Music Fountains at Kwun Tong Promenade – The Fountain is a Place of Refreshment for all. Following the transformation of the former cargo working area into waterfront promenade, the Fountain enriched it with water-friendly activities. The reflected pool under sunset and choreographed fountains bring pleasure to visitors visually and acoustically. Wet play are designed for children of different ages. Kerb-less and amiable circulation design tie in with the concept of barrier-free access. During night time, with the panoramic view to Victoria Harbour, lighting effects further brings spectacularity to the shows. The Fountain has further enhanced vibrancy in the Kowloon East as the 2nd “CBD ” in HK.
Architizer chatted with Mr. M.C.CHUNG, Chief Architect at Architectural Services Department, HKSARG, to learn more about this project.
Architizer: What inspired the initial concept for your design?
Mr. M.C.CHUNG: With a strategic location along an extensive promenade in a rather old neighbourhood, we immediately knew the mission of the project in uplifting the spirit of the waterfront and bringing life and energy to the old urban district of Kwun Tong. The introduction of water feature at the open space brings the sea into the elevated promenade where a new type of children playground with interactive play concepts are explored. The project also becomes a new sightseeing point right opposite to the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, which welcomes thousands of tourists each year.
What do you believe is the most unique or ‘standout’ component of the project?
The interactive fountain is injected with ideas of water plays for children of various ages. There are gentle flowing water ways along the pool edge for toddlers while more exciting and interactive water jets are designed for teenagers and adults.
What was the greatest design challenge you faced during the project, and how did you navigate it?
It would be the maintaining of balance between the music fountain portion and the children friendly water play area within the narrow site. The area for water play and lawn has to be maximized without compromising the optimum size of the music fountain pools for performing the shows.
How did the context of your project — environmental, social or cultural — influence your design?
The project is situated opposite to the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, in the old urban district of Kwun Tong adjacent to the old industrial area, which is currently transforming under urban renewal initiatives. It was important that the project would be a sightseeing points for the tourists coming from the cruise terminal, while bringing life and energy to the old neighbourhood. The provision of a music fountain at the promenade is actually a collective idea from local residents after public consultations by the Kwun Tong District Council.
What drove the selection of materials used in the project?
Materials of a neutral tone, such as fair-faced concrete benches and grey granite, were used to form a backdrop for the green lawn and colourful music shows. Dark grey granite was adopted for the reflection pool, which works perfectly to reflect the sunset from the sea side. One inch thick non-slip tiles as an alternative to granite panels were used for the children play area to ensure safety and ease of maintenance.
What is your favorite detail in the project and why?
There is a water way with stone projections, where water ripples off while running down the water way. Together with the sitting benches of various height and streamlined forms, they create an abstract image of a rambling stream in modern expression.
How important was sustainability as a design criteria as you worked on this project?
The water jets and ponds cool down the area and enhanced a welcomed experience in hot season. Lawn area is maximized and hard paving is kept at minimal, the lawn merges with the pools and connects all play areas with the music fountain. Water used in the fountains would be recycled through a filtration and sanitizing plant with minimum water usage.
In what ways did you collaborate with others, and how did that add value to the project?
Close collaboration with client department was maintain throughout the project. Hoping to provide various ways for the public to enjoy the fountains, interactive parts of the fountains for children were added as a fruitful conclusion from the discussion with the client department. The fountain would also stay in a “screen saver mode” with slowly flowing water to form more a peaceful landscape feature during day time, which contrast with the vivid and dynamic music fountain shows at night time.
How have your clients responded to the finished project?
The project is well received by both the client department and the public, especially the children.
What key lesson did you learn in the process of conceiving the project?
Small projects or trial projects are always a nice testing ground for new configurations.
How do you believe this project represents you or your firm as a whole?
This project is a new exploration for us in landscaping, and the project is the first of its kind in the area.
Is there anything else important you’d like to share about this project?
Design should always be user experience oriented, and to bring joy to the neighbourhood. It has been a pleasure designing such a lively place for the city of Hong Kong.
M.C. CHUNG, Tuesday LI, Donald LEUNG, Peter LAU, David LEUNG, David WONG, Steve WONG, Jackie LEE, Vivian LAI, Alice CHAN
Olivine SPA Concept Ltd., TLS & Associates Ltd