URA receives international accolade for its revitalisation of community space H6 CONET through “place-making” concept
The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) adopted a new place-making concept in creating H6 CONET, the community space located on the ground floor of The Center, for public enjoyment when it was opened in October 2017. Following this major facelift and retrofitting of the venue, the URA has been extending its place-making effort to beautify the adjacent streets to enhance the unique local characteristics of the surrounding district. With its innovative planning and design, the project received international commendation for creating a community space in the hustling urban centre while inspiring thoughts of life.
In the 2020 Muse Design Awards announced in April this year, H6 CONET clinched the highest rank of Platinum in the category of “Interior Design ‒ Civic / Public” to become one of the three winners in the world, as well as the sole organisation in Hong Kong receiving this award in the category.
Muse Design Awards is a design competition organised by the International Awards Associate (IAA). This year, the jury panel of the Awards was composed of over 40 multidisciplinary professionals and corporate representatives from all over the world, steering fair and independent selection of outstanding works for the nine major categories among some 3,800 projects from more than 50 countries.
Occupying an area of about 2,660 square metres, H6 CONET, which formerly provided office spaces for government departments, public bodies and community organisations, was renovated and replanned to become “a place for the community” with quality spaces for public enjoyment. Offering dynamic co-sharing area to accommodate a variety of cultural and art activities, such as music performances by community organisations, meetings, exhibitions and art workshops, in a bid to foster ties and interaction among the public, the venue was renamed H6 CONET with the word “CONET” standing for Community, Open Space and Network.
The venue also accommodates the re-designed Urban Renewal Exploration Centre, which provides informative and interactive experience facilities for the general public to understand the work of the URA while inspiring the visitors to approach different urban renewal issues from dynamic perspectives.
With regard to venue design, the art-themed interior is furnished with natural greening while offering open space along with free Wi-Fi services, offering the public a cozy atmosphere. Since its opening from October 2017, H6 CONET has organised over 120 public events such as exhibitions, performances and workshops. The multi-function rooms are also open to different organisations for rental. Online booking services are available for all venues at https://h6.ura-vb.org.hk. Since its opening, H6 CONET has seen an increased visitor traffic from an average of 3,000 visits per weekday to over 8,000 in the past year, indicating that the place has become a popular gathering spot in the bustling Central.
By applying place-making concepts to the design of H6 CONET, the URA also revitalises six nearby streets, namely Gilman Street, Gilman’s Bazaar, Wing On Street, Tung Man Street, Hing Lung Street and Tit Hong Lane, for greater benefits to the community. While the layout plan connects the entrances of H6 CONET to these streets for enhancement of accessibility of the area, the URA also beautifies the streets and facilities by studying the evolution of the district scenery and its cultural landscape, and embedding such elements in the design to exemplify the unique personality of the local district.
In a bid to apply the place-making concept to a wider district, the URA further connects H6 CONET to the built environment in the surroundings through a number of initiatives. These include inviting artists to exhibit their creativity by drawing mural paintings on three building walls upon seeking consent from the nearby building owners, creating 3D drawings on gutter covers on the street, as well as sponsoring 12 nearby hawkers to carry out stall beautification works, so as to integrate H6 CONET and the surrounding built environment into unique streetscapes embedding different cultural historical elements.
About MUSE Design Awards
MUSE Design Awards was created by International Awards Associate (IAA) to answer a need for nurturing and promoting the designing “muses” that push the evolution of design to the next level. It seeks to discover and advance existing and developing designers in all the design professions that improve the world we live in. IAA is composed of award-winning communications professionals, who are dedicated to searching out the exceptionally creative “stars” and to give them the recognition they deserve. For more information of the IAA and the Awards, please visit https://www.design.museaward.com/