Forward-thinking revival concepts for Central Market in Honk Kong featured in exhibition
Barrie Ho Architecture has released an architectural design for the revitalisation of the former Central Market at the ‘Central Oasis’ site itself. Themed ‘Urban Cocoon’, the concept takes the metaphor of a transforming change, through which the revitalised design could expand vertically upwards and downwards within the retained façade, into a ‘city health station’ housing a multifunctional amphitheatre, cultural and design retail, green deck on roof floor and a butterfly cone. It is hoped that this innovative design would cleanse the existing dogmatic beliefs on revitalisation and raise the bar in the public’s understanding of conservation.
The architectural designer for ‘Urban Cocoon’ Barrie Ho believes that any design concepts or directions should be based on a flexible idea of revitalisation, rather than just ‘mummifying’ the architecture and preserving just for the sake of it. Modernist architecture, the design style of which the Central Market belongs, focuses on timelessness and flexibility.
The design extends the building height by 2 floors above and 1 below, enlarging the floor area to some 160,000sq ft to meet the expanded need of the district as a result of the times. Themed to provide a green living, the concept by Barrie Ho Architecture includes an amphitheatre for free performances on the LG/F, up above are green living shops, workshops and galleries. The atrium is also widened in the scheme, for a visual connectedness among the floors as much as introducing maximised sunlight. The streets surrounding the former Central Market is also proposed to be pedestrianised on holidays for a better sense of community within the district as well as for a maximised free public open space.
The concept of sustainability stretches from the renewed structure to the many green features. The new Upper Roof Floor is a green garden open to the public 24/7, equipped with rain collectors, photocells, wind turbines, bicycle pedal power generators, etc. The top most Solar Roof Floor is the Green Techno Trail, where visitors could go up observe and be educated about the green technologies on Upper Roof Floor at close range. The design is also green in the sense that only fresh air inlets to be installed for the atrium, rather than air conditioning.
The green concept of ‘Urban Cocoon’ welcomes comments from the general public at various exhibition locations in Hong Kong.