Hong Kong Noise Barrier

Hong Kong, China, 2009


international ideas competition

Hong Kong Institute of Architects

Hong Kong, China

steel grid, prefabricated bamboo bales

SADAR+VUGA (Jurij Sadar, Boštjan Vuga, Ramon Velazquez, Sven Kalim)

Our intention is to create noise barriers which responsively interact with their context and climate, in addition to fulfilling its primary function of noise reduction. Adjacent the noise barriers’ trajectory, micro ambiences are created through material (greenery, structure) and immaterial (light, sound) devices. In doing so, the noise barrier will provide positive atmospheric qualities to its surroundings. The noise barrier is an interface between the road space and city space. Bamboo’s characteristics as a sustainable and local material make it ideal to create a unique and recognizable noise barrier.

Three Types of bales composed of various tightly bound bamboos were explored to perform a specific function. Typed 1 is regular hollow bamboo that transforms noise directly. Type 2 is irregular hollow bamboo with an infill of fiber optic cable. Type 3 is irregular solid (un-cored) bamboo which provides maximum sound protection. Each bale will be standardized to approximately 200cm x 50m, with a variable depth between 50cm and 260cm. A simple steel grid is utilized to provide a series of slots for the prefabricated bamboo bales to fit and attach to. The steel structure is constructed at the desired location, and prefabricated bamboo bales are placed in situ. The overall structural concept is to minimize its visual impact in order to achieve a perceived continuity of bamboo.

The development of these bales and grid structure produces a flexible system which can easily change according to external parameters.

The bamboo produces a genuinely rudimentary visual effect through its simple construction and application, yet a complex atmospheric effect through the implementation of various input transformers.