Interior explosions: transforming
Hong Kong's vertical shafts.

Breaking the tyranny of the environmentally controlled interior in Hong Kong. The goal is to reintroduce the elements to the city dweller. The response targets the depths: the tight atriums and vertical shafts. By accepting the density of the city as it is - the question lies in finding a way to change the way we perceive our environment. Inserting a device in to these shafts that will inject them with moments of choreography: projections of depth, light and images of the exterior.

Throughout Hong Kong's typological development, the built environment has transformed into an extreme generic. The repetitious nature combined with tight dimensions leads to an imposing ground condition, where the sense of perspective and the perception of vertical distance is enhanced.

The removal of the sky.

The city-dwellers give up: They prefer covering up the little glimpse of sky they have. In a second round, the city as a whole collapses in regards to experiencing the elements. The tight ground condition is placed into the podium and other forms of interiors. When this happens, the typological street icon of Hong Kong changes and it becomes a flowing network of interior infrastructures. It is possible to move long distances without ever having to step outside of the climatically controlled interior.

"Architectural control must be broken in order to let nature to step in. Industrial city must be ruined through punctual interventions. The valueless void of the current urban development will be filled with ethics – the corners are windy. Urban Bioacupuncture is ecological restoration of existing cities through focus on cracks, holes and organic knowledge. Dictatorship of sensitivity." (Marco Casagrande)

A new city-aquaduct.

Inserting the device into the tightest vertical shafts and passageways of the city, these dark places will be injected with:

1. Air - projections of depth.
2. Light (and water) - in the form of waterlenses, collecting rays, bringing the sky and images of the exterior inside.

The perceptual translator will be implemented on a city scale, primarily targeting Kowloon. The form of implementation varies with the parameters on each treated site.

Palpability. Transformed relation to the the sky.

By breaking and reconfiguring the atrium surface, the pull and imposing characteristic of the perspectival grid is diminished. Combining this with changing the atrium corridor shape to open up towards the sky, the perception of the perspective is further minimized and the sky is no longer pulled away from the ground. It comes closer.

Controlled microcosmoses: How we perceive perspective.

Defining the variables of perception of perspective.

Dissecting Galerie Verdeau in Paris and showing how we perceive a controlled, choreographed sequence through alternating views of perspectival grids. The drawing represents the variables of perceived speed, direction, Newtonian expanse and compression.

Body in space: Drawing the perception.

The perceiving body moving through space.

The Arcades in Paris: How we perceive them expanding and contracting, changing in direction, alternating in speed, dimensions, density and rhythms moving through them.

Rhythms of choreographed microspace.

The Arcades in Paris: A representation of the coherent rhythms of changing directions, speed, sense of compression (related to claustrophobia) and Newtonian expanse if you move through the linear spaces following their choreography.

The grid would start to distort if you started changing the planned sequence and moved off piste.

Liminal passageways of Mongkok.

The tight and dark in-between spaces of Mongkok. Mongkok is chosen as a target-site because of it's extreme form of condensation: It is one of the densest urban areas of the world in terms of population
and it's position in Kowloon is that of one of the most active pockets. A moment of air and silence is needed.

In terms of typologies, Kowloon is generally less developed than Hong Kong Island. A mix of the old tenement housing typology and the new podium structures is evident. There is a potential of stepping back, reassessing the situation again and finding different ways of living with density. Instead of making a complete city-mall, we can learn from creative and informal organizations of micro space found throughout the city. The new atrium skin becomes a framework for organizing micro space connected to private dwelling units, making it more efficient.

Choosing the experimental site for intervention: Sincere house in Argyle street.

Acupunctural synthesis of the microcondition.

The cones vary in relation to and are a result of proximity to triggerpoints around the atrium.

The new skin that will translate space within the units is an interlacing of cones that give an enhanced sense of depth, with water lenses that bring in light and images of the exterior.

The placement, orientation and shape of the cones and lenses are based on a series of parameters in the situation going on around the atrium. For example, each private unit is attached to each their frame with a depth cone. The direction of the projection of the cone is in alignment with the midpoint of the entrance. This way, when you open your door, you have a framed view in perfect perspectival alignment - this will give the perception of increased depth and a projection of the private unit. It gives added space. The cones vary in type, porosity and materiality, depending on their placement around the atrium. The lenses are smallest at the top, where there is not much need for light. In relation to this, the cones become larger and less deep here, opening up to the light in the sky - the whole skin dissolves towards the top. The lenses are largest at the bottom, as well as the depth cones being the deepest, giving strong projections of space where it is needed the most.

Depth enhancement.

The depth-enhancers form a new type of cosmos within the surface of the atrium. They create a grid that will become the framework for a projected additive to the private unit - an in-between of the private and the public. They become capsules of identity and protected, intimate public space.

Transformed and expanded corridors.

The corridors attach to the atrium in a new way.

Exploded plan.

The inserted devices lead to a sense of increased space through perspectival depth enhancement, projections of the exterior into the interior, and generally bringing light from a wide range using the principles of the fish eye lens and projecting it out again once it's inside.

The sum of these actions gives the sense of an exploded plan, a form of expanding landscape opening up inside. New horizons withing each choreographed frame are suggested. The boundaries are blurry.

Prototype: Translative device inserted into an atrium.

The clean water infrastructure redeveloped.

The project changes nothing of the existing structures, except for one thing - the clean water supply. The project brings the water to the surface of the atrium to be displayed and used for ray-collecting.

The reasoning behind this is that a large part of the water circulation in this typology is placed into the shafts. The act of shifting this part of the circulation to the atrium is possible because of the proximity of the shafts to the surface of the atrium.

This infrastructural organization is a common form in Mongkok and is representative of a large part of these structures, that all have pipeline shafts close to the atrium.