The Desk From Old to Green Coworking Space by Cocoon Architecture Ltd.

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DESIGN DETAILS
DESIGN NAME:
The Desk From Old to Green

PRIMARY FUNCTION:
Coworking Space

INSPIRATION:
"To allow the old fragment to maintain its own identity, its own history..., you increase the tension between the NEW and the OLD." Carlo SCARPA. Every building has its own life. When you CONSERVE a building, you extend its LIFE through architectural treatment. However, in most of the cases in Hong Kong it shall be regarded as preservation. Preservation retains most of the original stuffs and prevent any new ideas append to the old. When you preserve something, it is already dead. We can see in Scarpa's conservation project Castelvecchio in Verona the blending of new and old which give a new and continuing life of the old castle. We conduct a conservation experiment in a site in Saiwan, Hong Kong. The site is originally a shop, undergoing several renovations and was an art school before we took over it. It is a typical block residential building of the 60s which you can see everywhere in Saiwan. The methodology we adopted is first to retrieve the history of the premises. Then we identify the trait of the changes and the key components of the building. Finally we decide which part to be revealed and which part to be reinforced, which can express the character of the building as well as meeting the contemporary needs.

UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
There are 3 elements we extracted are the LIGHTWELL, the BACKYARD, and the BALCONY. LIGHTWELLS are used in old Hong Kong buildings mainly for ventilation of the internal toilets. Eventually, the light well becomes loaded with other buildings services like ducts and condensers of air-conditioners etc and poses adverse hygienic effect. Moreover its colossal size becomes an obstruction inside the interior space. We examined the 7 lightwells. We rearranged the services inside and turned one of them into a small skylight. By inserting greens into it, we made it an inhabitable small garden.

OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The BACKYARD is a place for kitchen for the old 60s buildings. The art school turned it into an art store. We keep part of the structure and make it a small internal courtyard which becomes a nice outdoor communal space for the coworking space. BALCONY is a common feature of old Hong Kong buildings. As the air-conditioning prevails, people are more used to enclosed spaces with windows. In view of the great overhang of this building, we introduce again the balcony to save energy. It also reinforces the connection between outside and inside when people can work outside when weather is fine.

PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project is located in Saiwan, a local Hong Kong district. The site is originally a shop, undergoing several renovations and was an art school before we took over it. It is a typical block residential building of the 60s which you can see everywhere in Saiwan. The architectural design started in December 2015 and the construction started In March 2016 and completed in May.

FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Architecture, Building and Structure Design

PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The forming of lightwell, backyard and balcony implicitly infiltrates green into the old building, which we identified them as FOCAL GREEN, EXTENDED GREEN and INDENTED GREEN respectively. In addition to the plant within them, they demonstrate the use of passive environmental measures like natural breeze, sunshading and cross ventilation etc. Through the green settings, we encourage people to live with nature by using less mechanical means.

SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
The ground floor and the mezzanine floor are around 750sq ft. We kept the compressiveness of the mezzanine floors which make visitors feel a sudden change of scale when they reach the 4000 sq ft 1st floor. Materials used: brick in original walls, exposed concrete of existing beams and the metal structure of the old staircase are revealed as it is. It lets people trace back the history of the building. Together with some low key raw materials like white paint, exposed cement sand floor finishes and expanded metal panels, it shows a mixed ambience of retro and modern at the same time.

TAGS:
#conservation # renovation #Carlo Scarpa #coworking # community #workplace #natural light #green #lightwell #backyard #balcony

RESEARCH ABSTRACT:
Hong Kong is rapidly changing and buildings are always under renovation using new and different materials. This ADDITIONAL approach effaces the characteristics of the premises and not environmental friendly. We do SUBTRACTION instead. The structure and the layering of finishes are examined. The original materials exposed reveal its traces of history. This is an experimental demonstration for the future renovation. We put waste materials to stylish use in a green and economic way. The carbon footprint is minimized through reducing both demolition waste and new building materials.

CHALLENGE:
The Challenge lies in the request of a low budget but a characteristic workplace. We avoid extensive use of new materials by revealing some of the old material like brick in original walls, exposed concrete of existing beams and the metal structure of the old staircase. It lets people trace back the history of the building. Together with some low key raw materials like white paint, exposed cement sand floor finishes and expanded metal panels, it shows a mixed ambience of retro and modern at the same time.

ADDED DATE:
2017-09-22 10:55:31

TEAM MEMBERS (3) :
Yung Chung Kwong, Chiu Hang Mei Mary Grace and Kong Pui Sze Jessica

IMAGE CREDITS:
Cocoon Architecture Ltd., 2017.

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CLIENT/STUDIO/BRAND DETAILS
NAME:
cocoon architecture ltd.

PROFILE:
cocoon architecture is a progressive architectural practice based in Hong Kong. Like cocoon incubates to become butterfly, the firm aims to incubate the client’s ideas and delivers them into an architecture that fits. The practice works on residential, cultural and commercial projects, providing full professional consultancy services in architecture, master planning and interior design services. The design team has won numerous international awards including: Winner of the Young Architects’ Award; 40 Under 40 Award; “Perspective Award”, Design for Asia Award, Architects Regional Council Asia Prize, etc. The projects had been exhibited in ''La Biennale di Venezia'' in Italy,Hong Kong, Asia and other places worldwide. The co-founder of the firm, Chiu Hang Mei Mary Grace & Yung Chung Kwong, has been the Assistant Professor in the University of Hong Kong and City University of Hong Kong teaching architectural design studio. They have also been actively involving in academic and community activities and has been invited as juror, interviewer, speaker, guest critics and registration committee for various professional institutes and government authorities.

NOMINATION DETAILS

The Desk From Old to Green Coworking Space by Cocoon Architecture Ltd is a Nominee in Interior Space and Exhibition Design Category.

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AWARD DETAILS

The Desk From Old to Green Coworking Space by Cocoon Architecture Ltd is Winner in Interior Space and Exhibition Design Category, 2017 - 2018.



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