This project was for us to designed commercial kiosks for the Hong Kong International Airport. Our design was inspired by traditional wheeled cart vendors that dominated the streets of old Hong Kong. They were once vendors that provided fresh food, cooked dishes and products to Hong Kongers, and a major source of income for merchants.
Traditional wheel cart vendors are motorised trucks which carry specialised types of products. The carts needed to have flexible changeability and mobility for merchants to bring them around the streets and sell products in different areas. Typical materials used to construct the carts, like tinfoil, the iconic red-white-blue plastic nylon canvas, are all temporary in nature. The materials allow carts to be dismantled and reconfigured in a matter of hours. These carts, with the emergence of malls and arcades, are now almost obsolete in the streets of Hong Kong.
Our design concept is to bring back these wheeled carts as paying homage to Hong Kong’s traditions. We reinvented the carts as small shop kiosks for the Hong Kong International Airport. Unlike traditional wheeled carts, these portable commercial kiosks are made of more durable materials such as glass and steel. The choice of material also pays homage to Hong Kong’s glass and steel architectures that were built during the height of Modernism, and the architecture of the airport itself, designed by British architect Lord Norman Foster. Modernist architecture is emblematic to the city because they were built to accompany Hong Kong’s transformation into an international financial hub.
Complying with the Airport Authority regulations, these kiosks are designed with extreme caution and care, meeting the most stringent requirements for fire safety. Complementing the basic box structure are the kit-of-parts accessories such as fascia light boxes, shutters, storage units and display shelves. Different vendors can make use of various accessories to form a kiosk that suits their own needs. While its design could vary, the basic premise of the stall, being demountable and mobile remains, unchanged.