Ground In the Air – An urban building with multiple grounds

Ground In the Air – An urban building with multiple grounds


Kwun Tong, Hong Kong

22.3103686 | 114.22270349999997

Project date

January 2015

Traditionally, urban conditions manifest themselves at ground level. This is where streets are located, where private ownership stops and public domain begins and where people gather and move around the city. In Hong Kong, a ‘city without ground’, density re-defines these public and private spatial relationships.

Density, high land values, and statutory requirements in Hong Kong, make its ground/street level increasingly crammed and unpleasant. Luxury shops, retail units, car park podia, and utility interfaces dominate the streets, with little regard for the public experience. Instead of fighting the impossible battle of reclaiming ground level for public use, the thesis initiates a campaign to salvage public spaces at upper floors.

The thesis researches the phenomenon of ‘grounds in the air’ in theoretical, historical and local contexts. It then looks at design for various strategies to facilitate urban conditions at upper floors of the building. These are summarized into a building proposal.