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Kai Tak Kunsthalle

This proposal was an exploration into the latent design potential of structural efficiency in the design of a 30,000 SF art museum in Hong Kong. The building is clad with a light-weight box skin to offset the heaviness of the structural element and is manipulated to take advantage of programmatic and site positioning opportunities. The roof is activated with public and semi-private programs; seminar rooms and a café, which overlook the galleries. Our design began with a long shallow arch with height to span proportions which were not self-supportive. Utilizing digital software, the arch was deformed until it could carry its own weight.

Horizontal loads and vertical loads are expressed differently in the formal language of the building. Rectilinear extrusions are structurally supportive, but where the coffers are extruded as expressive non-supportive elements, the extrusions loft from a square into a circular or elliptical profile depending on the angle of the deformation. The coffers of the waffle are extruded down to the ground plane as columns at three key moments to support the structure. These elements respond to programmatic needs in the following ways- they are occupiable by people and objects (art can be installed within them in the galleries), they offer spotlights or ‘rooms’ within the exhibition spaces offering unique light and acoustic qualities, and they provide vertical circulation via elevators.

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