[The White Sheet project] is the metaphor for creativity. It expresses a universal symbol as the common media tool of every designer. This educational facility for local and overseas students in the field of design, is conceived to offer maximal permeability on the ground to connect to the urban grid and enrich interaction. Strong architectural volumes are expressed with their utmost simplicity. They are the result of the program decomposition into interacting iconic pieces. The architecture of the Institute is conceived with 3 main elements: The podium, gently sloping down from a 7M high level to King Ling Road, is conceived as a landscape extrusion from the ground connected to the urban environment. It creates a strong visual impact as well as an inviting feeling to the outside visitor. The platform / sky city, housing mainly the common library, is the main expression of the building; this immaculate and minimal volume floating on top of the glass towers, creates a unique impact on the environment, which will intrigue the outside visitor, and bring a landmark building to the community. The towers / legs of education are conceived both as the structural cores of the project and at the same time the structure of the Institute, as they house all the Teaching facilities which are the soul of the Institute. They express the diversity of the fields represented inside the Hong Kong Design Institute, and simultaneously the synergy they find by connecting to the levels of interaction on the ground and the platform. The visual exposure of the white steel lattice on the towers perimeters defines a unique feature to the complex. The composition created with those interconnecting elements defines the Hong Kong Design Institute as a timeless building and expresses immediately its ambition of synergy, design excellence, publicity and interactivity.
Thomas Coldefy is the manager of CAAU, created in 1984 by the architect and urban designer Bertrand Coldefy in Cambrai, France. The firm has earned a reputation for its experience in construction and flair for design, locally and internationally. The Coldefy & AssociÃ©s Architectes Urbanistes architecture studio has offices today in Lille, Paris and Hong Kong. In 2010 Oliver Page joined the company as director with a strong background in construction. Isabel Van Haute completes the management team with her role as artistic director. This effective team, supported by staff from many disciplines and backgrounds, combines know-how, dynamism and creativity. A spirit of open-mindedness and innovation required in highly reputed international firms, especially in the USA, good architectural and urban grounding, experience of large-scale projects handled within prestigious collaborative ventures, have all given the firm access to public and private commissions both in France and abroad. The firmâ€™s areas of operation cover very disparate fields: public amenities (education, culture, sports, law and health), private developments (housing, service complexes, industrial buildings, shopping centres), etc... In 2005, in association with Steven Holl Architects studio, CAAU was one of the 5 finalist teams in the International Louvre 2 Competition in Lens. At the end of 2006, the emblematic Hong Kong Design Institute project was awarded to Coldefy & AssociÃ©s Architectes Urbanistes / CAAU, winners of the two-phase international competition. 162 teams from 23 different countries participated in this competition... In 2009, the studio was first Prize winner of the international competition for the construction of the international Conference Center in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.