Stacking up the benefits of innovative high-rise design

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 November, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 November, 2001, 12:00am

A model of an innovative residential tower designed to illustrate how Hong Kong can create its own vertical communities using intelligent technologies and green construction methods will be on display at the Integer Hong Kong Pavilion.

Integer Tower - designed by a team of international consultants led by local architect Leigh & Orange (L & O) - is a generic design for a 40-storey block and the centrepiece of ongoing research into the development of a long-term, sustainable built environment in Hong Kong.

Working in close association with UK architect Cole Thompson Associates, L & O - which designed the Hong Kong University's award-winning Kadoorie Biological building - designed the tower to show the potential of multi-storey buildings.

The SAR's dense urban environment where land is a scarce, valuable commodity, there are few alternatives to high-rise living.

With its design, L & O proposes that residential towers should not be just stacked layers of single-storey apartments, but vertical communities containing all or most of the community facilities and open garden spaces they require and with the flexibility to house people of all ages and families of all sizes.

Integer Tower features six 861 sq ft two-bedroom flat units arranged in back-to-back pairs, each pair occupying one of the three wings which radiate from a central triangular core. The core contains lift lobbies, fire escapes, a rubbish chute and other main services.

Communal spaces and facilities are located at the tower's base, at roof level, and at intermediate floors of the tower.

Principal plant rooms serving the tower are located at the first basement level and at upper roof level.

Sebastian Law, principal director at L & O, hopes the worsening environmental situation in Hong Kong will prompt developers to consider more sustainable construction methods sooner rather than later. According to him, the Integer Tower design may be slightly more expensive to build initially, but the building and materials will have a longer life, which is good for the developer, good for the tenant, and good for the environment.

Mr Law says that buildings following the new design are expected to last 50 years more than the life-span of current designs.

The Tower of Tomorrow - Integer Pavilion

* The structure is composite steel and concrete, usually adopted for high-rise office buildings.

* Three-storey atriums provided at every third floor for external recreational gardens. Atrium can be accessed from lift lobby.

* At every 10 floors, a complete residential wing is opened up to form a three-storey, landscaped, sky garden. The design

features parapet walls to prevent accidents.

* Roof-top garden. The architectural design shows two lawns and a pool.

* Turbine tower at the top of the building to generate electricity for common areas and facilities.

* A vacuum refuse collection system that will encourage residents to sort their waste before disposal.

Opens: Tuesday November 6, Tamar, Central.

Tickets: weekdays - $10 (ages 6-12), $15 (students aged 12 or above, senior citizens), $25 (adults).

Weekends, holidays - $15 (ages 6-12), $20 (students aged 12 or above, senior citizens), $35 (adults).

Times - 9am-7pm, Tuesday to Sunday.