Hong Kong Science Museum & Museum of History
The existing site of the Hong Kong Science Museum and Museum of History is an urban island. The existing ‘black box’ buildings set along the perimeter of the site; form a wall against the surrounding urban fabric. The nature of the buildings and the roads; prevent ground level connectivity with the urban surrounding. A direct high-level connection (via elevated pedestrian walkway) further reduces the amenity and utility of the site at ground. Ground level views towards the existing museum site are generally obstructed by idling tourist coaches and overflow to the Hilton Tower Car Park. The museum lacks a strong urban presence and fails to draw pedestrian footfall due to the limited at grade access routes. Ground level visual cues for the museum entrances (or to the existing elevated 24-hour publicly accessible courtyard) are not readily apparent. Limited pedestrian crossings at road level are available; however the existing buildings do not respond or offer corresponding visual cues to help guide pedestrians to a museum entrance. The current massing arrangement requires visitors to have determined their visit to one of the museums prior to ascending to the courtyard level entrances.
Our proposal seeks to invite visitors into the museum at ground level via a new public plaza; and enable the determination of their visit within the museum. The double height lobby acts as the primary distribution space. From here; visitors can move into each of the [new or existing] wings of the museum, and access the improved courtyard space (to serve an Open Exhibition Space).
The new Science Museum annex encloses the Open Exhibition Space such that the outdoor space is defined and more readily curated. The Special Exhibition building is envisaged as a drum form, to enable sight lines to the aforementioned entrance lobby. The form offers more connectivity across the site, and a more viable public ground plane.
Educational Facilities such as the Makerspace, Multi-purpose Hall, and Classrooms are located below grade an open up onto the public amphitheater. The History annex connects to the main History wing, and seeks to promote this under-utilised corner, by creating a [formal] secondary access point into the museum that is activated with new restaurant and seeks to engauge with the active streetscape along Science Museum Road.