Date
11 December 2017
The eight-storey school building of Chu Hai College of Higher Education, designed by architect Rocco Yim (inset) and his team, is able to meet all the requirements of the school despite the limited space available. Photos: HKIA/HKEJ
The eight-storey school building of Chu Hai College of Higher Education, designed by architect Rocco Yim (inset) and his team, is able to meet all the requirements of the school despite the limited space available. Photos: HKIA/HKEJ

New school building in Tuen Mun wins HKIA best design award

Chu Hai College of Higher Education’s new school building in Tuen Mun has been adjudged this year’s best architectural design in Hong Kong, beating the other 62 entries.

The Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA) conferred the Medal of the Year of Hong Kong to the new campus development in Castle Peak Bay during the group’s annual awards ceremony on Thursday, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

According to the HKIA, the building stands out in the competition because it is able to meet all the requirements of the school despite the limited space, adding that it imbues the campus with a tranquil atmosphere.

Designed by Rocco Design Architects Limited, the eight-story school building with a floor area of 285,000 square feet covers an area of 172,000 sq ft. It cost HK$1.088 billion.

Architect Rocco Yim Sen-kee, the firm’s executive director, led the design team for the building.

He is also the design consultant for the planned Palace Museum in the West Kowloon Cultural District.

Yim’s role in the Palace Museum project has been controversial as he was named by former chief secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, now the chief executive, who was accused of transferring benefits by deciding on the appointment without an open tender.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption has reportedly opened an investigation into Lam’s decision after receiving a complaint.

Talking about the design of the school building, Yim said the challenge was to build it on a relatively small plot while being able to accommodate all the necessary facilities of a tertiary educational institution, including classrooms, a library, a sports center, a cafeteria, an office for staff, etc.

To make the most of the limited space, the building was designed to have two separate parts connected by two flyovers. There is a lawn underneath where students and teachers can relax and study while the library is put at the top to offer a panoramic view of Lantau Island.

Meanwhile, one of the two special jury mentions of this year’s HKIA President’s Prize went to a mansion owned by former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen in Kowloon Tong.

The mansion became controversial in 2012, while Tang was running for chief executive, because of allegations that it had unauthorized construction, prior to its revamp the following year.

The architects responsible for the renovation called the mansion “Bridged House” after the revamp. The architect in charge of the revamp work said the allegedly unauthorized construction has been eliminated, and the current design is totally legal.

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