NG Vincent/ AGC
he soaring height of a church tower overseeing low-rise village clusters is a symbolic image of religion’s omnipresence in many European Cities. In Asian cities, however, such verticality becomes obsolete amongst the extreme urban density. Given the ever-increasing property price and land value, every construction in Hong Kong is virtually a skyscraper maximizing development potential. The competitive urban environment is saturated with landmarks and icons. Religious Architecture calls for an alternative approach that is sensitive to the community and its urban fabric. The church building on display is a redevelopment project embodying the ethos of public engagement. Leaning on a terraced topography, the recessed church entrance frees up the ground at street level and invites visitors to climb the grand stairs up to enter the House of God. Stacked above the Main Sanctuary are Kindergarten and Elderly Day Care Center which further extend the public realm at upper storeys. The openness of the church building is accentuated by the slender cross on the narrow façade recalling collective memory of the church’s presence in the neighborhood for the past 60 years.