Can Hong Kong's Innovation Tower inspire the city's architects?

Futuristic building shakes up Hong Kong design
spc one square meter jockey club_00030119

    JUST WATCHED

    Futuristic building shakes up Hong Kong design

MUST WATCH

Futuristic building shakes up Hong Kong design 03:02

Story highlights

  • The Jockey Club Innovation Tower at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University opened in 2011 at cost of $81 million
  • Building is first Zaha Hadid structure in Hong Kong
  • University hopes the campus will inspire designers and architects of the future
One Square Meter explores the leading architectural designs, city plans and demand for property investment. Join CNN's John Defterios as he visits some of the world's most dynamic cities for an insight into the fast-paced world of real estate development. Click here for more show times.

(CNN)In the thick of Hong Kong's concrete jungle, surrounded by dense residential spaces and a web of roaring highways lies the Jockey Club Innovation Tower at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

The building, which opened just over a year ago, is the new home for the university's design students.
    Although it is affiliated with the Hong Kong Jockey Club, it has nothing to do with horse racing and everything to do with design.
    Stretching 15 stories skywards and with interior space measuring up to 15,000 square-meters, the $81 million tower consists of labs, workshop spaces, classrooms and exhibition areas that are open to the public.
    Why are big tech companies moving to San Francisco?
    spc one square meter san francisco tech scene_00030003

      JUST WATCHED

      Why are big tech companies moving to San Francisco?

    MUST WATCH

    Why are big tech companies moving to San Francisco? 03:02
    It's a stark contrast to the rest of the old-fashioned red-brick campus.
    Hong Kong's cultural future
    spc one square meter west kowloon cultural district_00014318

      JUST WATCHED

      Hong Kong's cultural future

    MUST WATCH

    Hong Kong's cultural future 02:57
    Displaying fluid corridors, curvaceous walls, and a radical structure, the Innovation Tower is also the first building from renowned Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid to be built in Hong Kong.
    "The school has a long history but it used to be blended into the campus, it was quite sort of hidden," said Simon Yu, an architect at Zaha Hadid Architects. "Now with a new home it brings it all out into one hub."
    It's hoped the futuristic design will inspire the next generation of ambitious artists, architects and designers currently studying on the 50-year-old campus.
    The design "tries to do all that by exposing as much sort of visually as possible, not just the work from the students but of course the building," Yu added.
    For the students, the building is a fresh source of stimulation.
    Second year design student, Fatina Pong, describes the importance of studying and being located in a building that emphasizes all sorts of creative possibilities.
    The Innovation Tower at Hong Kong Polytechninc University.
    "When I stepped in this building... it's kind of a sense of identity and I feel like I'm a design student," she said. "The thing you see like the walls and the lights and the shapes of the building actually affects your thinking of design."
    But beyond an environment that inspires innovation, the school also has diverse global ambitions.
    It has already drawn up to 150,000 visitors since it opened last year.
    "It attracts people. It's not only (for) our students and our teachers in the building," said Professor Timothy Tong, President, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    "Constantly we have folks from the business sector, we have folks from the industries, coming here to interact with our students and professors...our students in fact get exposed to a much wider field of design."
    Bold, ambitious and slanting to the future, this school hopes to shake up Hong Kong's design industry and influence the shape of the city in the future as well.