Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) and the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) collaborate with internationally renowned architecture firm Miralles Tagliabue EMBT (EMBT) to showcase a selection of 10 large-scale international projects at HKDI Gallery. The exhibition, named Urban Regeneration – Past, Present and Future, showcases innovative ideas on urban regeneration with models, drawings, sketches and prototypes. Highlights of the projects include Copagri Pavilion “Love IT” for Expo Milano 2015, Spanish Pavilion for Expo Shanghai 2010, and the Santa Caterina Market renovation in Barcelona.
The exhibition is curated by EMBT, a leading international architecture studio founded in 1994 by Enric Miralles (1955-2000) and Benedetta Tagliabue in Barcelona. They attach great importance to the relationship between architecture and public space.
One of the most inspiring projects in the exhibition is the urban regeneration of Santa Caterina Market, the first food market in Barcelona. In the 1997 competition for the urban regeneration of the neighbourhood, EMBT proposed a model that allowed for adaptation to the area’s complexity, which was subsequently commissioned. This project inspires with its integration of old and new materials, textures and forms. The new roof, made from coloured hexagonal ceramic tiles, is a fantastically engineered structure spanning the old walls of the market from the 19th century, like a magic carpet floating in the heart of the city. Taking up to seven years to transform the old Santa Caterina Market into a contemporary, artistic and energetic complex, the end result provided a perfect balance between the commercial and public spaces.
Another highly recognised work designed by EMBT is the Spanish Pavilion featured at the Expo Shanghai 2010. The pavilion, resembling a giant basket, was constructed by wicker weaving techniques, giving an extraordinary shape when viewed from the top. The architects not only attempted to revive the traditional handicraft, but also reinvented wickerwork as a new construction technique. The project aimed to be environmentally sustainable with its choice of materials. The exhibition is set to bring the Spanish Pavilion to Hong Kong by re-building part of the original woven wicker surface, allowing visitors to appreciate the details of this unique architecture masterpiece once again.
Humanity and environmental sustainability are two major aspects in EMBT’s work in architecture, interior design, urban planning and landscape architecture. Through collaborating with EMBT, HKDI brings a different perspective on urban planning and architecture design to the general public and students by showcasing various projects from leading international cities.