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Building Enclosure in Hong Kong

Building Enclosure in Hong Kong

Wong Wah Sang
Copyright Date: 1998
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Building Enclosure in Hong Kong
    Book Description:

    This book examines in detail the external walls of buildings in Hong Kong. It is organized into two parts. The first part of the book presents readers with various factors such as technology and sustainability that affect the design of external walls. The twenty case studies in the second part illustrate a range of external wall designs in current trends that take account of both environmental and aesthetic issues. This book will be of interest to all practitioners, academics and students working in the field of architecture and building technology.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-048-7
    Subjects: Architecture and Architectural History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-vii)
    Eric K.C. Lye

    This publication is a significant first step in dealing with the problem of building enclosure in Hong Kong. The hot, humid climate usually creates many problems for enclosures, especially when air and water pollution affect the outer surface of buildings. This is often compounded in Hong Kong by condensation and poor exterior and interior maintenance.

    I am happy to see that a publication of this kind has appeared. I hope it sets a trend so that more technical feedback can help architects and clients become more aware of the technical as well as aesthetic issues relating to enclosures.

    I am...

    (pp. viii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Part I: Introduction

      (pp. 1-8)

      What is the enclosure of a building?

      Le Corbusier wrote: ‘A mass is enveloped in its surface, a surface which is divided up according to the directing and generating lines of the mass; and this gives the mass its individuality’.

      The enclosure is the building skin or envelope covering the building mass and forming the building elevation or facade. Creation and order are the directing and generating lines from the building mass which means the plan in three-dimensional form and space. The enclosure gives the architectural expression which is unique to the building mass.

      The building enclosure has the following...

  7. Part II: Hong Kong Case Studies

    • Environmental Issues

        (pp. 9-24)

        This is a case study of a high-rise housing design demonstrating different design strategies for dealing with environmental problems. The basic technique is not using sophisticated high-tech expensive products but common local construction technology to achieve environmental benefits by careful planning and detailing. However, not all the design strategies have been implemented in the final construction due to other considerations. This design has already indicated an environmental concern. It is envisaged that more promotion and education on environmental protection issues will be necessary to sustain the man-made environment in Hong Kong.

        This project is in the new town of Tseung...

        (pp. 25-34)

        This case study presents another project that exploits environmental techniques to construct an energy efficient building. Site planning and massing are the initial steps to consider for saving energy. Thus, the buildings are planned with the short sides facing east and west. Machinery rooms are placed on positions with strong sun. This reflects the planning for environmental control. The roof is an area with much solar exposure. In this project, landscape planting, water features and covered walkways are placed on the rooftop forming usable amenities as well as an insulating layer.

        The site is a six-hectare site on Tsing Yi...

        (pp. 35-44)

        This is a small project using simple environmental strategies to enclose the building, allowing natural lighting and cross ventilation. The two blocks of public toilet demonstrate simplicity of the design and illustrate the possibilities for environmental control.

        This is a rural site next to the Po Lin Monastery and the Buddha Statue on Lantau Island on Ngong Ping Road. In this location, vernacular principles are used to derive the building enclosure as well as to monitor the interior environment.

        This is a one-storey building; the design of the roof is therefore a major consideration for the building enclosure. To allow...

        (pp. 45-54)

        This is another case study of a building enclosure which focuses on environmental control. The project is a three-storey building housing the market stalls in the lower two levels. The machinery rooms are on the top floor. This offers a thermal insulation buffer against the solar heat gain on the roof.

        The site is located on the outlying island of Peng Chau. With the last natural environment around the site, the project is designed to be environmental friendly.

        The building is mechanically ventilated but can also be naturally ventilated. This is facilitated by a mechanically operable louvre system within the...

    • Small Building Design

        (pp. 55-64)

        This case study is an example of a small house design using local construction techniques. The two-storey house is intended for single family living. Accommodation includes three bedrooms, a living/dining area and a kitchen. The total floor area of the two storeys is only about 70 m². A small garden with carpark is also provided.

