Monday, October 12, 2015

ICE @ HK

We have put our focus back to the territory of Hong Kong. Currently working on six projects, that vary in scale, scope and stage, we are glad to bring back our expertise to our home base. Being a smaller design firm, we are always picky about our selected projects, balancing the interest we have for the site and the business potential of the project. Together with our JV partner from L&N Architects, we have currently taken on small to tiny sites with highly complex site constraints, ranging from topographical challenges to construction challenges.


With our hotel project in Shenyang still ongoing, we have stopped bidding for China jobs for over a year now. It has been a slow process of change in the way architecture is done in the PRC. With the current reconfiguration of power in China, architecture is also subject to change.

Architecture being a small potato in the bigger context of things, it is however a visual representation of the willingness of the 'power' to express the ideological direction, it is willing to take. Throughout the last two years, we have been working with clients in China, who may or may not haven't been reached yet by this new agenda. Still they have been pushing us into design territories, we already could anticipate, will cause problems within a short period of time.

Even more, being a commercial firm from abroad, our projects were sooner or later to collide between the healthy and needed correction in the market of architecture and the still existing vanity of certain clients to pursue their dreams of iconography and spectacle.

Being back to Hong Kong is a healthy process of humbling down, dealing with the local regulations and high construction costs only, complying with mandatory requirements of sustainability and insurances and health care for co-workers and even us unrelated construction staff. Solutions have to be found within a holistic understanding of a building. We are architects after all and not designers of dreams any longer.




1 comment: