About The Jockey Club Innovation Tower
The Jockey Club Innovation Tower is a new school of design building for the Hong Kong Polytechnic University which offers a creative and multidisciplinary environment. The building is located on a very tight and irregular site on the north side of the campus. It creates an accessible urban space which transforms how Hong Kong Polytechnic University is perceived and the way it uses its campus. The building projects a vision of possibilities for its future, as well as reflecting on the history of the university by encapsulating in its architecture the process of change.
The project re-examines and address a creative, multidisciplinary environment by collecting together the variety of programs of the School of Design. Having undergone a strict process of examination of the multiple relationships amongst its unique identities, these programs are arranged in the tower in accordance with their “collateral flexibilities.”
The fluid character of the Jockey Club Innovation Tower is generated through an intrinsic composition of its landscape, floor plates and louvers, dissolving the classic typology of the tower and podium into a seamless composition. Internal and external courtyards create new spaces of an intimate scale, which complement the large open exhibition forums and outdoor recreational facilities to promote a diversity of civic spaces, integrated with the university campus.
Inside, the building is configured as a place for learning, exchange and synergy; it is at once flexible, open and transparent for its staff and students. A series of fixed sun-shading louvers protects the building from excessive solar gain, while allowing maximized indirect natural daylight into its workplace. A series of maintenance walkways are implemented behind these louvers, with access from the building’s interior to provide frequent maintenance access. While the tower cantilevers over a footpath north of the site, and this path could not allow for any foundations, the superstructure was creatively engineered by using the three main cores and beam-column frames for lateral load and eccentric tower loads. The concrete superstructure adopts a strategy of raking walls and columns, with discrete transfer beams to free the lower public levels from structural obstructions.
The new pedestrian level for the tower has been created as an open public foyer that channels deep into the building. The integrated pathway from Suen Chi Sun Memorial Square guides visitors to the main entrance. From here, a welcoming public space provides access to shops, cafeteria and a museum through a generous series of open exhibition and showcase spaces, which span between the campus podium level and the ground floor.
From the entry foyer, staff, students and visitors move upwards through the various levels of openly glazed studios and workshops. The many studios and workspaces accommodated within the new School of Design appear as a variety of visual showcases. The route through the building becomes a transparent cascade of exhibition and event spaces - allowing the student or visitor to visually connect and engage with the work and exhibits. These routes promote new opportunities of interaction between the diverse user groups. In this way, the programs of the tower, comprising learning clusters and central facilities, generate a dialogue between respective spatial volumes and disciplines of design.
The energy and life of the school is reformed vertically, embodying an environment which can nurture design talents in a collective research culture, where many contributions and innovations can influence each other as a community.