The fear of standstill

The fear of standstill

Central reclamation phase 3. Image: minghong / cc-by-sa-3.0

Hong kong: city of permanent change and compaction

"Laying a middle empire": what fritz rudolf fries as a title for a (novel) fiction auserkor, was for hong kong awarded twenty years to the actual reality. When the lease agreements with great britain delivered after almost a century, the kingdom had made the center of the crown colony. But from the executed "laying" undefired is built here, transfers and created, generated and handled. Located here is the place where unabashed is shown that economy governs the world. "Work hard, eat well, gamble high" is the general motto.

Hong kong is a city of paradox. Since on since it stands the smooth, state-of-the-art technology of buildings in central district beside bamboo causes and illegal facades. The oppressiveness is the harsh opposition that expresses both in the topography and in the distribution of prosperity, bluffing the business and effectiveness with which in the former ones british colony chinese lives. A city where even the world-resistant europe is sometimes antiquated and old-fashioned.

The image of the former crown colony is quite congested: although hong kong is as the most densely populated landline in the world, although the methods of land recovery from the sea forever more high-rise buildings are admirable, while the subway works as a pulsating traffic artery exemplary the city in contaminated glitter arcades a true shopping paradise, the singapore and tokyo for langen, although the obvious misery is banished from the working and shopping centers. But all this is only at the expense of atmosphere, yes to have authenticity.

Hong kong: city of permanent change and compaction

The fear of standstill

nonestial panorama from victoria peak. Image: base64 / cc-by-sa-3.0

Although the threads are tightly populated. Life but takes place primarily in the artificially illuminated and air-conditioned malls and plazas, the mileage through the city like a scary veil mesh. Huge atria, such as the times square plaza or the harbor city, offer far more "free space" as drapes between the building still exists. Everything works, is neat, clean, controlled. Only in some areas kowloons you sometimes get something of that idiosyncratic mix of retort town and disorder-tributing with each other, from the appeal of the mysterious-dating place, the hong kong once.

The history of the city and its structural domestic development is paid quickly. When the british ara started in 1842, only about 7 lived.400 chinese on an island, who mainly served pirates as a refuge. Basic rules of the city development were only insofar as the poor water supply, the general hygienic state and the prere of the trainers forced the british resistances again and again to adopt building regulations. However, their compliance as well as often to nurse: the prescribed latrines were rarely built, the waste was practically out of the window. And because due to the topography building land was not available in the ubermab, the utilization of the properties — despite only two to three-storey development — similarly high as the ground prices.

Jerking on jerks, the mostly built in blue-tone brick residential buildings with shops, as well as considered, only no primary decline flax. Although the territorial gain of the 1898 lease contract of urban development all the whole perspectives. But only 1916, when the railway line was opened to guangzhou, the settlements on the mainland side increased significantly. However, in the business district between peddar steet and ice house street, a number of stylistic buildings grew up, such as the supreme court (1912), which today operates as lego building. Attributive half a million people now lived in hong kong, and the continuous stream of migrants who saw through the republican treur from china, eklatant schreatant schreistan.

When then since the 1970s a more ambitious state housing program diverse new towns grow in the sky, the metro area, thanks to changed economic structures, learned a basic metamorphosis. Whereby the north coast of hong kong island and kowloon, facing each other over the strait, still remained the most important settlement areas.

The skyline is quite a manifest. Because all commercial coarse projects are designed for their effect on the harbor, it is only logical that they are obsessively developing into the high. The "building crown with company logo" becomes an important design element in addition to the purpose-of-profitability-oriented useful unit. However, the cityscape has no clear quality. And only a few pre-periods create it with an identifiable form out of the sea of uniforms high-rise boxes out. Even norman fosters "hong kong and shanghai bank", for the completion of the mid-1980s a high-tech product equal, and ieoh ming peis prismatic crystalline "bank of china" almost under the skyscraper sea.

