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Up-Cycling the Vernacular: Reinterpreting the Self-Build Constructions in New Territory, Hong Kong

Part 2 Project 2021
Heng Jiang
Chinese University of Hong Kong | China
“Vernacular” is often associated with the traditional. However, in nowadays Hong Kong villages, many of the traditional buildings are replaced by self-built metal houses. These neglected metal houses to some extent represent the daily life of the villagers. Could they be defined as an alternative vernacular architecture of Hong Kong?

The project aims to reinterpret the self-built languages to form a design to express the current condition of the villages in Hong Kong. The design wishes to inherit the essence of the self-build typology through spatial and material characteristics.

The characteristics of the metal house were researched and defined. The interweaving of roof and wall elements and their materials: the corrugated zinc panels and OSB boards, together forms the unique vernacular building language.

The final design proposal is defined as an up cycling center with a factory and a workshop. After the wastes are processed, some materials will be available to be recollected for the public. The center also invites the public to use recycled material, creating artworks and holding exhibitions. Some partition walls of the buildings also employ these self produced recycled building materials so it allows the villagers to create their own identity to the center.

Heng Jiang


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