落街玩! GO DOWN AND PLAY!
HKIA Young Architect Award 2021
Go down and play is an idea to transform the street into flexible play space and allow the residents to enjoy the street according to their own habits and life styles in different cluster of space and time.
We citizens now a days have greatly desire of space to take a rest and play around. Conventional playgrounds which disconnected from the community fail to answer our demands. This project is to rearrange our nearby street space in order to provide fun and relaxing atmosphere for everyone.
Street is not just for traffic and circulations. Looking back in to the early local developments, the flexibilities and accessibilities of street space catalyzed spontaneous activities, such as street markets, to answer the demand of the citizens in the past. I believe the simple treatments of rearranging the space and time of occupation will be the way to sustain the characteristic and maximize the possibilities of local street space, and allow the local street network to become the medium of various and fascinating human activities in the future.
Go down and play at Battery Street
A selected cluster of Battery street in Yau Ma Tei is transform into a play space with several longitudinal sections that allow a variety of activities to take place. To maximize the possibilities of the street, the design suggests partially suspending traffic, removing barriers, providing flexible facilities, and differentiating the space based on the nature and timing of different activities.
The street itself become the play space which allow the residents to reach easily. Just like the title, go down and play. There are no more barrier to start playing, everyone can enjoy the play space just step down to the street.
Spatial rearrangement & reconsider occupation time
As the selected cluster of Battery Street in residential area is not a main traffic road, traffic can be potentially suspended. Similar to the nearby Reclamation Street Market, pedestrian can enjoy the space with no traffic and barriers. Traffic in the secondary streets crossing Battery Street are proposed to be suspend from 12:00 to 00:00, assumed that the play space is mainly occupied by this period. Then the street space is divided into several longitudinal sections. Different kinds of activity, such as skating, jogging and yoga, are applied to the sections base on their speed. Different groups of users are able to enjoy their own space with no interference. The longitudinal sections are then rearranged to create an exciting and joyful space for the residents.
The occupation time of the street is also a concern to allow the street sufficiently in use. The space is mainly occupied by children in the afternoon. In the evening the restaurants and bar may temporary extend their boundary to provide more seats for the adults to gather and have meal. After a day of work, office people start to do sport before or after dinner during in the same period. After the business hour in late night, the street with few people allow some more extreme activities to happen, such and skating, parkour and other x-sport. As the space are going serve different type of user in different period of time, the facilities provided in the space also have the resilience to adapt different uses.
Flexibilities & Spontaneities
The flexibilities of the street space also facilitate interesting spontaneous activities and event. Such as spontaneous performance or movie sharing can be held by the residents by occasion. Other activities generated by the free space will be unexpected.
The street play space is not a stand-alone space, it have a potential to connect up other street space and form a completed street-play network that full of fun and excitement. The play space also set up a backbone for the future redevelopment in the district.
Lam Ho Wang Owen