The fear of standstill

Bank of china. Image: wing / cc-by-sa-3.0 / public domain

Hong kong has become the epitome of how a maximum of sales is generated with a minimum of space — and man is only product. Only something seems certain: so pronounced the ability to compensate for structural compaction is, on the other hand, the inclination is. Grundstucke are no longer sold here, but by investors on auctions to highest prices. No wonder hong kong in 2017 is the seventh time in a row the city with the most expensive housing market in the world. And that leads almost positively to another characteristic: namely the cursiveness of architectural forms, the stable overlays of buildings, so that they are perceived less than individual projects as a mass. The city of fast demolition and new building. And the stark catheds of the modes. Buildings are not planned for eternity. The rather conservative attitude of the population of hong kong is in open contradiction at the speed of architectural innovations.

But with the asthetics of density, which is so liked to complain for hong kong, that’s such a thing. Not more than seven to nine square meters, each resident is available on average. An abstract statistical indication that can hardly reflect the actual strain of all individuality. Until far in the 1950s one sat on housing construction on private initiative. As a result of a devastating fire in a makeshift settlement in shep kip mei on kowloon, the overnight 53.000 people were homeless, but the city government was forced to bring an emergency program to life, which then in 1961 in a coharment strategy of cost-minded apartment construction.

In parallel, the construction boom of 1960s brought an immense compaction in the inner-city areas; hochhauser with up to 20 shoots formed the predominant building defective. Successive and illegally grew on many roofs then whole dorfer: labyrinths from corridors, narrow corridors, corrugated steel hat or even pretty small brick buildings in which migrants — first of the chinese mainland, were now also searched from the whole asian room -. Today, the tremendous turmbred coarse resources are leaving up on the island of lantau.

The fear of standstill

Pokfulam gardens. Image: exploringlife / cc-by-sa-4.0

Metamorphoses allentic. Even shopping is not blob banal’s private pouring, but has a quasi-public function. "The showcases here are more than retention of the exhibits of an international glitter world, they serve another purpose than purely commercial temptation: they produce the illusion of a static available, anytime for a certain period of time in fitting recoverable space behind the so clean washer. It is the counterworld to the threading ratios of the amazing, the place of rest and contemplation." what the author and sinologist tilman spengler noted is an indication of how essential such a thing as a public space is in hong kong. Just because he is barely available, he has to be created. Whether artificial or artistic, whether politically or literary, is already almost secondary. But just almost almost.

With the west kowloon cultural district, directly on the famous victoria harbor hong kong, is currently one of the largest and most ambitious cultural projects worldwide. The new district is to offer space for the local art scene, theaters, museums, restaurants, shops, buros and hotels — and is actually something like a catalyst for traditional and contemporary culture as part of urbanism. The new city quarter will receive numerous new cultural buildings that are realized by internationally leading architects — so z.B. The museum for visual culture from the 20. And 21. Century "m+" from duke de meuron, the opera house "xiquen" by bing thom architects, the "lyrid theater" from un studio and the "palace museum"’by rocco design architects. With the "art park", a harbor promenade and other bursts and terraces, the 23 ha rough area is also becoming an important recreation room for residents and visitors.

Hong kong, the lived ambivalence: the special administration zone at the perlflubdelta is a unique structure that is doing as a floating in the policy-free space and as it had an autonomous government; the at the intersection of the world trade, on the one hand medieval chinese in thinking, on the other hand pragmatically modern. On the one-stripping side the entrepreneurship ruling in kuhler rationalitat, and on the other the city of spirits in which the bose embeds with frankincense or by carefully adjusted mirrors, carving and "sharp building edges" is distracted. Hong kong is a perfect baalbek, built in one day, on the other of the other, a city that you never expect to get ready. Disregarding the past, yet credited the laws of the ‘feng-shui’ respecting, the ancient chinese geomancy, for whatever places for graber, residential buildings and farms are determined. Even boresis speculators question their faith. Finally, it’s about success — and at home.

Like a magnet, the prosperous hong kong attracts all those who can not secure their diet or political co-determination at home. Even if the residential boats of chinese escape bikes more and more disappear from aberdeen: the immigrants are as prudent for the public room that their appearance from the image of the metropolis is indispensable. Turntable between east and west, still and at the same time more than ever, influencing last beauty before the downfall? This uncertainty is today, a good twenty years after the "hand over", still in the room. The new state power in beijing shows no institutions that "golden goose" to pluck, but a free spout will not be preserved. And so it seems to be aware that hong kong is above all: the mirror for china’s urban future.