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Building Ourselves


Christian Zheng Sheng College, Ha Keng,Chi Ma Wan,Lantau

Project Description:

‘Building Ourselves’ is a student-initiated project originated from the organizers’ thesis project, supervised by prof. Edward Ng.

This project promotes service-learning opportunity and allows architectural students to serve the youth-at-risk with academic knowledge and practices. Besides, by assisting Christian Zheng Seng College to renovate their campus, Zheng Sheng students will gain the knowledge about architecture and simple construction skills so that they can build the campus by themselves. In additions, CUHK volunteers and Zheng Sheng students will be led by professional construction team during the construction process. Our voluntary consultants provide professional architectural advice in construction and teach students to use primitive tools in a safety manner.

Students learnt to make use of existing materials such as the wasted timber, large rock and sand to construct their campus. They also learnt to properly retreat the old timber from sanding and coating; to construct gabion wall structure as a base for the bridge platform from large rock and metal wire. This self-building process would enhance the sense of belonging of the students to the campus.

There are 2 main construction locations in the campus:

1. The rainbow bridge for the fruit garden Owing to the exposed water pipes along the passage way to the new campus, new bridge is made for providing a safe and easy access to the new fruit garden. A series of fencing is added to protect the water pipes from damages. The construction facilitates their daily planting activities and fruits self-consumption for students. They have a new traveling pathway which is all done by their hands!

2. Seating area and Pavilion for the basketball court This construction aims to provide place for taking rest, and shelter for their archery activities. The seats lay on the existing small slope topography near the basketball court. This provides a more comprehensive environment for the sport activities.

Description how the project contributes with humanity:

The project involves two student construction exchange camps and a few pre camp design workshops. The design workshops involve Zheng Sheng students and teachers throughout the planning process.  They use cardboard models to demonstrate the new constructed campus facilities, including the location, functions, and structures. Also, there are fencing design workshops during the camp, allowing students to design their own pattern among the fencing. Senior Architectural students from CUHK assist the student groups to develop their ideas.

The construction process carried out by exchange camps. All structures are built by Zheng Sheng and CUHK students, under the supervision of construction professionals.  All the construction methods avoid usage of heavy machines and all material parts are carriable by human. As a result, the participatory level of this project by human is high.  Throughout the construction process, there are many opportunities for student interaction and friendship Built via the process.

To conclude, this project is ideas from students, built by students, and enjoyed by students.

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