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Urban Retreat – A Museum of Food Sensations

Part 1 Project 2011
Shuk Man Lo
University of Hong Kong, China
Urban Retreat – A museum of Food sensations
Located in the middle of high-rise commercial district, Harcourt garden, this project is to design a Food culture museum in the said location to act as an urban catalyst to foster growth of local culture. In this project, a rather different museum typology was introduced that served multi-programmatic uses (i.e. exhibition area, restaurants, etc), with natural ventilation, effective sun-shading as major driving forces for the design. The design of the form is preoccupied with the duality of 2 material system, laminated timber and concrete. The Food culture Museum realizes in a form of tubes of interlocking concrete frames and timber frames, of which the uses of materials is defined by the programs (i.e. concrete frames for major exhibition area and offices; timber frames for circulation area, restaurant). The framing system works with the cladding to provide proper sun shading effects for the users as well as to maximize natural sunlight through the vertical louvers system. The design intended to initiate a cultural change to the existing urban fabrics and serves to promote a more environment-conscious typology in the midst of the hyper dense urban masses.

Urban Context and Form
Re-incarnation of public garden
The current major groups of Harcourt Garden users are (1)workers who cross the garden for work during rush hours, (2)workers who have lunch in the garden during lunch time. There, whilst having the location as the site, these 2 factors are taken into consideration. Blending in public accessible ground became one of the design’s driving force.

The Museum serves majorly two purposes, (1)for exhibition related to local food culture, (2)liberating the ground for public access and experiencing local street food culture. Unlike conventional museum typology, where directional indoor circulation and fine control of artificial lighting are featured, the design of this museum focuses more on multi-circulation that interweaves between indoor and outdoor spaces in a rhythmic manner. The structural frames would liberate the ground, which provides shaded area for public leisure and small food stall correlated to the museum’s exhibition.

Shuk Man Lo


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