MLA+ together with Mobility in Chain, dmau and olacola is the winner of the Hong Kong Walk DVRC competition
The competition goal was to achieve a more walkable, pedestrian environment on the 1,4km stretch of Des Voeux Road Central in the heart of Hong Kong’s Central Business District.
In the design proposal of the MLA+ team, DVRC, the most important street in Hong Kong is organised around a central Sheung Wan Square and 5 iconic tramstops, each with an elevated parklet on its roof.
The MLA+ consortium proposes a 5-step strategy. The first step is to improve the street-profile by re-aligning the tram. The tram currently occupies the centre of the DVRC along its length. By moving the tram slightly away from the centre we create an asymmetric street profile, alongside this the buses share the tramway when they enter DVRC from Rumsey Street.
Next step is to make Sheung Wan Square the centre of DVRC and a point from where the visitor can orient themselves in the wider context. Third and fourth step is to re-imagine the tram stops by transforming the rooftops into elevated parklets and to add 5 iconic tramstops: Neon Gateway, Garden Oasis, the Cloud, Vertical Playground and the Western Market. Each rooftop is programmed in relation to its surrounding context, they act as landmarks as you enter DVRC, gardens where you can escape the commotion, contemporary arts venues, playgrounds in the sky and elevated food markets.
Finally, the DVRC will be connected to the wider context. These wider connections and interventions establish DVRC as the primary link across the wider district. A role which it already has but now it becomes much more efficient, easy and convenient to be a pedestrian here, while there are increased opportunities for social meetings and interactions along the routes. Together they create a cohesive 21st century public realm with a global identity defined by traditional Hong Kong streetscapes.
The jury mentions that “the MLA+ team has re-envisioned and re-engaged the street as quality public space. The design aims to reclaim the generosity of the original streetscape, re-establishing the domain of the pedestrian in one of Hong Kong’s main thoroughfares”.
The team will explain the plan during the Hong Kong’s Business of Design Week the 6th of December as part of the “Liveability, Sports and Design” focus of the conference.