Raymond Pan

Raymond PanRaymond Pan

HMC Architects

Being a building fostering that fosters the flow of movements, one primary difficulty in the design of this building type is was to create an exciting and relevant traveling…

What was the most difficult issue about working within this building type or the most unexpected challenge that may have influenced new thought in your project?

Being a building fostering that fosters the flow of movements, one primary difficulty in the design of this building type is was to create an exciting and relevant traveling experience by rendering the various internal pragmatic flows— such as visitor, staff, security, and support circulation— into an uplifting architectural experience. Being the gateway to the city and departure point to the outside world, our challenge was to create an iconic building that is integral to the city fabric and at the same time holds its own as the lens looking into to the city and the outside world. The building becomes the new horizon and parkway for the city’s renewed water edge while displays also displaying itself as a piece of sculpture.

On the pragmatic side, an architecture that supports clear way-finding, spatial orientation and efficient internal flow circulationcirculation flow is a critical part of creating a positive experience for its users. This is especially critical when travelers/users are already often in a heightened state of anxiety with time constraints, baggage, and young traveling companions.

Did this project expand or evolve your role as an architect and designer in any way? In general, do you feel that the role of the architect is changing on current projects?

This complexity of this project required us to expand our roles as collaborators. The multi-faceted needs of this project type required us to elevate our capacity to find simple design solutions to complicated pragmatic challenges. To decipher the project’s multiple and unique pragmatic needs, it required an integrated design approach in which a design team of architects, engineers, planners and specialty consultants collaborate closely from the genesis of ideas to design execution. In particular to this project, beyond designing a building on land, one also has to take into account the marine engineering, tidal characters, security needs, and economic forces.

In this project type, architecture is no longer a singular act of genius and architects need to perform as the master builders who orchestrate the search for design solutions with the design team. The industry’s inclination toward design-build design process will further require the teaming of architects and builders as one integrated design team. Architects have to be well-rounded and sophisticated in building technology and constructability in order to maintain relevance in the design process.

How is your building possible today in a way that it may not have been before and how have trends in technology and society inspired new thought and solutions?

More than ever before, advanced design/modeling software and simulation technology today have allowed buildings to be designed with enhancing sophistication in formal experience, energy performance and constructability

On the formal experience front, these tools allowed for faster and more accurate reiterative design process in achieving a more precise design solution.

On the energy performance front, the awareness for building performance is greatly enhanced with use of digital simulation and modeling tools. For example, one of design goals of the Kaohsiung cruise terminal project is to reduce the energy usage of a building type with large volume and fluctuating occupancy load. Therefore the volume of the building is sculpted, simulated and calibrated to shade its envelope system and drastically reduces its cooling load.

In terms of constructability, the use of Building Information Modeling has allowed designers, consultants and builders to synchronize their ideas three-dimensionally and minimize coordination errors. It results in faster construction and reduced material waste.

In the context of this project, how is your office and design process being influenced by current trends in academic curricula and incoming young architects? In turn, how are current projects and processes guiding the ongoing reformulation and development of academic curricula?

Young incoming architects bring fresh ideologies and new software affluence to our office. Even more importantly, they bring in much needed energy and passion for design and elevate design possibilities. When they are dedicated to the learning of the craft and project design excellence, the projects benefit tremendously in terms of stronger design parti, more sophisticated spatial design and better executed details.

To build up these young architects’ technical affluence and capitalize on their new ideas, we form integrated design team of young and experienced architects.

In my opinion, there is still a need for stronger cross-pollination between practice and academia. With more collaboration between the two sides of the field, the academic curricula can then be more correlated to the development of the practice/industry trends and better position the younger architects to succeed in the practice.

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