Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Cheung Fai building in Hong Kong, China by MVRDV
March 27th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: MVRDV
GAW Capital and MVRDV have started construction on the Cheung Fai building in Hong Kong which transforms a former warehouse into offices for creative companies. The building with a surface of 18.000 m² is situated at Kwun Tong waterfront in Hong Kong’s new designated business area of East Kowloon. The transformation aims to create a luxurious loft style working environment by replacing everything but the primary concrete structure of the building with glass and stainless steel infill, exposing the building’s infrastructure. Completion is scheduled for September 2015.
The conversion of Cheung Fai building is one of the pioneer projects in Kwun Tong district of East Kowloon, a former industrial area which is currently being redeveloped to become one of Hong Kong’s newest business center. The 14-storey building occupies a corner site on Wai Yip Street offering views to Victoria Harbor and the future Kai Tak ferry terminal.
In 2013 project developer GAW Capital commissioned MVRDV to convert the former warehouse into offices for a maximum of 37 units with shops and parking on the ground floor and restaurants on the first and second floor. The conversion is restricted to the existing envelope by local building regulations. In order to create attractive, yet affordable and well lit office space within the 36.5m deep floor plan, the design opted for an open, loft style environment which exposes the raw structure complemented with glass-only finishes: the Glass Office.
The building is stripped down to its primary structure; glass is inserted between columns and beams as floor and ceiling finishes, partitions and doors, clearly distinguishing old and new, showing how the building works right down to the installations. The service core is conceived as a linear, transparent block between offices and communal space executed in 1-hour fire rated glass allowing light to enter the office space.
All non-loadbearing façade elements are replaced by glass for the maximum amount of light reaching the interior; all structural façade elements are executed in white coated concrete. The top floor becomes a communal terrace for breaks and informal meetings with magnificent views. The rear façade currently faces a disused service alley. By being the first to upgrade it the same way as the front façade, the objective is to eventually turn the alley into usable attractive public space, once more buildings on Wai Yip Street have been converted.
The Cheung Fai Building transformation is MVRDV’s first realization in Hong Kong. MVRDV collaborates with local architect Raymond Chan Surveyors Ltd., structural advisors AC Technik (HK) Ltd., E & M advisors VIGOR Engineering Consultants Ltd, property managers CBRE and cost advisor Rider Levett Bucknall.
MVRDV was set up in 1993 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. MVRDV engages globally in providing solutions to contemporary architectural and urban issues. A research based and highly collaborative design method engages experts from all fields, clients and stakeholders in the creative process. The results are exemplary and outspoken buildings, urban plans, studies and objects, which enable our cities and landscapes to develop towards a better future.
Early projects by the office, such as the headquarters for the Dutch Public Broadcaster VPRO and WoZoCo housing for the elderly in Amsterdam lead to international acclaim. MVRDV develops its work in a conceptual way in which the changing conditions are visualised and discussed through designs, sometimes literally through the design and construction of a diagram. The office continues to pursue its fascination for and methodical research on density using a method of shaping space using the complex amounts of data that accompany contemporary building and design processes.The work of MVRDV is exhibited and published worldwide and has received numerous international awards. Seventy architects, designers and other staff develop projects in a multi-disciplinary, collaborative design process which involves rigorous technical and creative investigation.
MVRDV works with BIM and has official in-house BREEAM and LEED assessors. Together with Delft University of Technology, MVRDV runs The Why Factory, an independent think tank and research institute providing an agenda for architecture and urbanism by envisioning the city of the future.