What separates the cities of Hong Kong and Los Angeles?

Our design for the “Island__Pensinsula” exhibition explores the differences in the urban and architectural landscape between Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

Los Angeles and Hong Kong are two vastly different cities.

Los Angeles is a city that is thought of horizontally; space is spread out across the landscape and the city is primarily flat. Hong Kong on the other hand is a city that is considered vertically. Due to spatial limitations, the city has had little choice but to expand upwards, resulting in an iconic cluster of skyscrapers.

Our proposal for the “Island__Peninsula” Exhibition aims to showcase the polarity of these two cities with one single model. From one perspective, the skyline of Los Angeles rises, formed by different building plates overlapping in front of each other. This reflects the overall form of the city, with each programme separated into a different city block.

From the other perspective, the different programmes, previously viewed as separated from each other, become the floor plates of the same building. The programmes become stacked atop each other, becoming a sectional model of a typical mixed-use building in Hong Kong.

In a way, both Hong Kong and Los Angeles are the same. Both are metropolitan cities with lots of different programmes. The difference lies in the scale of the city and how these programmes are spaced.

Activities which happen at the urban scale in Los Angeles occur within a single floor plate in Hong Kong.

The “Island__Peninsula” Architecture Exhibition is organized by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects and part of the “Think Asia Think Hong Kong” event organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Los Angeles, US