In 2007, Zaha Hadid Architects won a competition to design an Innovation Tower for Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Six years later, students and faculty are beginning to settle into the glacial, 130,000 square foot, 250 foot tall design-education center as it nears completion. The space-age, striated structure will be a “creative multidisciplinary environment,” that, according to the architects, “dissolves the classic typography of a tower and podium to create a seamlessly fluid new structure,” meaning that the Pearl of the Orient will soon welcome a curving, difficult-to-decipher, new educational building. Set to fully open next spring, the tower will be Hadid’s first permanent structure in Hong Kong.
“I am delighted to be working in Hong Kong again,” said Hadid in a press statement back n 2007.” The city has such diversity in its landscapes and history; this is reflected in an urbanism of layering and porosity. Our own explorations and research into an architecture of seamless fluidity follows this paradigm so evident in Hong Kong. One of our seminal projects was designed for the city exactly 25 years ago,” referring to her influential Peak Leisure Club proposal of 1983,”and the Innovation Tower design is a realization of this continued research.”