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Architecture, Hong Kong

Archives Visit I Housing and Industrial Building Brochures

“ The property brochures have piled into different districts and chronologically by year, please avoid creasing, folding or bending the documents” demonstrated by the owner Mr Alfred Ho. I was in Lai Chi Kwok archives for 3 hours immersed with 3000 copies of colourful brochures with joy.

I learn much more than the typological development in HK for my own research project than I thought. I looked carefully the evolution of drawing techniques/ styles from hand sketch shifted to a physical model then to 3D rendering. The design font, paper choices, design layout and crafted wordings by some of the developers presented the projects in the brochures are super interesting. Back in the 70s, the brochures were maximum 10 pages, it consisted a building at the front cover, full description of the locations, plans, axonometric and prices. It was very straightforward compared to what we have in these days. I don’t have an example to show now but i have seen a few property brochures and they are in average 100 pages ridiculously thick with not much information inside too.

In the archive room, it felt travel back from time to the late 60s and it was a very important period in HK since new building regulations came to force to maximise the retail frontage on the ground floor and improving the lighting and ventilation of housing above. Under the new regulation, the ground floor can have 100% coverage for non-residential uses, which forms the podium. This resulted in the first private podium structure in Mei Foo Sun Chuen (HK) of a private housing estate project started in 1968.

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I was talking to Alfred if he has any future plan with all the brochures and he is looking for some volunteers to scan them into digital copies which he hopes it can let more community to gain access. It was extremely kind of him showing me around on a Sunday afternoon. I am definitely going back there soon for more information and I highly recommend designers and locals to check them out too.

How to get there:
Shun Cheung Industrial building, 26 Wing Hong Street, Cheung Sha Wan
(Lai Chi Kok B1 Exit)


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1 Comment

  • Reply Theean

    Hey, Elaine! I have just read your article about the archives visit. It reminds me the architecture lesson I took last term. The lecturer who is experienced showed us how site plans were drawn without computers in the past. They are amazing, as careful and tidy as plans drawn by computer. Really inspiring!

    March 7, 2017 at 11:31
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