Gondola Market

Exhibitor for Vertical Fabric, Density in Landscape, 16th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition Hong Kong Exhibition and Hong Kong Response Exhibition, Hong Kong year: 2018 | type: exhibition | by Gigi Chiu, Charis Mok, Yan Wu, Joanna Leung, Annette Chu & Tommy Yeung

Gondola market attempts to redefine the value of “free GFA (Gross Floor Area) features” found on typical residential tower facades, and reconstructs the disappearing neighbour-hood of Hong Kong.

Originally intended to regulate sunlight and fresh air for the public realm of the cityscape, building regulations have been exploited by private developers in past decades to maximize land resources and hence their capital return. Towers are thus adorned with “free GFA” features which are sold to home-owners. Perhaps leaving only the air-space in front of an openable window that could be considered as truly free. With old neighbourhoods having tightly knit community ties gradually replaced by new taller towers, it is not uncommon for one not to know his/her neighbours after years.

Gondola market speculates an alternative by reclaiming the free air-space in front of individual units collectively as an upward extension of a street market. Gondolas - a common device incorporated in tower designs for cleaning the substantial amount of windows, are proposed to be modified and installed between the façade features. Travelling up and down the towers using the gondolas, strangers could meet residents of the towers. Balconies, bay windows, air-conditioning platforms would be transformed into stalls, bar counters, shelves...

In the gondola market, residents could extend outward, express their individual desires, and open small businesses like in the old days. Private lives inside the tower would also be unfolded and revealed.

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