By positioning the program across the available site, and by simultaneously lifting and partially separating the slabs to the allowable height, the design takes advantage of the idea of maximum height and footprint. By doing so, the design introduces three significant elements: a public park on the street level, a private campus in mid level, and a semi-public garden on the roof. The result is a strong architectural presence providing the school with an iconic, absolutely unique identity.
Lifting the three main floors at alternating corners achieves several goals at the same time. On the ground floor, the “forest park” is a public thoroughfare and main entrance to the HKDI; in the mid-level, the schools’ campus acts as a private “rain forest,” and on the roof level lies the semi-public “desert garden” with a swimming pool. The project utilizes the unique climate of Hong Kong, allowing sun where desired and providing shade where needed, as well as satisfying the need for communal public and private spaces within the school. A collective street branches off a public passage. Each discipline is arranged along the street, allowing a sense of community without relinquishing each school’s identity.