Hong Kong University 2007
Studio Leslie Lu


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This project proposes to create new free public space within the abandonned Central Market Building situated in the very center of Hong Kong.
The confrontation between nature and artefact seems to be obsolete in our era. In fact, urban parks, polders, robots, clones, transgenic plants and animals are examples of a new kind of ambiguous status. This project questions this ambiguity between artefact and nature that I propose to entitlle android nature. In this regard, this new public space can be considered as a living entity completely autonomous from human intervention.

Instead of following the usual way of city’s evolution by destroying this building, the project proposes to invest it as an urban ruin and then to use it to hos a Matta Clarkian virus. As some Hong Kong ficus’ roots are growing on stone walls, the project’s structure cling to the Central Market object and provoke in a symbolic way the slough of the building which is reduced to its essential: its structure. It thus acquires a very important porosity which allows its space to be open to the whole city and can be crossed in every direction. This urban space does not have very clear boundaries and keep being open all the time; the environment is living by itself and is not used for any commercial purposes. Thereby, it belongs to nobody and everybody at the same time. It attemps to design the city in a palimpsest way.

Léopold Lambert / Architect[e], Editor & Writer