Chinese University of Hoong Kong and
International Forum on Urbanism at
Shenzhen & Hong Kong
Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism | Architecture
Re-Do New Town: Hung Shui Kiu
20th December 2013
E220 at Energizing Kowloon East Office (EKEO)
The exhibition takes on the topic of future Hong Kong new towns with a contemporary look at Hung Shui Kiu, an area located in the northwest corner of New Territories, and a future site for a major urban development in Hong Kong. Today a dormant mixture of container yards, small industries and old villages, Hung Shui Kiu neighbors the towering suburb of Tin Shui Wai and looks toward the mainland across the Shenzhen Bay. Surprisingly, far more than the skyscrapers in the business districts, this plain “realness” and rural-like existence is the scene for many critical questions in Hong Kong urbanism today. The future planning of Hung Shui Kiu should challenge the previous attempts for a ready-made ideal communities and urban typologies and re-think the ideal city not as a utopian end-result, but a process allowing for multitude of voices, and even unplanned and unexpected results.
再造新城: 洪水橋: 這個展覽的話題是用現代的眼光來看待香港未來洪水橋新城的開發。洪水橋坐落於新界西北角，是將來香港的主要城市發展區。洪水橋的未來規劃應帶挑戰之前試圖建成一個現成的理想社區和城市類型的想法，並且重新思考作為一個一個理想的城市，雖然不必是一個烏托邦式結局，但是是一個允許多種聲音參與的過程，是一個甚至沒有特定規劃和預期結果的過程。
The Square and the Big Tree in Lo Uk Tsuen Village
On 24 January 2013, I was standing under a big tree on a little square in Lo Uk Tsuen (羅屋村). Its trunk was protected by a small circular stone wall and in front of it, yet still under its crown, incense was burning in a small matching stone censer. A few kids were playing, a lady was doing her laundry, and several persons passed by. It looked like the heart of one of the villages or ‘tsuens’ of Hung Shui Kiu. It also acted as its entrance as it was positioned at its edge. The houses around were extended with all kinds of annexes and extra levels. On the streets, residents appropriated space with pot plants and a variety of other things. The density was clearly quite high and the urban space felt like a living room. An old-school figure ground analyses wouldn’t give us much open space. When I walked beyond the tree, street-like corridors led me to the next tsuen. Here in Tung Tau (東頭村), built structures and urban spaces more or less looked the same, but a small monumental temple place had adopted the communal role. People sitting under a line of trees aside looked at me with questioning eyes. They scanned who I was and why on earth my students and I were making pictures of this space. Walking out again, I faced huge piles of containers, rusty remaining relics of Modern society. At its backcloth the residential high-rise of Tin Shui Wai.
In its 5th edition, the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism / Architecture (UABB) has baan the only biennial exhibition in the world to be based exclusively on the themes of urbanism and urbanization. The Biennale has been co-organized by Shenzhen and Hong Kong, two of the most intensely urban cities in the world, where political and economical contexts have shaped unique urban dynamics.
Colin Fournier, chief curator, states:
Beyond the edge of the city we know lies the city we dream of, the city we long for but never reach, the “ideal city”. At the edge, the old rules of the city loose their hold, allowing it to reinvent itself, redefine its values and create new forms. The edge is never far away: the city of our dreams might be here and now, close to us, nesting within the familiar confines of our towns, transforming them from the inside, a city within the city, the boundary between the known and the unknown being conceptual rather than physical. What do we most desire from our cities and from their architecture? What are our current interpretations of the ideal city? Is the question still relevant? Is Hong Kong an ideal city? If not, what would it take to become one? And for whom?
Hong Kong – Shenzhen | Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism Architecture 2013 港深城市|建築雙城雙年展