UDON is an innovative urban parking structure designed to address the safety, health, and sustainability shortcomings of the parking garage typology while placing it in the context of a vertically sprawling Hong Kong in a time of “anything is possible”.
UDON fights the stagnant, patterned monoliths already overburdening the skyline by introducing a form that works with nature rather than against it. The soft form of the strand allows it to work with the context in form and function.
UDON is but one noodle in the soup towards a safer, healthier, and more sustainable Hong Kong.
ONEWAY: a single lane for automobile traffic moving in a single direction with 60 degree parking on one side.
WALKWAY: a running, biking, and walking path that is used as circulation for UDON and as an exercise track.
When ONEWAY and WALKWAY are joined together, they become a single flexible strand that can then be tightly packed in many ways for optimal efficiency. UDON uses simulated particle physics to pack the strand onto the site. This allows required program to be easily nested within the strands. Much like beef cubes in a bowl of noodles.
A one-way parking structure is the easiest to navigate. It requires no map or signage. The parking spots are named according to their distance from the exit and colored according to their height off the ground.
Each rented parking space comes with a bike rental included in the price. One is stored at the front of each parking place, and extras distribute around the structure. The bikes can be used as a sustainable way to bring the customer to the ground level, instead of energy consuming elevators. They can also be used for exercise or as transport into the city, new reasons to visit UDON. This utilizes the potential energy that is normally wasted when one ascends parking structures.
With multiple services offered, UDON has a diversity of visitors. This will not only provide income security for UDON investors, but security for the users. An experienced runner may want to run up then down the entire garage, so they park at the bottom. While a family going for a bike ride may want an easy ride so they start at the top. This dispersal of parking prevents potentially dangerous “dead-zones” of little use.
The general rule of parking safety is “park in highly visible, well lit areas”. With the increased traffic caused by the one-way road, no more “dead-zones”, and the number of people running on the track nearby, each parking spot is frequently viewed.
The walls of UDON are steel cables with varying types of plants climbing up them. The porosity of this skin allows natural lighting to penetrate into the building to illuminate any threats. This, also, allows natural ventilation of the garage while acting as a giant filter that cleans the carbon particulates from the air.
In one corner of the site rises a minimal core with rectilinear volumes cantilevered off from it. These volumes contain the essential functions of UDON. Lobby and reception are at the ground level nearest to the entrance of the parking. Above them are the offices for the administrators. Midway up the structure are the two levels of multi-purpose space, one with a terraced outdoor area. The top floor is the Café, also with indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor seating has an option where visitors can sit on a stretch of grass and look out over the harbour.
The program volumes are made of concrete with rough recycled aggregate. Shielding this from solar rays, a single layer of back-painted glass is offset from the surface of the concrete. This glass can be backlit with multicolor L.E.D.’s to appear as glowing boxes in the sky during the “Festival of Lights”.
The rectilinear form of the program volumes is meant to appear as frozen in time whereas the curvilinear form of the ONEWAY-WALKWAY conveys the constant motion taking place within it.