with variable usage. Children are encouraged to improvise their own play beyond the initial design, generating their own usage, story and meaning of the environment. Caretakers or adults can recreate their own comfortable space and social circle too, as the playscape can be utilised from yoga sessions to all-age fitness training. Through play, the POP cultivates interaction and cooperation, ultimately making a place.

Hyman Ngai Hiu Fung (MArch 2018, BSSc 2015)’s design, “Farm Happiness”, is a shortlisted proposal for the Award. As both an architect and a social worker, Hyman suggests building an urban farming-playing machine on an unutilized slope and streets linking to the Caritas Medical Centre. Addressing the different biopsychosocial needs of hospital users and the local communities, the machine empowers individuals through a strength-based approach and farm-play process, cultivating community solidarity in the post-pandemic era.

Another shortlisted proposal, “Go Down and Play!” by Owen Lam Ho Wang (MArch 2018), transforms a selected cluster of Battery street in Yau Ma Tei into a play space with several longitudinal sections that allow a variety of activities to take place. To maximize the use of the street, the design suggests partially suspending traffic, removing barriers, providing flexible facilities, and differentiating the space based on the nature and timing of different activities.

Organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, the annual HKIA Young Architect Award aims to recognise the talents and contributions of emerging architects in Hong Kong.

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