Interpretation Evelyn Ting Huei-chung: “There was a set site boundary – a concrete platform – and within that we had to construct a structure that could be used for events in the park. There were restrictions in terms of roof height, not over 10 metres, and it had to be single-level, but other than that it was open as to how we wanted the space to engage with people. “One of the main jumping-off points for us was how to create a pavilion that speaks to both local architecture and culture. How does it relate to the city, and to the architecture discipline in general?” Paul Tse Yi-pong: “We named the project ‘Growing Up’ as it relates to its West Kowloon site being a growing cultural district – and the nursery next to it is planting trees to grow. That sparked this idea of encapsulating a ‘growing’ theme into the pavilion’s elements. For example, the columns: you have increasing sizes, from the nursery to the harbour, symbolising the idea of growing. “We also included the idea of growing culture. It doesn’t happen overnight. You need to have the city’s collective memory embedded into the culture for it to have some kind of significance. So we thought we would bring in the urban elements of Hong Kong: a traditional Chinese roof; steps that echo the topography, like in Central; a narrow alley referencing the streets; and rain, which here runs down a slanted roof and collects in a reflective pool. The palm tree, to us a symbol of Hong Kong, represents this idea of leisure. But it is always juxtaposed with this intense and hyper-dense environment.” Challenges Ting: “There were two items the West Kowloon team were hesitant about. The pool and the palm tree – transferring it to the site. For the pool, it was for hygiene reasons. But they installed a filter, so the water is constantly circulating. We fought hard to keep these elements.” Highlights Ting: “The process of building a free-standing structure was a highlight – the learning process, figuring it out, going through building restrictions. It was valuable.” Tse: “As it’s a temporary structure, we were able to be a lot more flexible – using materials such as wood that you wouldn’t normally be able to as it’s combustible.” Takeaway Tse: “Try to use natural materials. It changes how you feel. A lot of Hong Kong households use synthetic materials, for practicality, but you will be amazed at how a small chair or table or cabinet in natural materials can change the sensibility of the space.” “Growing Up”, which will be open until the end of next month, is the winning entry of the inaugural Hong Kong Young Architects and Designers Competition, held by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.