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An Independent Architecture School For Hong Kong

Part 1 Project 2001
Manfred Man To Yuen
University of Hong Kong Hong Kong China
Pedagogy of the school -

Architecture is a vague subject of study. It lies between the lines with two polarized ends of the science (realistic) and art (surreal). Architecture's boundary is blurred and situated constantly in an oscillating status between the two extremes of education spectrums. Students are exposed to both art and science; their "architectural" education became undefined. An independent school of architecture thus, will provide spaces for students' development in these three streams - science, art and architecture. "Conventional" studio spaces for enhancement in architecture are provided as the "norm" sector. The spaces for artistic development are presented as 'surreal' sector and spaces for scientific, technological aspects of architecture are presented as "realistic" sector. It is the exchange of the three sectors; the macro linkage between the three streams that fuses the energy of the school into a whole. The site manipulation that allows such spatial interflow thus became a dominant challenge of the project.

Spatial treatment

Hierarchy in this chain of spaces (massing) is the second most important features in the school. It is an apparatus to encourage the flow between students with different level of architectural exposures, students with teachers. "Micro linkages" spatial treatment techniques allow this to generate naturally. I believe in paradigms of people within this "community" situated at a remote site on Hong Kong Island. The success of massing in the school also allows preservation of these paradigms of individual groups yet the interflow of personals remains intact. Crit Room is the most sacred place in this chain of hierarchy. Architecture, under this series of hierarchy and order, became ritual students and teachers praises.

Manfred Man To Yuen

Yuen has been my student for the main project "An independent school of architecture", for more than six months. I have been able to witness and encourage him towards his ambition in architectural project. His approach and efforts to respond the project brief and to challenge the program, ended in a remarkable and detailed project that he clearly informed from the first sketches. This includes series of hand drawing as well as computer plans and working models, which he used to push further the conventional repertoire of architectural form. Learning from the structural engineers, he developed a comprehensive structure for each of his buildings that he detailed with different materials. Yuen has been an active student in studio, leading group work to build site models and contributing through his presentations to create a very positive working atmosphere.

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