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.
Redevelopment of Kwun Tong Swimming Pool Complex and Kwun Tong Recreation Ground in Kowloon, Hong Kong by Ronald Lu & Partners
June 23rd, 2017 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Ronald Lu & Partners
A New Community Hub for Kwun Tong
The project aimed to transform this community recreation hub in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner to meet the demands of the growing Kwun Tong district population.
The redevelopment of the Kwun Tong Swimming Pool and Recreation Ground was conducted in two phases. Phase One consisted of a new five-pool complex, which included a FINA standard indoor pool with a 1,500-seat spectator stand for competitions and local events; while Phase Two saw the development of outdoor leisure facilities including an artificial turf soccer pitch with a 200-seat outdoor spectator stand, hard-paved soccer pitches, basketball and volleyball courts, an elderly fitness area, children’s play areas, a roller skating rink and a jogging trail.
A Complex in A Park in the Community
The redevelopment’s master plan was designed to integrate the site’s many functions into the existing urban fabric, facilitating 24-hour north-south access across the site. The plan envisaged a holistic integrated design which responded to the surrounding environment in the form of a “continuous green line” from the recreation ground to the swimming pool complex, ensuring that the building became part of the park.
The design consisted of integrated planes connected by accessible footpaths, with various activities conducted on each plane, leading to a continuous unfolding articulation on the relatively flat site. Two gently distorted interlocking volumes enhance the visual effect and reduce the negative impacts on sensitive receivers, while their disposition shields the open space and recreation amenities from pollutants and noise from major roads and railways. The reduced building mass and increased green area added 20 per cent to the amenity open space.
Accessible Greenery at All Levels
The site allows barrier-free access from all directions via footpaths. The ball court fences are transparent and articulated, stressing the visual connection between the surrounding streets and the focal point – the swimming pool complex.
The crush hall is a key orientation point, acting as a wind corridor and inviting natural light into the complex. The elevations are largely glazed, allowing sunlight penetration and creating a visual connection with the outdoor recreation ground.
The open landscaped deck resembles a “green carpet” running around the complex, bringing the public from the spectator stand level to the green corridor, with trellises and trees providing the recreation ground with shade. Various planting features, including vertical greening on the façade and on-grade planters along the site’s periphery, create a prominent and harmonious green environment for the community.
Promoting Leisure within the Community
The Kwun Tong Swimming Pool complex is one of the most popular public swimming pools in Hong Kong. With its vast open space, the Kwun Tong Recreation Ground hosts the district’s annual Lunar New Year Fair. The project demonstrates how sustainable design can be executed by giving due consideration to social dynamics, creating a design with high building performance that also caters for the needs of the community – a true demonstration of how architecture can help create social sustainability.
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