Harbor Kiosk is the first kinetic public architecture in Hong Kong that innovatively combines parametric architectural design with bespoke engineering.
Located at the Avenue of Stars at Harborfront in Hong Kong, a promenade that celebrates the success of Hong Kong's movie industry, Harbor Kiosk’s movement pays tribute to the movie industry.
To translate the moving images of cinema into the kinetic movement of architecture, the architects and engineers took inspiration from the local market stalls and designed an automatic system that transforms the “gate” of Harbor Kiosk into “awning” during the day and returns to its compact shape at night. This mechanical movement is powered by a linear motion system made of 49 connected robotic arms installed behind the timber fins. The wave generator system also moves the timber fins in waves throughout the day to resonate with the nearby harbor waves in poetic ways.
The architects and engineers developed four prototypes over three years to optimize kiosk design and movements. The structure was calculated to withstand the typhoon season in Hong Kong. A safety sensor was installed at the kiosk counter to ensure clearance during the opening and closing moments.
To enhance the public function of the food kiosk, the design team combined the 100-sqft food kiosk with a 300-sqft M&E machine room nearby at the early stage of the project, gaining a 56-ft long wall space to accommodate more public functions, including a vending machine, drinking fountains, and info screens. The M&E machine room also provides different utilities (e.g. water and electricity) for the Avenue of Stars, while the kiosk in front feed the stomach of visitors in the area.
The form of Harbor Kiosk was influenced by several surrounding landmarks to create an organic form that sits harmoniously amongst its contexts. The facade features three strata of profiled timber slats to conceal the machine room doors and accommodate different types of public functions. The timber fins were carefully finished with exterior grade oil finish for durability against UV and termites.
Harbor Kiosk offers a meaningful public space by carefully reinterpreting local culture and translating it into mechanical vernacular. By creatively combining the food kiosk with the nearby M&E room, the design of Harbor Kiosk also enhances a kiosk’s public services.