LAAB's kinetic 'harbour kiosk' in hong hong opens + closes using robotic timber fins

LAAB's kinetic 'harbour kiosk' in hong hong opens + closes using robotic timber fins

LAAB architects has built harbour kiosk, hong kong‘s first kinetic public architecture, at the avenue of stars, a promenade located along the tsim sha tsui waterfront that celebrates the success of the region’s film industry. the project draws from the local market stalls, which expand and engage with the public when they are open and return to their compact and secured form when they are closed, and automatically transforms its ‘gate’ into ‘awning’ during the day while returning to its compact shape at night. its cinematic transformation activates the surrounding public space and, at the same time, it pays tribute to the action movies that the local film industry is famous for.  LAAB's kinetic 'harbour kiosk' in hong hong opens + closes through robotic timber finsall images by LAAB architects, video by DCinematic



LAAB architects has placed 49 robotic arms behind the profiled timber fins of harbour kiosk‘s exterior, which magically perform the cinematic transformation. the wave generator system also moves the timber fins in waves throughout the day to resonate with harbour waves, establishing an emotional connection between the people, the architecture, and the surrounding nature. the kiosk’s façade features three strata of profiled timber slats, which not only conceal the machine room doors but also accommodate different types of public functions inside the wavy surfaces.  LAAB's kinetic 'harbour kiosk' in hong hong opens + closes through robotic timber fins



while the original brief only asked LAAB to design a 10 sqm food kiosk in the public space, the hong kong-based architecture firm believed that it also has the mission to serve the public. to achieve its public services, the architects merged the food kiosk with a large M&E machine room nearby and gained a 17-meter long wall space to accommodate public functions, including a counter table, a vending machine, drinking fountains, info panels, and planters. harbour kiosk also provides water and electricity for the avenue of stars and contains all the server panels and a stereo system for the light show that happens every night at 8pm.



the architects, engineers, and makers at LAAB developed four prototypes in two years to optimize the parametric design and the kinetic system to ensure that the structure and design can withstand the typhoon season in hong kong. PEFC-certified red balau wood has been used as a sustainable façade material because of its strength, hardness, lightness, and cost-effectiveness, and has been treated with exterior grade oil finish for better durability against UV and termites. the length and profile of each timber fin was precisely made with digital fabrication and local craftsmanship.

v  LAAB's kinetic 'harbour kiosk' in hong hong opens + closes through robotic timber fins



project info:


name: harbour kiosk

architect: LAAB architects

location: avenue of stars, tsim sha tsui, hong kong

gross built area: 40 sqm

team: otto ng, jesse hao, ck wong, alfred pun, winson man, kelvin lam, anderson chan, reagan lee, humphrey keung, catherine cheng, yip chun hang

client: AOS management limited

façade structural engineer: befrank

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