Jockey Club Innovation Tower, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
The Jockey Club Innovation Tower (Innovation Tower) is designed by renowned British architect Zaha Hadid. Its construction was completed in 2013.
The tower is composed of a 15-storey high block and a 10-storey low block. Located at the northeastern tip of the campus, the tower can be seen fromChatham Road. Among the many flat and foursquare buildings on campus, Innovation Tower is one of the very few designed without straight lines. The tower looks different at different angles. It resembles a soap from one angle, a bird from another. “The design dissolves the typical typography of tower and podium into a more fluid composition. Interior and exterior courtyards create informal spaces to meet and interact.” Hadid explained.
The main entrance of the building is connected to the podium of the University, resembling the tail of a bird extending from the tip of campus. The roof of the entrance gradually transforms into the streamline exterior wall and extends to the roof of the tower. The ever-changing streamline exterior makes the tower one of the most unique buildings in town with different layouts on different levels.
The exterior wall was constructed with glass curtain walls, white aluminum panels, as well as architectural concrete at the bottom of the building. Horizontal white aluminum panels were installed on the curtain walls to provide shading for sunlight and echo the horizontal windows in the surroundings. The panels were gently twisted to create a wavy pattern to amplify the fluid composition of the tower.
The path from campus podium guides visitors to the main entrance and from here, a white open public area provides access to supporting facilities including exhibition galleries, cafeteria and shops. A long escalator guide visitors upward to a long and tall indoor courtyard with interior glazing, creating a visual impact by showcasing long, narrows staircases irregularly connecting to different floors.
Different from common teaching buildings packed with long corridors and closed classrooms, Hadid redefines learning environment by using large glass panels as exterior walls and connecting classrooms with corridors that integrate openly at the indoor courtyard, to encourage end-users on different levels to meet and interact with each other under natural sunlight.