Moonlight Across the Border

This project is a napping and recreational space for 5000 cross- border workers who commute between Hong Kong and China on a daily basis. The building is a 30,000 sqm linear modular structure situated on the land border between mainland China and Hong Kong. The project attempts to challenge a typical efficiency driven checkpoint, by proposing a relaxation driven public space for workers to nap, self-care and socialise before and after going to work in another city. A variety of spaces orientated by change in subtle light qualities navigate the workers across a horizontal landscape. By sleeping and bathing together, the project wishes to maximise the limited personal time of the cross-border workers, providing opportunities to establish unique human mutual bonds through the shared biological need to sleep and recreate. 

This project is developed purely on material and structure investigations. Rely purely on passive sun control, it seeks to explore how the architecture can create a series of designed/controlled lighting conditions/ environments to create an micro-enivornment to facilitate with worker's napping, self-care and relaxation activities. My technical study objectives are to study the principles of passive lighting control in architecture and understanding the principles of light transmission. Through material tests to understand the material properties and its relationship to natural lighting control. It is also important for my technical studies to research into the relationship between lux levels and activites, investigate into the parameters that could control internal lux levels. and hence make critical design decisions in response. 

The Exploited Labour Culture

The exploited labour culture especially in Asia, affects workers across all labour forces. It results a struggle for individuals to balance the disequilibrium between work and life. One of the earlier emerging subjectivities explored was the day labourers at Sanhe Labour Market in Shenzhen. They live an 'utopian' working lifestyle as a reaction to the intense labour pressures in the contemporay Chinese society.

 

Sleep on the frontier between the social and the natural with its cyclic rhythm to ensure the physical existence of lives can no longer be compatible with the demand of capitalism. Often, on top of stress and long working hours, cross border workers between Shenzhen and Hong Kong need to spend at least 4 hours a day on commuting between the two cities. 

A Place to do 'Nothing'

The modular structure encloses a series of interconnecting spaces sustaining a controlled lighting condition throughout the day. The horizontality of a series of carved out landscapes stand as a thickened line of resistance against the rapid flow of the border crossing crowds. One may move nomadically along the landscape, in between light and darkness to discover one’s own private domain. The need to sleep and bath are one of the few remaining moments, where one’s instinctive desire can be revealed nakedly and honestly to the others. Together under the subtle interplay of light and darkness, all the exhaustion can be forgotten, the external world can be forgotten to purely enjoy the luxury to doing nothing. Sharing the common biological need to rest, the border becomes its own micro- environment to detach the workers from physical and mental exhaustion, refocuses the attention to the self. 

© 2020 BY NETTIE NI

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