這個城市是我們的家 | Where You and I call home

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回顾过去40年的香港城市化进程,是纯粹基於在特定的范围空间内去寻求最直接及可量度的环境元素的解决问题方案,譬如建筑高度,可建造的建筑面积,建筑基底覆盖率等,但完全忽略了一个可持续发展的城市生活环境所必备的其他更重要元素。

同时,一个完善的城市化发展不单只是关於建筑风格及建筑立面处理的争论,如果我们相信只是这麽一回事的话,这解释了为什麽我们只看见大量平平无奇的高层模块坐落於大方块的裙楼之上,是完全没有自己的特色,也与邻近的社区地貌不发生任何的关联。

香港很多旧区都面临着重新规划发展的压力,比如观塘及九龙湾等旧工业区和香港西及坚尼地城等旧居住及综合住宅区。 重建应该是可以给城市带来有价值的城市更新机会。 这些旧城区,部分已经相当残旧,其现在的状态已经不能提供最好的社会价值,尽管如此,这些旧城区仍扮演着一个城市不可或缺的角色。这些旧城区混合居住着各收入阶层人士,但却形成了多功能及多元社区的香港独有文化。 这些旧城区,没有灿烂的建筑内容,但却洋溢着其独一无二的地区文化。

很遗憾地说,新的城区发展采用几乎划一通用的标准,唯一的购物功能占尽沿街物业的每一寸空间,商店的橱窗被推至建筑红线的极限边界,没有给街道预留任何空间,从而扼杀了街头文化及生活的有机形成。

近年来,我们总是用 “可持续发展”这名词实在太多了,甚至已经发展成无论是贸易或商业界别都推崇的用词。 但什麽是“可持续发展”呢?放眼世界,现代大都会城市的焦点已经由只表彰“增长率”丶“成本效益”及“城市化工程解决方案”转换为如何获得“价值提升”,和如何去提升“生活质素”。

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真正意义上的“可持续发展”不应只是一种重复通用及划一标准的高层单栋组合,这类组合唯一的变化只是为了满足建筑条例上的日照及通风功能要求。显然更重要的城市发展元素应该是“建筑物与建筑物之间的地面区间/空间,或者有人会称之为“负空间”,这名辞与“虚拟空间”有异曲同工之效。

虚拟空间是一个可塑造心灵/精神空间丶是一个具文化的空间,可以提供一个供人们表达情感丶互动丶思考丶享受,提高生活质量以及歌颂生命活力的空间环境。这样一个心灵/精神空间其重要性更甚於两旁赋予此空间其定义及诠释的建筑物。 而当作为建筑师如果可以技巧地平衡到建筑实体及此虚拟空间的塑造,他是成功的,否则由他所设计的城市建筑是没有灵魂,且不能提供一座城市应有的文化尊重,赋予城市居民具生命力的回忆,通过非病理性治愈社会问题的选择以及可持续发展的大前提。

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For the past 40 years the urbanization of Hong Kong has been based on a pure exercise of problem-solving within the confines of a given space to satisfy purely measurable attributes such as building height, buildable floor area, foot-print of the building etc., but completely missing out on some of the most important elements of sustainable urban living.

On the other hand, good urbanism is not just a squabble about building style and elevational treatment, to believe so is the reason why we only have seas of mediocre-looking high-rise blocks sitting on big slab-like podiums which take on no character of its own nor relevance to the neighbourhood they are situated.

Many old districts in Hong Kong have long been under pressure for redevelopment, such as the old industrial areas of Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay, and the old residential and mixed-used areas of Hong Kong Western District and Kennedy Town. Redevelopment should provide valuable opportunity for urban renewal. These old districts, quite dilapidated in some cases, have not been put to the best use in terms of value to society; nevertheless they do carry unique characters of their own. These old districts housed a population having a diversity of incomes but intimately woven into a mixed-use community very uniquely Hong Kong. These old districts, although not rich in architectural content nonetheless carry significance in terms of unique local district culture.

Regrettably, new developments take on a universally standard version. Shop spaces invariably occupy every inch of the street frontage under a commercial podium with all shop-fronts being pushed to the extreme limits of the site boundary leaving no relieve for any form of street life, and imposing on the pedestrians what could be totally irrelevant and unimaginative display of merchandize offering no value to the quality of urban life.

In recent years, we talked about “sustainability” so much it became a universal word for almost all trades and businesses. However, what is “sustainable development”? All over the world, modern metropolis have already drifted their focus from “Growth Rate”, “Cost Effectiveness” and “Utilitarian Engineering Solutions” to how to achieve “Value Enhancement”, and how to improve the “Quality of Life”.

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A truly “sustainable development” should not be just an exercise to erect identical point blocks with variation only to satisfy the lighting and ventilation requirements of the Buildings Ordinance. Of more importance is the “Area / Space in between the buildings” or some may call it the “Negative Space”, a terminology having a similar analogy as “Virtual Space”.

Virtual space can be a spiritual space, a cultural space which is capable of creating an environment of expression, reflection, enlightenment, glorification, appreciation and celebration of life. This spiritual space is more important than the architecture that gives the space its finality and definition. Where the architect manages to strike a balance in the dialogue between the architecture and this virtual space he is successful, failing which, the architect’s construct has no soul and cannot provide a city with cultural respect, with life-giving reminiscence, with non-pathological healing, and with sustainability.

#edwardshen #srtdesign #srt #sustainability #honghong

 

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