CUHK Architecture 1U1V team and graduates take home HKIA Awards

Vince Yiu, Professor Edward Ng, Felix Li (HKIA President) and Jessie Wong

Members of the School of Architecture at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) have received three 2019/20 annual awards presented by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA).

The One University One Village (1U1V) team has been honoured with the HKIA Medal of the Year Outside Hong Kong and Special Architectural Award – Social Innovation, the only medal winner this year, along with two graduates who have received the HKIA Student Medal 2020 and an Honourable Mention at the HKIA Young Architect Award 2019 respectively.

Since 1965, the HKIA Annual Awards has been one of the most important architectural awards in Hong Kong for recognising outstanding achievements in architecture. A new category of “Social Innovation” has been set up under the Special Architectural Award this year to push forward innovative ways to upgrade the environment to meet social needs, with an aim of extending and strengthening civil society by creating positive social impact.

The post-earthquake reconstruction demonstration project at Guangming Village designed and built by the 1U1V team responds to the specific context of Guanming Village through the “3L” (local technology, local materials, local labour) principle. The prototype house, constructed for an aged couple in Yunnan Province, demonstrates how bio-climatic design, cost-effectiveness, aesthetics and residential needs can be taken into consideration and implemented simultaneously.

HKIA judges praised the project for providing rural villagers solutions to realise their own houses in a manageable and affordable manner, proving itself to be an influential social and architectural reinvention.

The project, led by Professor Edward NG Yan Yung, Yao Ling Sun Professor of Architecture at CUHK, has won multiple international awards including the Top Award of World Building of the Year 2017 at the World Architecture Festival (WAF), the Gold Award (Residential Category) at the HKIA Cross-Strait Architectural Design Symposium and Awards 2019, the Grand Award (Completed Projects – Residential Building) in the New Buildings Category in the Green Building Award 2019.

CUHK Architecture graduates Wong Lok Hei Jessie (Master of Architecture 2020) and Yiu Kam Po Vince (Master of Architecture 2010) received the HKIA Student Medal 2020 and Honourable Mention at the HKIA Young Architect Award 2019, respectively, on the same occasion.

Jessie explores the idea of regenerative architecture in her award winning thesis Seaweed Machine: Regenerative Architecture at Tung Ping Chau. The project adopts the metaphor of machine to connect different stages of seaweed manufacturing and processing to recycle carbon dioxide, converting the north-easternmost offshore island in Hong Kong into a seaweed-sustained enclave that can generate energy and food.

Seaweed Machine: Regenerative Architecture at Tung Ping Chau proposal by Jessie Wong

Vince, with his design proposal, An Assemble of Tailor-made Homes: First Affordable Housing Pilot Scheme in Tsz Wan Shan, suggests a semi bottom-up design process instead of the conventional top-down one. The government or developers focus on designing decent communal spaces by making use of prefabricated components, while individual occupants work with architects and designers to create their ideal spatial arrangement or façade treatment of their apartments at a reasonable cost.

Their award-winning projects and proposals showcase one of the essential goals of academic research of CUHK School of Architecture – to contribute to the community and improve the living quality of the local neighbourhood through knowledge production. — Construction+ Online