A new campus-on-stilts by Coldefy & Associés Architectes Urbanistes is inspired by the utopian floating cities of the 1960s.
The new campus of the Hong Kong Design Institute, by the French architecture firm Coldefy & Associés Architectes Urbanistes (CAAU), consists of a glazed platform that seems to float atop four stout legs. The building is edged on three sides by clusters of residential towers, against which this platform seems to hover at half height. On the remaining side, it looks across a park on to Clear Water Bay.
Raising the structure allowed for a dynamic continuation of the urban grid. The building stands on a podium, on which there are sports facilities and gardens; down at street level is an open plaza.
Coldefy's design is influenced by the "floating architecture" of the Hungarian-born French architect and urban planner, Yona Friedman. In the early 1960s Friedman proposed a "mobile city", a series of moveable megastructures suspended on a grid of stilts so that they left a minimal footprint...