        The site is amidst a group of houses in a residential area in Yuen Long. Ten houses are located on this site which is elevated on a level platform to give a better view and exposure.

        The enclosure for the house expresses a wish to...

    • Cladding and Glass Wall

        (pp. 65-78)

        This is a project using modern materials to match with the details of an existing old landmark. The scale of the much larger extension is broken down by dividing the elevation into smaller parts. This is made possible by using vertical stripes of dark colour curtain wall. The result is an integrated composition of old and new.

        The site is at Salisbury Road in Tsimshatsui near the harbour front. The height of the building allows it to stand out from its neighours and become visible from across the harbour. Due to such prominence, even lighting for the elevation is carefully...

        (pp. 79-90)

        This is a special building alongside the highways for controlling vehicular passage from the new Tsing Ma Bridge to Lantau Island. The building is a simple four-storey rectangular block. A cantilevered glass enclosure forms the control room. A steel structure with metal decking forms a workshop and fuel depot. Pollution from traffic is the key problem for the enclosure so aluminium cladding is selected in consideration of the ease of maintenance.

        The aluminium cladding is planned in two basic modules of 2100 mm (height) x 2000 mm (width) and 1050 mm (height) x 2000 mm (width) in alternate horizontal patterns....

    • Curtain Wall

        (pp. 91-104)

        Curtain wall is a favourite expression for most office buildings in Hong Kong. The Lee Gardens project is a fifty-storey office building. The tower block is generated from a stable, triangular structural plan. The podium has five levels and it houses the main entrance of the building.

        The site is in Causeway Bay, a busy commercial and shopping district in Hong Kong. The fifty-storey building stands out among its neighourhood buildings. By using the curtain wall to reflect the sky, the building is made less obtrusive in the high density situation of Hong Kong.

        The curtain wall is framed by...

      • 10 THE CENTRE
        (pp. 105-114)

        This is an example of a curtain wall system used in a high-rise building of 73 storeys built to withstand an inward wind pressure of 4.3 kpa and outward pressure of 8.5 kpa.

        The site is in Central, a busy and crowded area for people as well as for buildings. The building is designed as a tall structure to free the ground-floor space for street-level activities and to afford a splendid sea view for the top floor tenants. The latter is mainly from an economical consideration for better market value.

        The curtain wall is made of reflective laminated glass and...

      • 11 TITUS SQUARE
        (pp. 115-124)

        This is a case study of an office building with its curtain wall serving as the enclosure. A shading device is incorporated for solar control. Minor articulation in the plan form produces variation in the building facade.

        The site is within the busy urban fabric adjacent to Nathan Road in Tsimshatsui. As it is located in a corner site fronting two streets, a plan form of a circular quadrant is selected. This plan generates a massing with maximum view from the offices.

        The curtain wall for the tower incorporates two main types of panel. The first type has one-third of...

    • Creative Expression

        (pp. 125-138)

        This case study is a building complex consisting of the British Consulate-General, the British Council and a residential quarters. This enclosure is important to give an impression to the public of the ‘British’ outlook, yet at the same time responding to the site context. The complex is erected from a simple geometrical plan form. This internal order generates the external identity.

        The site is adjacent to a group of high-rise office buildings and hotels in Admiralty. The curved site allows a good exposure of the building frontage acting as a public face for visitors. The 10-storey height is relatively low...

      • 13 THE PEAK TOWER
        (pp. 139-152)

        This is a case study illustrating how the enclosure projects an important identity to the public. Construction technique and selection of materials enhance the contrast in building expression. This building also houses the tram terminal in the lower part of the building. The upper parts are restaurants and shops.

        The site is a prominent location on the Peak forming part of the skyline of Hong Kong. To avoid a bulky building, the building is divided into two parts. The upper part is elevated and shaped like a bowl to give a floating effect. The lower part is more attached to...

        (pp. 153-162)

        Spiritual expression is another form of presentation for the building enclosure. Religion as a spiritual subject is transformed into a physical architecture. In other words, architecture becomes a frozen spiritual symbol. This case study is about a building addressing such spiritual issues in additon to functional and environmental issues.

