THER(MALL)METER: MODELING THE ENVIRONMENTS OF HONG KONG SHOPPING MALLS
2010
Adam Frampton, Jonathan D Solomon and Clara Wong
With Joanne Ooi and The Clean Air Network

Research supported by AirTek Hong Kong

Assistants: Gweny Jin, Margie Tam

Student Helpers: Jonathan Hui, Anthony Lau, Arthur Sze, Veronica Cheung, Joel Wong, Renwick Chan, Norman Ung, Homan Yeung, Peter Yuen, Geri Chan, Fiona Ng

Exhibited in
Quotidian Architecture
Hong Kong in Venice
People Meet in Architecture
La Biennale di Venezia
28 August - 11 November 2010


Shopping malls are the true public space in Hong Kong. Thermallmeter explores this condition by mapping circulation networks that join shopping malls, MTR stations and public transport interchanges, public squares and walkways as a series of spatial models and drawings. These networks, though built piecemeal, owned by different public and private stakeholders, and adjacent to different programs and uses, form a space of continuous pedestrian movement that serves as a fundamental public resource. At the center of each network is the shopping mall. While the skyscraper is the most visible typology of architecture in Hong Kong, the shopping mall is more complex, uniquely evolved, and relevant to the movement and interaction of people. As a result of its development, proliferation, and its unique relationship to transportation infrastructure, the shopping mall is inextricable from the public dimension of the city—an architectural manifestation of both the fascinating and the quotidian. It is the space where people meet in
Hong Kong.

This continuous network is host to a variety of different environments, which when mapped, gives new insight into its differing function, use, and value. The relation between shopping malls and air temperature suggests architectural implications in circulation—differentiating spaces where pedestrians eagerly flow or make efforts to avoid, where people stop and linger or where smokers gather. Air particle concentration is both logical and counterintuitive: outdoor air is more polluted, while the air in the higher-end malls is cleaner than air adjacent to lower value retail. MTR stations, while significantly cooler than bus terminals, have only moderately cleaner air. While the network may be continuous, plumes of temperature differential or air particle intensity demonstrate that that the public environments of the city are far from equal.

Public Passage Networks in Central, Hong Kong
Public Passage Networks in Central, Hong Kong
Air Temperature Gradients
Air Temperature Gradients
Particulate Matter Gradients
Particulate Matter Gradients
Public passage networks in Langham Place represented as a solid mass
Public passage networks in Langham Place represented as a solid mass
Public Passage Networks in Pacific Place and Queensway Plaza represented as a solid mass
Public Passage Networks in Pacific Place and Queensway Plaza represented as a solid mass