Rocker-Lange Architects were awarded a honorable mention in the international design competition for a new bench design for the Kowloon East district in Hong Kong. The competition was held in conjunction with the 13th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition, Hong Kong Response Exhibition.
The redevelopment of Kowloon East will have a diverse array of spatial conditions, from new, open public waterfront parks to tightly planned former industrial areas. Traditionally urban furniture consists of repeatable standardized elements while being installed in various conditions. The problem with repeatable elements is that they don’t adapt necessarily very well to the specificity of each site condition. The key concept of the “Urban Adapter HK 2.0” project is to establish a system that can address the explicit conditions of each site, and to blend each bench with a variety of programs. The specific design methodology and the computer aided construction and assembly process allows making every bench unique while creating a distinctive family of urban street furniture that creates a merging identity for Kowloon East.
This project with its unique user surfaces will have the capacity to place the user in a new position with the urban reality and its ecologies as much it may reposition the urban reality all together. Not only will it improve the quality of the public realm, it will also establish a new framework for use and for seeing and being seen in the urban streetscape of Kowloon East.
The material for this street furniture will be wooden slats making it a positive sustainable contribution. The finish of the bench is made of climbing rope or rubber band finish. Each bench will have a distinct color out of a specific color family making each bench identifiable. The wooden slats are CNC cut, making sure that each bench can be precisely assembled.