Ecocultural Journey

Derek LAU

Shui Hau Village is a living chinese landscape painting. She lies modestly underneath the Phoenix Mountain in the southern part of Lantau Island for around 300 years. She inherits traditional chinese village’s tranquility and the chinese philosophy of Harmony between human and nature. If you were here, you may hear the mountain song from Shui Hau Po Po, echoing with golden field scene in the 70s agricultural activities. She is also an ecology hotspot of Hong Kong for her complete ecology cycle with layers of Mountain, village, field, wetlandscape, sandflat and ocean. More than 400 species live in this last heaven place of Hong Kong like endangerous species like horseshoe crab, Buffalo and Birds.

The project researches an alternative hertiage conservation approach with referencing the theory of Eco-phenomenology focusing on the pursuit of the relationalities of world engagement, both human and other creatures which emphasize the lived and first hand experiences of the preceiver to have bodily engagment with the enviornment instead of intellectual consciousness in modern science. When translated the ontology thinking to architecturual language, we may interpreted as a gradual human behavior change in sequence from biophilia, biomimicry, nature restoration to becoming nature. We transform ourselves from anthropocentrism to Holism.

In rural regeneration strategy, an ecocultural heritiage trail linking the collective memory of the village, ritual path, ancestral hall to the field and wetlandscape is proposed for the continuity of the tradition Punti culture. An Eco-agricultural Edcuation Center is proposed as a knowledge exchange hub for the villagers, general public and animals forming a new sense of community that include both Human and Non-human. Programes includes an ecology center, agricultural center, communal hall and a cattle shed.

Architecturally, the eco-phenomenology approach is manifested through primitive construction and embodied action of space. The new buildings are to be self-built by the villagers using local natural material like wood and mud brick to increase sense of community. Tree house typology for the bird sensing place bring human back to nature and become one.

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