Construction Communication

HKU 2013 | Construction Communication

6 min read

Co-lecturing with David Erdman, the ‘Construction Communication’ course (HKU | MArch I studio | Fall 2013) introduced students to the methods by which architects strategise, rationalise and communicate architectural designs. In any office whose work is notable, the intention of Construction Documentation (CD) is to encrypt and codify what are otherwise complex architectural effects into clear methods of construction.

“Without the architect’s faith that geometrically defined lines will engender something else more substantial yet discernable through drawing, without faith in the genetic message inscribed on paper, there is no architecture.”

 (Robin Evans, The Projective Cast; Architecture and Its Three Geometries, Introduction: Composition and Projection, MIT Press 1995)


Architects do not build. We communicate a design to builders. This course introduced students to the methods by which architects strategize, rationalize and communicate architectural designs. All architects use the same drawing standards for communicating their projects to contractors and consultants. At their root, these standards are techniques of notation. They are abstract graphical encryptions that leave open their precise interpretation and understanding.

The conventions for assembling and organizing these standards varies greatly between every office; there is no standard construction document set. An intelligent designer has to edit and prioritize different areas of their design. CD’s (as they are referred to) are a reflection of these priorities and are used to make a case for a project’s feasibility.

In any office whose work is notable, the intention of these documents is to encrypt and codify what are otherwise complex architectural effects into clear methods of construction. This knowledge and skill is crucial for any designer. Without an understanding of how to develop a drawing set that strategically reflects the rationale and efficiencies of complex design, built architectural innovation would not occur.

Construction Communication asked students to work in groups. Each group analysed, remodelled, re-drew and formulated a CD set for a given case study. The case studies are among the most innovative projects in the world.

28 projects for case studies were chosen. These were assigned an initial bias for students to investigate: enclosure, structure or geometry. The final required outcome for the course was an abbreviated CD set, containing basic and detailed information that is reflective of the bias, design intent and sensibility of the case study.


Shenzhen Stock Exchange
Shenzhen Stock Exchange, OMA – Ka Men Lee, Tien-Yan Leung & Yicai Chen
Milstein Hall
Milstein Hall, Cornell University, OMA – Yue Wu, Yue Ma & Yixi Wang
Seattle Central Library, OMA – Yuen Wa Chiu, Wai Tim Chan & Lok Yin Chan
Tama Art University Library, Toyo Ito – Fan Wen, Liting Qin & Junni Xie
Rolex Learn Centre
Rolex Learning Center, SANAA – Xiangdong Hu, Liang Li & Haoran Wang
Emerson College
Emerson College, Morphosis – Yucong Wu & Tak Shing Tang
Star Performing Arts Center, Aedas – Chi Yu Cheng, Chen Hei Ng & Yacen Zhang
Prostho Museum Research Center, Kengo Kuma & Associates – Yi Tian, Yi Long & Leilei Jiang
Asakusa Culture & Tourism Center, Kengo Kuma & Associates – Man Lok Choi, Chung Ting Lo & Hin Lung Ng


Opus, Gehry Partners – Lok-Yung Ting, Jian Kang & Kai Kin Leung
Taipei Performing Arts Centre, OMA – Yuan Yang, Wai Ying & Wing Yan
Casa da Musica
Casa da Musica, OMA – Zhen Tong, Yang Song & Meng Chong Lei
Soho Galaxy
Galaxy Soho, Zaha Hadid Architects – Ka Cheung Lai, Ming Ming So & Mengqui Zhang
Innovation Tower
Innovation Tower, Zaha Hadid Architects – Man Hoi Wu, Granda Jan Esteban Henao & Sze Ling Leung
Glass pavilion
Glass Pavilion, SANAA – Shaik Javidh Akram M.A. Maideen, Christopher Ghouse & Piotr Rafal Winiewicz
Sofitel Hotel Vienna
Sofitel, Atelier Jean Nouvel – Xiang Wang, Zhi Xin Li & Tengfei Zhu


Caixa Forum, Herzog & deMeuron – Pak Kan Ko, Fong Tong Chan & Tiu Lam
DeYoung Museum, Herzog & deMeuron – Chuen Yung Liu, Sheung Hay Ho & Lok Yan Leung
MAXXI Museum, Zaha Hadid Architects – Pui Yun Lee, Hoi Yi Chau & Kin Man Wong
Simmons Hall MIT Dormitory, Stephen Holl Architects – Chun Yu Au Yeung, Tsz You Chan & Xiao Lei Wong
Cooper Union
Cooper Union, Morphosis – Ching Yee Ng, Ka Chun Lee & Pok Him Cheng
Perot Museum,  Morphosis – Wai Ning Louie, Ka Ho Ching & Chi Ho Ngai
O-14, Reiser + Umemoto – Shuang Zhang, Lu Wang & Tingzhen Meng
LHT Tower, Rocco Design Partnership – Ee Harn Low, Wan Shun Ho & Wing Shan Kwok
W Hotel
W Guangzhou Hotel & Residences, Rocco – Wai Man Liu & Tung Wan Chau
FRAC Museum, Kengo Kuma & Associates – Tin Man Leung, Po Yu Chan & Cheuk Fai Ng
Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Stephen Holl Architects – Eric Yuen, Suen Wah Yeung & Ying Suet Shiu

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


UTS 2016 | Advanced BIM

This studio introduced students to computational design within a BIM environment through the automation of a seating bowl.

The Big Bang

UTS 2015 | The Fitness of Poli(tic)s

The studio attempted to recalibrate the interconnected agency between architecture and economy by questioning ‘architectural fitness’.


HKU 2013 | Groovy Tectonics

With curvature as the central theme, the studio researched mathematical concepts to breed innovative architectural spatialities.


© 2023 Parametric Monkey
Parametric Monkey and the Parametric Monkey logo are trademarks of Parametric Monkey Pty Ltd.


Drop us a message and someone from our team will be in touch with you shortly.


Thank you for your interest. Someone from our team will be in touch soon.


To find out about upcoming public workshops or to organise a private workshop, please submit the following contact form and we’ll be in touch soon.