> Another “Occupy Central”:
From Maids’ Sunday Gathering to Central Ground Proposal
> City: Hong Kong
> Issue: Social Polarization
As one of the busiest international financial hubs, Hong Kong attracts millions of people for its rich opportunities and resources. But social polarization is the shade of prosperity. The density of the city results in incredible efficiency. Here, urban public space is compressed as much as possible, highly driven by spatial utilization and commercial value.
A more compact and efficient city benefits the elites’ class and the rich. On the other hand, it could be a barren desert for other groups of people. They are foreign maids, temporary workers, or retired olds, etc, who cannot get a place in the expensive communities with a private garden. They serve the city, but the urban space is not designed for them. And this is how the huge gap between rich and poor in Hong Kong reflects in the dimension of space.
This project is located in the famous commercial district, Central. It starts with an observation of how foreign maids flexibly use the urban space in Central: on Sunday, as they are unbearable (or unable) to stay in tiny space in their employers’ homes, they gather together on the street, sitting on the footbridges and sidewalks, temporarily “occupy” the urban public space.
Learning from maids’ flexible spatial using logic, we make a speculative shifting ground proposal in Central. It is a changeable façade system for the ground floor of office blocks, creating a one-day home for all citizens on Sunday without hurting the commercial value on weekdays. Aiming to soften the excessive partiality of urban public space, this project tries to make an ideal balance between spatial justice and urban efficiency.