Chair: Michelangelo SabatinoProfessor and Director of Ph.D. Program, IIT Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology
Click a presenter to see a video of their presentation, and the accompanying paper and PowerPoint presentation.
Development Manager, Far East Organization
Founding Director, WOHA Architects
Senior Project Director, New World Development
Group Director, P & T Group
Director of Design, SOHO China
Associate Partner, von Gerkan, Marg and Partners Architects
The Urban Habitat category, which recognizes significant contributions to the urban realm in connection with tall buildings, had an abundance of Award of Excellence Recipients each with a powerful perspective – so much so that the presentations were split into two sessions, with three projects featured in each. This second portion, chaired by Michelangelo Sabatino, Professor and Director of Ph.D. Program, IIT Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology, featured projects from all around Asia, including Singapore, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
The first speakers, Wanling Lee, Development Manager, Far East Organization, and Mun Summ Wong, Founding Director, WOHA Architects, spoke to the importance of viewing tall buildings as part of a city’s infrastructure – in particular, as another opportunity to create communal green space. “The sky terraces help our guests feel they are never far from green, open spaces,” said Wanling Lee. “What makes the building even more special is its living skin. The envelope comprises planters on each story. It is a living artwork of nature that changes with light and shade.”
Following this presentation, Edwin Chi Wai Chan, Senior Project Director, New World Development, and Janette Wan Ming Chan, Group Director, P & T Group, took to the stage to present SKYPARK, a mixed-use development aimed at young professionals in the vibrant business district of Mong Kok in Hong Kong. The project aims to carve out livable space in the high-density district, which addressed two urban development challenges that the city will face by 2030 – a lack of open leisure space, and poor air quality. The unique, varied communal spaces at height – such as the sky-stair, which gives the feel of an outdoor auditorium or theater – provide residents with a respite from the busy urban environment below by maximizing existing “sky space” in a productive and enjoyable way. “We had a dream – to have a picnic in the sky above one of the busiest streets in Hong Kong,” said Chan. The indoor shopping mall is awash with vegetation curated landscaping that help it feel more like an exterior city walk.
The final presentation for Urban Habitat Part II saw Yicheng Yang, Director of Design, SOHO China, and Stephan Rewolle, Associate Partner, von Gerkan, Marg and Partners Architects discuss SOHO Fuxing Plaza, a ten-building complex with office, retail, and commercial space that recreates and hearkens to the narrow, pedestrian corridors typical of Shanghai’s city streets, creating a small public square in their network. “This theme of connection, from above and below, continued throughout the whole project,” said Rewolle. “We tried to keep the scale of the district, to integrate ourselves on every level.”
The World Trade Center Masterplan won the 2018 Urban Habitat Award.