Zaha Hadid’s first permanent building in Hong Kong is due to complete this year and it has just been announced that the banded tower at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University will be used as the base for Hong Kong’s first Desigh Institute for Social Innovation. The University has been aided in this venture by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust who donated HK$249m to the cause.
PolyU President Professor Timothy W. Tong explains: “This is the largest single donation ever received by the University since its establishment in 1937. We are truly grateful for the Jockey Club for their generous support to this project as well as many other initiatives undertaken by PolyU over the years.” After the building project was approved back in 2009, PolyU were required to fund a quarter of the necessary construction costs.
The Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation will support students in the study of social issues arising in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta Region, addressed through the themes of Service Design, Sustainable Environment, Holistic Health, and Adolescent and Family Development. The building will become a blended space for academia and business as well as the development of research and product design for the betterment of local residents.
Mr. T. Brian Stevenson, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, stated: “We believe that the Institute will provide a springboard of community education and training; foster student learning and help nurture a new generation of design professionals who are not only innovative but also socially conscious.”