        The site is at the new town of Tsing Yi Island amidst high-rise residential buildings. It is close to a park and a community centre with a bus terminus. The site is relatively open on the boundaries; the enclosure will thus be quite visible when constructed.

        The irregular five-sided shape of...

    • Local Technology

        (pp. 163-172)

        This is a case study of a high-rise, 24-storey block. In addition, it has two semi-basements using conventional local building techniques to complete the external elevations. The difference lies in the exploitation of the plan form and feature details to make an otherwise standard hostel design a special building with its own identity.

        Located within a large site adjacent to various properties owned by the Roman Catholic Church of Hong Kong, this building is intended to give a dialogue with the existing Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on the site. Motifs and details of the old Cathedral are ‘symbolized’ into...

    • Advanced Technology Expression

        (pp. 173-186)

        This is a case study of the extension of the existing Hung Horn terminus of the Kowloon and Canton Railway, which takes the form of a simple rectangular glass pavilion that gives lightness and openness.

        This site is on the roof deck of the railway station; a lightweight pavilion structure of steel and glass is therefore a suitable solution. The pavilion is supported by steel columns that distribute the structural load to a steel raft on the existing deck.

        The enclosure aims to create a spacious, generous and well-lit interior by means of simplicity of layout. The rectangular layout is...

        (pp. 187-200)

        This is a case study of a large span megastructure forming the fabric roof cover of the sports stadium. This stadium provides 40 000 seats surrounding an international-size football pitch.

        The site is at the lower part of a valley with tall buildings close by and adjoining other sports field and facilities. The creation of excessive noise can pose environmental problems.

        With anchor points extending beyond the stadium, a pair of elegant arches span 240 m from the prime structure to answer the client’s brief for unobstructed view. From these main arches, secondary trusses span to the rear wall of...

        (pp. 201-206)

        This is a case study of a single enclosure which can house 15 000 people. Imaginative engineering skills are used to make the roof cover with the external part of the spectator stand as part of the building envelope.

        The site is on the roof deck of the Hunghom railway station, therefore a heavy structure is not possible. Even during construction, heavy loading has to be avoided. The building is located at the middle of the roof deck with ample space surrounding it for circulation and dispersal of people. As the building is remote and usually operates in the evenings,...

    • Prefabrication and Standardization

      • 19 HAU TAK ESTATE
        (pp. 207-216)

        Housing for the community is the responsibility of the Housing Department. Here flat sizes can be standardized to cater for different family sizes. Also due to this standardization of plans, elevation design can be standardized to allow production of precast concrete facades.

        Located in Tseung Kwan O new town, this project provides over 7000 flats for 25 000 people. Buildings for residential purposes are designed based on the ‘Harmony I’ blocks which form 39-storey cruciform towers. The site also provides community/amenity facilities and schools for the residents.

        Standardization and modular design allows for building of the precast facades. The advantages...

        (pp. 217-224)

        Further to the case study in chapter 19, this project is of similiar nature but focus is on the erection procedure of the enclosure. Again the Harmony Block Concept is used for standardization and thus makes prefabrication possible.

        The site is also in Tseung Kwan O, a residential district with various types of public or private high-rise building blocks.

        The standard elevation unit is approximately 2.9 m x 4.7 m staggered 800 mm (approx.) towards the centre to provide variation in the plan and elevation. The elevation unit is cast at the site precasting yard, with concrete along the steel...

    • Sophistication of Design

        (pp. 225-244)

        The extension of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) is a complex case. It will house 28 000 m² of exhibition/convention space and 3000 m² of meeting rooms. Also included on the top floor is a conference hall with 4500 seats. The complexity of its size and urgency of the project contribute to the sophistication of this case study.

        A 6.5 hectare man-made island at the north sea front of the existing HKCEC is the special site of this development. The prominent nature of the site leads to the importance of the roof form for this medium-rise building....

    (pp. 245-246)