Author: Romaneek Rattu
Tutors: Andrew Yau + Andrei Martin
University of Westminster, London
Compressed and compacted, Hong Kong is a city of hyper compartmentalization – a tetris-like metropolis of excessive vertical stacking and regimented categorization. It houses 7.3 million people condensed into just 427 square miles of land area, resulting in the extreme nature of its world-renowned urban density like no other. With approximately 6690 occupiers per square kilometer, every fraction of livable, workable, usable space is savoured, fuelling a relentless economy of space, scale + occupiers alike.
Whether the hyper-efficient compartment space is as effective experientially as it is dimensionally is open-ended, formatting a lifestyle of living, working and playing on the XS-scale. What if the Hong Kong compartment space is not experienced as compartmentalized, re-constructed to alter the perception and sensation of scale in a city so obsessed with it?
Kowloon Hyper-Block introduces an alternative reality to this spatial confinement through challenging the conventional qualities of the compartment space, proposing a hybridization of residing, culture + commerce for international tourism district Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. The phenomenon of the porous compartment interface creates a typological synergy between the three subdivided elements, using the interstitial play/leisure component in the typical housing block as a binding agent as opposed to yet another insertion into the city’s bricolage – a device of spatial relief generating an ambiguity of scale.