First Award | Mixed Use

Project Info

Participant  Name: Arnold Wong
University: The University of Hong Kong
Country : Hong Kong


Life After People Projective Obsolescence of the Techno Ruin
This project envisions a post-industrial ruin – Hashima Island in Japan, will still be functional without people in 2095.
Site: Hashima Island, Japan
Once a thriving coal-mining town for almost 100 years, Hashima Island was completely abandoned when the major energy resource changed from petroleum to coal in 1974. Although the island was nicknamed – Battleship Island because of its overall form, there was never a master plan. It was just accident to the unforeseeable demand of coal in Japan. 40 years after the disappearance of people, homes, offices and factories, were cracking and subsiding, as if nature has taken over.
Treatments To Post-Industrial Ruins
Typical treatments to ruin such as ruination, immortalization and revitalization, passively react to the natural process of decay, which they either freeze the site without productivity, or inject program that is not related to the site. Rather than following the usual trajectory, the proposal is a creative intervention that anticipates the process of decay and harvests energies and by-products.
Proposal: Amphibious Architecture
With the well-established infrastructure and climatic conditions, the re-inhabitation of the island will started through a renewable energy laboratory that will undergo continual construction and adaption to the fast-evolving energy industry as well as occupants’ needs. The proposed architectural system – the Amphibious Machine, is a system which can harvest energy through wave motions as well as create new spaces that are extended from the existing building of the island
Four design objectives
1. Resurrection
– to preserve and reinforce specific architectural qualities that signify the identity of the island
2. Adaptation
– to allow dynamic spatial changes according to the occupants’ needs, and also for the fast-evolving energy industry

  1. Energy Production
    – to test prototypes for power generation and establish the island as a self-sustaining city.
  2. Projective Obsolescence
    -by projecting the natural decay process taking place on the island simultaneously, it would allow us to anticipate the intervention might become obsolete too.Projective Obsolescence
    Embracing the natural process of decay, the design intervention is not a one-off built entity, but a metamorphic process that encourages continuation of Hashima Island’s identity and functionality. Ultimately, the project anticipates the obsolescence of the island again, while the Amphibious Machines remain, continuing to harvest energy and establish the island as a techno-ruin.“To restore a building is not to repair it, nor to do maintenance nor to rebuild, it is to re-establish it in an ultimate state that has never existed before.” Eugène Viollet le Duc 1855