Newsletter No. 442

8 442 • 4.9.2014 口談實錄 Viva Voce ’ 本刊由香港中文大學資訊處出版,每月出版兩期。截稿日期及稿例載於 。 The CUHK Newsletter is published by the Information Services Office, CUHK, on a fortnightly basis. Submission guidelines and deadlines can be found at . 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. 建築學院院長 陳丙驊 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. 你為何修讀建築? 回想起來,這實在是天意。我的成長環境全與建造或地盤相 關,因此,這應該是理所當然。家父是土木及結構工程師, 家母則在二次大戰時期唸建築,而更甚的是,岳丈、他父親 和祖父皆是建築師或建造商。 宣道會錦繡堂和尖沙嘴聖安德烈堂兩項教會工程都由你 負責,是湊巧的嗎? 我相信這是神的安排。做這兩項工程時,我還沒有信基督 教。錦繡堂位處錦繡花園,是由已故岳丈負責策劃的。 聖安德烈堂現在是我和家人在港屬靈的家,我在九十年代中 初次來這教會,仍記首次踏進這座有百年歷史的建築物參加 崇拜的光景,那是溽暑7月,室內沒有冷氣,之後妻子很興奮, 認為牧師和講道內容極棒,女兒們也很喜歡到這裏上主日 學,所以,雖然我不斷喊太熱了,但仍繼續回去。某天,教會 計劃大規模修葺這座歷史建築,當時的教會建築委員會主 席為中大前建築學院院長 何培斌 教授,他推薦我擔任該工 程的建築師。我想出了為這古老建築安裝冷氣而毋須外露喉 管的方法。在翻新工程進行的同時,我的屬靈生命也氣象一 新。工程完畢後不久,我在那裏受洗。 領導建築公司和學術機構最大的分別是甚麼? 首先,私人執業時做起事來快很多。我在香港建築界執業二 十八年,現在是首次有上司─校長、副校長和社會科學院 院長。建築學院有責任領導思想,這是在大學工作的挑戰和 樂趣。我期望可加強本院與建築界的聯繫,這樣學院仍然是 象牙塔,但有許多吊橋通往外面。 建築學院有何長處?你將如何擴而充之? 學院在1991年成立,歷史雖短,教研卻頗有成就,畢業生在 業內也表現突出。我們與海外院校有不少交流計劃和聯合工 作室。我們最優秀那百分之五學生,可媲美全球頂級院校如 哈佛、耶魯、劍橋和倫敦大學學院巴特利特學院的學生。這 裏的挑戰是要令中游的學生由「好」變得「更好」。我們的學 生有熱誠、用功、關心社會議題。 建築界專業人員未來最大的挑戰是甚麼? 建築師過去在建造過程中的領導角色,漸被削弱和邊緣化。 以前視建築師為獨奏者的看法也不合時宜,事實上,建築 師講求與他人合作,他們或應視自己為交響樂團的指揮,負 責的不單是設計,更要整合顧問和承建商等各相關單位的 工作。 建築師要具備哪些素質? 建築是非常具挑戰性的行業,建築師非要有自信不可,但這 種自信必須是來自能力才幹,而非驕傲自大,更要開明謙虛, 最重要是樂於聆聽意見。至於本院學生的目標,我們致力培 養他們的核心能力和批判思維。這是支撐創意和領導的兩 根重要支柱。學院不希望他們只是為裝飾而設計或模仿當今 受歡迎的建築師,否則他們的設計事業將像恐龍一樣滅絕。 可持續設計在學術課程有何重要? 早在「可持續性」這個詞大行其道之前,建築師已經在做這 方面的工作,那時候我們只稱之為常識。最好的作品一定與 大自然契合,而非違反自然。 請掃描QR碼閱讀全文版 Scan the QR code for the full version Photo by Cheung Wailok@Hiro Graphics