• Wharf architectural design internship programme enters its 9th year anniversary exhibition “Nine Wooden Chairs”

    19 September 2019

    (18 September 2019, Hong Kong) The Architectural Design Internship Programme (“the Programme”) founded by The Wharf ArchDesign Resource Trust (“Wharf”) in 2011 to groom young architects in Hong Kong is celebrating its 9th anniversary.  To mark this milestone, an exhibition is held at Harbour City to showcase a series of chairs designed by nine of 27 past awardees under the Programme.  Each chair puts the designer’s thoughts and vision from their overseas’ internship experience on display and demonstrates their observations and reflection on architecture in relation to the increasingly “glocalising” design scenes.

    The exhibition is open at Ocean Terminal in Harbour City today by Doreen Lee, Vice Chairman and Executive Director of Wharf Real Estate Investment Company along with Dr. Eric Schuldenfrei, Head of Department of Architecture, University of Hong Kong; Prof. Nelson Chen, Former Director, Department of Architecture, Chinese University of Hong Kong; guests and students to witness the accomplishments of these young talents. 

    Speaking at the ceremony, Doreen Lee said, “The Wharf Group builds with great emphasis on the architectural design because we see it as a form of art creating a livable and sustainable environment.  Architecture also reflects the livelihood and culture of a city and its development is closely linked with that of society.  Facing scarcity of land supply in Hong Kong, architects do not just make use of spaces but create them, and take on the mission to improve the living standard and quality of a city.”

    “Over the years, we launched a range of educational improvement programmes with a mission of Building for Tomorrow.  Among them is the Architectural Design Internship Programme which, for the past nine years, has provided full financial support for 27 local architectural postgraduates to work in their dream architectural firms to learn the avant-garde and first-hand design practices.  The exhibition reflects their passion and talent in architecture through a series of chair designs.  I look forward to seeing them contribute further to the architectural field in Hong Kong,” said Ms Lee. 

    Chair designs look simple but in fact not only must a good chair be aesthetic and practical, it shares similar considerations to architectural design which requires thoughts on material, technology and culture.   

    One of the nine chair designers Harmony Wong, who graduated from The University of Hong Kong, obtained placement opportunity to work at Zaha Hadid in the UK in 2014.  Inspired by Typhoon Mangkhut, she created a bench “Under the Storm” and said, “the power of Typhoon Mangkhut dwarfs all other typhoons in Hong Kong in the past 20 years, it urges us to rethink our relationship with nature.  The bench captures the moment when the typhoon hit the city – the city was silent and the only noise came from the thrilling wind.  The subtle ripples in the storm are embedded on the surface of the bench which enriches users’ tactile experience.”

    Kenneth Wong was the first being awarded the internship opportunity when the Programme was launched in 2011 which opened the door for him to intern at his dream firm Herzog & de Meuron in Switzerland.  “The Wharf Architectural Design Internship and the internship opportunity at Herzog & de Meuron were a life-changing experience for me. Not only did it open up great possibilities for me especially for working in different overseas firms and widen my horizons, it was also a journey of discovery of my adherence, passion and curiosity that no books could offer.  It has inspired me much as to how architecture works with art, nature & culture, and how to become an all-rounded architect,” Kenneth Wong said.

    “I understand that the Programme is the first-of-its-kind in Hong Kong providing opportunities for local architectural postgraduates to work for celebrated international firms overseas with full financial support.  I hope that this internship programme will continue to benefit more architect students in Hong Kong,” he added.

    The Wharf Group has built a series of landmark properties in Hong Kong and Mainland China and received a number of international awards.  Founded by the Wharf ArchDesign Resource Trust in 2011, the Architectural Design Internship Programme aims at fostering excellence in architecture and grooming young architects.  The Programme provides financial support covering airfares and living expenses up to HK$350,000 for each awardee.  To date, the Programme has supported 27 awardees to work in renowned architectural firms in Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States (see appendix).

    Held at Main Concourse of Ocean Terminal in Harbour City, the exhibition is open to the public from now to 24th September 2019.  Subsequently, the exhibits will be scattered over Harbour City to serve the public.





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