Newsletter No. 442

8 442 • 4.9.2014 口谈实录 Viva Voce ’ 本刊由香港中文大学资讯处出版,每月出版两期。截稿日期及稿例载于 www.iso.cuhk.edu.hk/chinese/newsletter/ 。 The CUHK Newsletter is published by the Information Services Office, CUHK, on a fortnightly basis. Submission guidelines and deadlines can be found at www.iso.cuhk.edu.hk/english/newsletter/ . Why did you study architecture? Looking back, I think it must have been preordained. I grew up surrounded by construction and going to building sites, so I suppose it was inevitable. My father was a civil and structural engineer; my mother studied architecture in university during WWII. Even more impressively, my wife’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all architects and builders. Was it a coincidence that you undertook two church projects—the Fairview Park Alliance Church and St. Andrew’s Church in Tsim Sha Tsui? I believe it was God’s plan for me. Both of them were undertaken before I accepted Christian faith. Fairview Park Alliance Church was built in the community that my late father-in-law developed. I was introduced to St. Andrew’s Church in the mid-1990s, and it is now my family’s spiritual home in Hong Kong. I remember going to this century-old building for service for the first time. It was a sweltering day in July and there was no air-conditioning. After the service, my wife enthused over how great the preacher and the sermon were, and my daughters were happy in its Sunday school, so we went back, despite my protests over the heat. At some point the church planned extensive renovation to its heritage building. The then chairman of the Building Committee was Prof. Ho Puay-peng , former director of this school. He recommended me as architect for the job. I figured a way to install the air-conditioning without exposing a single pipe or duct. During the renovation process of the church, I was under renovation too, spiritually. Shortly after the project was finished, I was baptized there. What’s the biggest difference between leading a firm and an academic institution? For starters, things get done a lot faster in private practice! I have led my practice in Hong Kong for 28 years. Now for the first time, I have bosses—the Vice-Chancellor, Provost, the Dean. A school of architecture has some obligation in terms of thought leadership. That’s one of the biggest challenges and enjoyments of being in a university. I hope to build bridges between our school and the profession, so that it might still be an ivory tower but with many drawbridges. 建筑学院院长 陈丙骅 Prof. Nelson Chen Director of School of Architecture What are the strengths of the school and how would you build on that? It’s still a relatively young school (founded in 1991), yet it has achieved considerable success in teaching and research, and our graduates have done well in the profession. We have a number of exchange programmes and joint studios with leading overseas schools. The top five per cent of our students are on a par with any from the top schools worldwide—Harvard, Yale, Cambridge, Bartlett School at University College London. The challenge is to raise the bar of our median level from good to great, so to speak. Our students are devoted, hardworking, and committed to social agendas. What do you see is the biggest challenge for architectural professionals in future? The traditional role of the architect as the leader of the building process is becoming eroded and marginalized. The view that the architect is a soloist is also outdated. In fact, architects have always practised collaboratively. Architects should perhaps see themselves as orchestra conductors among all the contributors to a project, and understand that they not only design, but integrate the contributions of all the other players, such as consultants and contractors. What does it take to be an architect? Architecture is a very challenging profession. It really takes confidence, but it has to be a confidence that is informed by competence, not arrogance. You need to be open- minded and humble, and most importantly, be able to listen well. In terms of the aims for our students, we focus on core competence and critical thinking. These are the twin pillars that support the entablature that represents true creativity and leadership. We do not want them just to design something decorative or to imitate the popular architects of today, or their careers will become extinct in their own time as they become ‘design-osaurs’ What role does sustainability play in architecture? Architects have been doing sustainable design even before sustainability became a buzz word—back then, we just called it common sense. The best work has always worked with nature rather than against it. 你为何修读建筑? 回想起来,这实在是天意。我的成长环境全与建造或地盘相 关,因此,这应该是理所当然。家父是土木及结构工程师, 家母则在二次大战时期念建筑,而更甚的是,岳丈、他父亲 和祖父皆是建筑师或建造商。 宣道会锦绣堂和尖沙嘴圣安德烈堂两项教会工程都由你 负责,是凑巧的吗? 我相信这是神的安排。做这两项工程时,我还没有信基督 教。锦绣堂位处锦绣花园,是由已故岳丈负责策划的。 圣安德烈堂现在是我和家人在港属灵的家,我在九十年代中 初次来这教会,仍记首次踏进这座有百年历史的建筑物参加 崇拜的光景,那是溽暑7月,室内没有冷气,之后妻子很兴奋, 认为牧师和讲道内容极棒,女儿们也很喜欢到这里上主日 学,所以,虽然我不断喊太热了,但仍继续回去。某天,教会 计划大规模修葺这座历史建筑,当时的教会建筑委员会主 席为中大前建筑学院院长 何培斌 教授,他推荐我担任该工 程的建筑师。我想出了为这古老建筑安装冷气而毋须外露喉 管的方法。在翻新工程进行的同时,我的属灵生命也气象一 新。工程完毕后不久,我在那里受洗。 领导建筑公司和学术机构最大的分别是什么? 首先,私人执业时做起事来快很多。我在香港建筑界执业二 十八年,现在是首次有上司─校长、副校长和社会科学院 院长。建筑学院有责任领导思想,这是在大学工作的挑战和 乐趣。我期望可加强本院与建筑界的联系,这样学院仍然是 象牙塔,但有许多吊桥通往外面。 建筑学院有何长处?你将如何扩而充之? 学院在1991年成立,历史虽短,教研却颇有成就,毕业生在 业内也表现突出。我们与海外院校有不少交流计划和联合工 作室。我们最优秀那百分之五学生,可媲美全球顶级院校如 哈佛、耶鲁、剑桥和伦敦大学学院巴特利特学院的学生。这 里的挑战是要令中游的学生由「好」变得「更好」。我们的学 生有热诚、用功、关心社会议题。 建筑界专业人员未来最大的挑战是什么? 建筑师过去在建造过程中的领导角色,渐被削弱和边缘化。 以前视建筑师为独奏者的看法也不合时宜,事实上,建筑 师讲求与他人合作,他们或应视自己为交响乐团的指挥,负 责的不单是设计,更要整合顾问和承建商等各相关单位的 工作。 建筑师要具备哪些素质? 建筑是非常具挑战性的行业,建筑师非要有自信不可,但这 种自信必须是来自能力才干,而非骄傲自大,更要开明谦虚, 最重要是乐于聆听意见。至于本院学生的目标,我们致力培 养他们的核心能力和批判思维。这是支撑创意和领导的两 根重要支柱。学院不希望他们只是为装饰而设计或模仿当今 受欢迎的建筑师,否则他们的设计事业将像恐龙一样灭绝。 可持续设计在学术课程有何重要? 早在「可持续性」这个词大行其道之前,建筑师已经在做这 方面的工作,那时候我们只称之为常识。最好的作品一定与 大自然契合,而非违反自然。 请扫描QR码阅读全文版 Scan the QR code for the full version Photo by Cheung Wailok@Hiro Graphics

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