Rejuvenation in a GREEN approach boosts a dynamic statement to an aging neighbourhood
This project showcases the creation of a new life for a 46 years old dormitory in a dilapidating neighbourhood. Centered on the creation of vocational and clinical services, it is a communal rejuvenation of a left-over urban fabric forgotten by the rapid transformation of adjoining areas into high-rise developments. Located in Tsuen Wan of Hong Kong SAR, the building used to be a dormitory and nursery operated by the services arm of the Catholic Diocesan, Caritas - Hong Kong; and has become unoccupied for years since the degenerating of the neighbourhood when industries moved away.
Urbanage International Ltd., Architects, has been appointed to deliver the project – the essence being to optimize the community use of the space while preserving the original character and the urban fabric heritage in a sustainable design. The project turned out to be remarkably cost-effective and environmentally sustainable in which the street relationship and façade fabric had been preserved in keeping with the older street scale. Rear service lane and abandoned roof are re-modelled into roof gardens and courtyards; a new image injected through the repositioning of an identifiable corner entrance and the use of contextual colour schemes to integrate the building with the scale and motion of the streetscape. The façade has been envisaged as a multi-layered building envelope, integrating preserved heritage features and new elements of sustainable green design.
Full height timber louvers triple act as sun screens, acoustic panels and security shutters along the full stretch of the renovated open balconies. Small wind turbines, solar hot water panels and roof greenery thermal insulation all add to the sustainability of the newly renovated building. The renovated vocational centre and clinic not only rejuvenate the community in functional and visual sense, but also provide the community with a new pride of identity, raising awareness for renewable energy and also a chance for the users to enjoy rare roof greenery in an extremely dense urban fabric. The centre has become operational from early 2012 onwards and has since received the prestigious Grand Award of the Green Buildings Award 2012.