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Hong Kong Institute of Architects Annual Awards 2017/18 Winners Revealed

Fifty nominations were received for this year’s HKIA Annual Awards, and ten awards were bestowed. Who were the winners?

Hong Kong Institute of Architects Annual Awards 2017/18 Winners Revealed

The Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA) Annual Awards have evolved since their foundation in 1965, but at their core they remain dedicated to the recognition of outstanding architecture achievements by members of the HKIA.

The categories of assessment include Residential Buildings (high-rise and low-rise), Commercial Buildings, Community Buildings, and Industrial/Transport/Utility Buildings.

Ten awards were bestowed this year, selected by a jury of seven from Hong Kong and abroad:

  • Essy Baniassad, Adjunct Professor of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (HKIA Fellow);
  • Ron Leung, Past Chairman of The Hong Kong Designers Association (Lay Juror);
  • Julie Willis, Dean of Architecture and Design, University of Melbourne (Overseas Juror);
  • Thomas Schinko, Director of Vasconi Architectes (Overseas Juror);
  • Mui Sze Wa, Sarah, HKIA Young Architect Award 2015 Recipient (Representative from Young Architects);
  • Cheung Wai Leung, Chairperson of The Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities (Specialist Juror – Inclusive Design);
  • Cheung Hau Wai, Chairman of Hong Kong Green Building Council (Specialist Juror – Architectural Sustainability)

Up for grabs were the Medal of the Year and HKIA Merit Award (for projects in Hong Kong and outside Hong Kong), the President’s Prize, and the Special Architectural Award.

HKIA Awards President Marvin-Chen

Marvin Chen, President, HKIA

“The Annual Awards recognise outstanding architectural projects not only in Hong Kong, but overseas as well, which reflects the growing international presence and the competitiveness of our talented members.”
– Marvin Chen, President, HKIA


And the winners are:

HKIA Medal of the Year of Hong Kong & Special Architectural Award – Heritage & Adaptive Re-use
Viva Blue House
Meta4 Design Forum Limited (Design Architect) and LWK & Partners (HK) Limited (Project Architect)

HKIA Awards 01 Viva-Blue-House Bridge_Balcony

The jury appreciated the sensitive design approach taken for the re-adaptation to the cluster of old residential buildings, which created regeneration without the loss of the original character. Said the jury, “The creative infusion of new infrastructure builds amenity for the community, helping it to be regenerated. The new bridge network is carefully designed to connect the old and new parts of the complex, and is one of the successful new interventions.” The jury commended the collaborative effort of the architects and stakeholders, and noted how such physical interventions can encourage communities to grow.


HKIA Merit Award of Hong Kong – Commercial Building & Special Architectural Award – Architectural Sustainability
18 King Wah Road
DLN Architects Limited

HKIA Awards King-Wah-Road 01-2

The jury recognised the sustainability performance of the building, noting the flexible internal plan, solar desiccant cooling system, and dynamically shaped sun-shading. “Beyond making physical provisions, the education of users and incentive rating system incorporated in the management office are appreciated,” said the jury. Also recognised was how the building’s setting positively impacts the neighbourhood. The weather station and the set-back at street level (creating pedestrian access to the harbourfront for the neighbourhood) were seen as positive elements of the design. “The efforts made in the project could be incentivised to other A&A projects in the city,” said the jury.


HKIA Merit Award of Hong Kong – Commercial Building
The Beacon
Aedas Limited

HKIA Awards The Beacon 3

The Beacon was recognised as being unlike other residential projects in Hong Kong for its fresh approach to tower design. “The design team has successfully developed an iconic building in the crowded urban fabric of Hong Kong, overcoming the restrictions of bureaucratic rules,” said the jury, adding: “The chaotic order of the streetscape and site conditions was transformed into a remarkable character for the building.” The jury noted that the building orientation has provided good amenity, and that the design merges into its surroundings while maintaining a distinctive presence.


HKIA Merit Award of Hong Kong – Community Building
St Andrew’s Church Life Centre
Nelson Chen Architects Limited

HKIA Awards SAC-Life-Centre 2

The new underground building at St Andrew’s Church was deemed well considered in all aspects – user experience, the preservation of the historic significance of the church, the creation of public space, and the connection of the church with the street. Said the jury: “The new facilities are planned efficiently with a flexible arrangement. Good acoustic treatment allows for the different functions to be carried out at the same time. The complexity of the site constraints was approached appropriately, maximising the site potential while minimising the disturbance to the original church and neighbourhood.”


HKIA Merit Award of Hong Kong – Community Building
St Stephen’s College Preparatory School Ho Shung Yuk Building
Philip Liao and Partners Limited

HKIA Awards St-Stephens-College 2

A sophisticated architecture that allows activities to happen in an organic way – this is what the jury admired at St Stephen’s. The planning engages well with the steep site, creating openness of space and a calm, tranquil environment for the students. Also appreciated was the division of classrooms and activity rooms in two wings, which separates noisy and quiet functions; the provision of a central open atrium for group activities; and a seamless connection with the original campus.


HKIA Merit Award of Hong Kong – Community Building
The Hong Kong Society for the Blind Jockey Club Yan Hong Building
Design Consultants Limited


A triangular site put to good use, and a modest approach to architecture in keeping with the surroundings, suggested the jury. The spaces are highly accessible, with durable materials selected to withstand heavy daily usage. And the roof garden is creating a new community hub for the neighbourhood. Commented the jury. “The highly accessible layout with interconnected gardens creates a comfortable and refreshing environment for users. The clever use of colours generates a dynamic character and gives a clear theme to each floor.”


HKIA Merit Award outside Hong Kong – Community Building
You Art Centre, Changde
Atelier Global Limited

HKIA Awards YOUART 01-3

The jury recognised the project as a good community hub for arts and people, and lauded the design team’s understanding of the local context and culture. “The concept of the architecture is poetic, with carefully curated views through and out of the building using multiple levels. The design of the light box overlaid on the black box creates a contrasting and dynamic effect,” said the jury. Also appreciated was the integration of vertical gardens and interior spaces.


Special Architectural Award – Interior
via architecture limited

HKIA- Awards 4 ArtisTree Open-Box-Wall

“The design team has created a new way to treat commercial space,” said the jury. “The decision of the private development to create cultural space inside a commercial building is appreciated and should be a trend to be encouraged.” The jury appreciated the treatment of the entrance with undulating vertical fins, which create an appealing gateway to the cultural space behind. Also noted was the vibrant feature wall of individually lit boxes that opens to allow access to the performance space.


Congratulations to all winners!

Photos courtesy of HKIA.

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