Work title: A ''Peak Collar''
Past Forward ''The Peak'' Architectural Competition
Architect Hadid brought a refreshing method to The ''Peak'' Architectural Competition, Hong Kong in 1982~3, when a complete re-thinking of the architectural design process was paramount. The Post-Modern Movement had lead the consciousness of architectural design to a mirror, with nothing more than a narcissistic, self-referential reflection of itself looking back. Design had staled-out in a feedback-loop of emblematic cliché. Thanks to innovative re-thinkers and risk-takers, such as Zaha Hadid, historical precedence, and the over simplified, regurgitation of thinly worn iconography was finally shelved for a more ''base'' and ontological approach to the architectural process; ultimately leading to a complete paradigm shift, and in my humble opinion, a Renaissance in design thought and conceptualization. The ability to provide a few footnotes to this process in 2012; on the coat-tails of such a Seminal Design Competition, is truly, an honor.
Through the very same ontological aperture used by Hadid in 1982, we sought an expansion of understanding for this design. By using Hadid''s root notion, as ''point of departure,'' we simply expanded consideration beyond those of pure Geology. After all, this site embodies more than the naked body of the stone upon which it so prominently rests. Yes, if the Geology and stone might be considered the body, so to the foliage which overlays the site might be considered the fabric of the garment it wears, and so to, the water, which has helped shape its body, and the surrounding atmosphere and vista which the body and garment seek protection against, and interaction with.
With such a conceptual framework in-place, we simply went a few steps further, to more specifically understand and define what the nature of ''the body,'' ''the garment'' and the relationship of the two, to ''the environment'' could be . We sought to more specifically define what the role of our architectural incursion might be--and arrived at the idea of the Garment Collar. A fundamental understanding of a Garments Collar might be found in the suggestion that it is a functionally designed piece of fabric allowing the body, specially the head, the ability to sense and function in its surrounding environment; while still affording the Garments protection. So if one was to return to the Geology of the site ''as body,'' and the foliage and treed canopy that drapes the body as an article of its clothing [or garment]; then furthermore, one might consider our design proposition as the Fabric Collar of such a Garment. The Garment Collar is supported by the body, or the stone and rock of the underlying site, while maintaining its own material nature; or that of the fabric from which it is born, in this case, the wooded canopy blanketing the site; with a functional nature: that of, offering an ability for the body to sense and absorb its environmental surrounding, but always done with a sense of style and design. In short, this is how we attempted to engender our design for this The Peak 2012; Past Forward Design Competition.
Additionally, it was of equal import to keep the site as vertically transparent (in experience) as possible. Meaning, ensuring that the vertical nature of any proposition, lend itself to ''the pass-through experience'', rather than to anything directly about itself. A successful design would be understood more as a framework for place--as opposed to the place. And not only for the occupants of the Club itself, but rather for any/everyone on Mount Austin/Victoria Peak. More to the point, providing Vista not only to the Club Occupants, but to any passer-by--an invitation, if you will, to see Hong Kong through the framework, or the aperture of the proposition itself.
In closing, three postscripts:
One, curve-linear walls were used as a core design element for both privacy, as well as, a more earthquake resistant geometry in an active Seismic/Fault Zone.
Two, our design has located all vehicular parking under building, and away from all key sight-lines. Grade shaping will be used in conjunction with site design sensitive obstruction to hide all vehicular parking areas from Club Occupants, as well as, all passers-by.
Three, all design program was intentionally elevated (with the exception of the pool and spa areas) in anticipation of possibility flooding damage that could occur during the height of the Cyclone Season.