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Hong Kong House

Echigo Tsumari, 2017

Proposal for a Echigo Tsumari Hong Kong House Competition

Design Team: Paul Mok, Christiane Lange

Negotiating Outside and Inside - Human and Nature

The Hong Kong House proposal is inspired by the credo of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Trinnale: “to reveal existing assets of the region through artist creation, appreciation, and participation and to rebuild the relationship between human and nature”.  


With the design concept of a ‘house within the house’, the proposed design negotiates between art and architecture, openness and transparency, living and exhibition in all four seasons, as well as the discourse on contemporary global architecture and regional building type and material use:


The outer house is built in form of an archetypal house, the form that is predominantly found in this region. It acts as a semi-open garden. In summer, it turns into an open structure with all window open, allowing natural cooling and ventilation. In winter, most of the window units are closed and the shelter warms up like a greenhouse. At the time of the festival, the Hong Kong House becomes an open invitation with a playful, transparent and open facade that showcases events, arts, as well as the use of space by the artists.


The inner house consists of two parts: the exhibition space on the ground level and the artist residency on the upper. The exhibition space is framed by a wooden shelving structure that takes reference of the regional use of material and transparency in its architecture; particularly the transitioning of the outer house to the inner house is found in traditional Japanese architecture. The shelving structure here creates means for shading, planting, and places for artists to exhibit art works. On top of the exhibition space is the artist residency and storerooms. Whereas the Hong Kong house is open and transparent, the artist residency is designed in form of enclosed wooden houses.

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