Recognized as the first kinetic public architecture in Hong Kong, Harbour Kiosk’s cinematic transformation activates the surrounding public space while paying tribute to the action movies that the local film industry is famous for. Designed by LAAB Architects, Harbour Kiosk fits neatly into its the natural surrounding at the Avenue of Stars, a promenade along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront that celebrates the success of the Hong Kong film industry. The form of Harbor Kiosk was influenced by several surrounding landmarks to create an organic form that sits harmoniously amongst its contexts.
Inspired by the local market stalls in Hong Kong, which expand and engage with the public when they are open and return to their compact and secured form when they are closed, Harbour Kiosk automatically transforms its ‘gate’ into an ‘awning’ during the day and returns to its compact shape at night. The 49 robotic arms behind the profiled timber fins magically perform the cinematic transformation. The wave generator system also moves the timber fins in waves throughout the day to resonate with harbor waves, establishing an emotional connection between the people, the architecture, and the surrounding nature.
The original brief only asked LAAB to design a 10-square-meter food kiosk. However, as a food kiosk in the public space, LAAB Architects believed that it also had a mission to serve the public. To achieve its public services, LAAB 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.