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Part 2 Project 2014
Albert Ivan Chan
University of Hong Kong Hong Kong China
Tectonic hybridization will take the Hong Kong city block to the next level; tower typology must evolve to maintain vertical vitality for this mature metropolis. The city is reaching an architectural threshold with its limiting typologies while being topographically constrained. If the city does not tectonically innovate to stretch density, verticality and urban complexity; the future will only be a polished version of the homogenous status quo. Although previous advancements have proven density capable, the future needs to surpass the lifeless repetition. Already, future towers must maintain both sustainable lifestyle and land capitalization by having a hyper-dense integrated live/work model and strategic program-mix. This required flexibility can only be fully comprehended by tectonic hybridization.

Every step in the building evolution was enabled by a tectonic leap; structurally allowing new densities, spatial compositions and economic models. Advancing from sheer walls to pilotis and transfer slabs, reinforced concrete pushed the city block from tenement buildings to podium towers. Although many are seen as results of profit maximization while being building code compliant; the typology could not have been possible without the fundamental tectonic innovation. Tectonic breakthroughs should always come first to empower, then building codes come after to tame. However, it need not be a structural miracle. Strategically hybridizing standard solutions will achieve reachable tectonic advancements in order to purposefully compose massing and rationalize unconventional geometry. As a prototype, hoping to be popularized, it must not have structural gymnastics that is risky to replicate. Structural hybrids are adaptively versitile to the mixed-use because they combine readily available techniques to solve specific problems.

By a hybrid mega-structure, the thesis is to develop the next tectonic model that will expand the structural and programmatic performance of architecture as an urban layer. In the form of a prototype tower, mutating away from the extrusion block, the project will shed light on hybrid tower possibilities for the future city.

Albert Ivan Chan


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