Kevin Chong

MArch I

Pivoted Frontalities

Advised by Michelle Chang

Symptomatic of the social fractures and economic inequality in postcolonial Hong Kong is a developer-driven typology of residential projects. The past decade has seen a proliferation of otherwise highly standardized residential towers on podi-ums clad in flattened and collaged imagery of such Western tectonic symbols as Greek columns and Roman arches. These aspatial and artificial facades, previ-ously only found in luxury residential complexes, have since infiltrated mid-priced markets, producing branded frontalities that no longer necessarily deliver on the expectations of tectonic integrity, generous living spaces, and first-rate amenities. Nevertheless, the pastiches of Western architectural syntax constitute a consider-able part of property values by appealing to a nostalgia of the now out-of-context “Western” high life, an aspiration repeatedly echoed in recent protests in the city.

Sited in Sha Tin, a new residential town and recent hub of political disputes in Hong Kong, Pivoted Frontalities operationalizes the apparent discontinuity between facade and interior organization in the proposal of a mixed-use complex with residential and retail programs. Rather than treat the facade as a flattened afterthought, the thesis project embraces the mismatch between the aspiration for external legibility and the fidelity to internal layout standardization, reconciling the two through the production of assembly spaces and moments of connections. Speculating a pivot to the existing frontality-driven reading of mid-priced residen-tial projects in Hong Kong, the proposal seeks to resist the by-default reverence to predetermined political and cultural leanings and enable a productive coexis-tence of multiple narratives for living.

Kevin Chong, MArch I. Building model, four parallel towers, two profiles.
Kevin Chong, MArch I.
Massing Diptych: Project as looked upon from the civic plaza and from the inner street.
Kevin Chong, MArch I.
Fragment: Connections between shopping mall to podium, and between podium and restaurant cluster.
Kevin Chong, MArch I.
Fragment: Residential urbanism connecting residents inside apartments and amenity users.
Kevin Chong, MArch I.
Unit plans: modified residential unit configurations.
Kevin Chong, MArch I.
Study models.