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First Confession

SIU Kwok Kin, Stanley

Stratagems in Architecture: Hong Kong in Venice - Biennale Architettura 2016

Stratagems in Architecture: Hong Kong in Venice - Biennale Architettura 2016

The 27th Stratagem: Play dumb while remaining smart
First Confession

“Bless me, father, for I have sinned; this is my first confession” <first confession> by Frank O’Connor.

During our lengthy architectural education, often we were taught that the fundamental role of an architect is to help shape our city and to build shelter for the public. They are the guardians to safeguard the equilibrium between public space and private development to maintain social harmony.

In reality, most architectural graduates work for established firms. And in our monotonous commercial driven society, the choice of project nature is often narrow. Therefore as an employee, they are being assigned with projects that are in contradiction to the ideology they have learned at school, such as “designing wall effect buildings”, “developing small and dense living units” or even “demolishing historical buildings with
a lower grading”. These tasks require architects to act against their own conscience and violate their principles, in the long run, sins will be accumulated. In order to survive as a sinner, they need to hide their moral as described in Stratagem 27, ‘Play Dumb While Remaining Smart’, because opportunity will eventually come and rescue their soul.

One way to get rid of our sin is the Sacrament of Penance, also commonly known as confession. By means of confession, it is where individual man or woman may confess sins committed after baptism and have them absolved by a priest within the Confession Box, the confessional.

The First Confession is a confessional that is formed
by layers of metal bunk beds as to mimic the extracted façade of a small and dense residential tower. The layout of our Confessional is a simplified version of a cathedral with a porch, a nave and a chapel. Architects are encouraged to confess their sins toward the sky alone within the uncovered Chapel.

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  • Title: First Confession
  • Creator: SIU Kwok Kin, Stanley

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