Hong Kong is quintessentially an urban conglomerate of skyscrapers, a city where more than 3,000 buildings are over 90 meters tall. Even New York comes in a very distant second in terms of the average height of the city, with only 885 buildings over 90 meters. This effect is visually enhanced due to a strategy in Hong Kong where new land for buildings is typically obtained from reclamation and development at the water’s edge – a process which accounts for 35% percent of all developed surface in the city. The entire skyline can therefore be seen holistically as it wraps around the island and the Kowloon peninsula, creating an idealized representation of the modern metropolis.
However, there are many secluded sites within the city carefully concealed away from view, even as they remain in physical proximity to the urban center. An 1895 British law declared inhabitants native to villages within the territory special land and inheritance rights, allowing families to build small houses in Hong Kong. At a site that is only a thirty-minute drive from the center of the city, ESKYIU is currently designing a house that incorporates nature as a façade. Bordering a country park, the vegetation provides privacy, screening out the rest of the city beyond. The orientation of each room is situated to have completely open views onto the foliage, allowing the space to feel like it extends out to the lush landscape beyond.
Acknowledgment/ Team Credits:
Designers: Eric Schuldenfrei and Marisa Yiu
Project Team: Eric Schuldenfrei, Marisa Yiu, Toby Wan Tao Cheung
Press: Project is featured in WALLPAPER magazine May 2012 issue in a High Living in Hong Kong article entitled, “High Ball”.