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Conservation in the City

Hong Kong is a dense and fast-paced city with an appetite for urban development. Yet with land at a premium and the old often torn down to make way for the new, there are still projects that offer a noteworthy lesson in preservation and reuse. Here are 3 examples.

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BY janice

January 15th, 2015


#1 Mallory Street/Burrows Street

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The award-winning Mallory Street/Burrows Street project by Aedas is an ensemble of ten, Grade 2 listed shophouses located in the Wan Chai district.
It sits on a plot of land that was first owned by the American firm Messrs Burrows and Sons, and eventually Lawrence Mallory, before being acquired by the Hong Kong Land Investment Company in 1905 and turned into the row of shophouses in 1910. Read more.

#2 f11 gallery

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Buildings in Hong Kong come and go – a symptom of any metropolis you may say – yet there are a commendable few who are taking the lead in preserving the few architectural gems left in the city. One such pioneer is Douglas So, a former corporate lawyer who has headed up the conservation of the Grade III historic building at 11 Yuk Sau Street in Happy Valley, which now houses the f11 gallery.

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Originally built as part of a European style residential enclave during the 1930s, 11 Yuk Sau Street was a testament to a key moment in colonial design history. Defined by simple and clean lines, the exterior is evocative of the Art Deco style that flourished in Europe at the time. Arrow and steeped motifs were liberally used in the balconies, with a gable topping the stair core. Read more.

#3 Tung Fat Building

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Kennedy Town in the west end of Hong Kong Island is experiencing a renaissance of late, with garages and ‘tong laus’ stacked next to hip brunch joints and bars. Located on New Praya and above new Mexican style eatery Chinos, the revitalised Tung Fat Building provides a breath of fresh air amid Hong Kong’s usually cramped living spaces.

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Victoria Allan, Founder and Managing Director of Habitat Property had chanced upon the building nine years ago. “It looked very run-down even back then. There were no lifts and there was this weird musty smell,” she recalls. Needless to say, buying up all 16 flats one after the other was a long and arduous process, with renovations to the building beginning only around four years ago. Read More