The revitalization of the Blue House Cluster – Viva Blue House – provides triumphant validation for a truly inclusive approach to urban conservation. A broad alliance spanning from tenants to social workers and preservationists waged a grassroots advocacy campaign to save the last remaining working-class community in the fast gentrifying enclave of Wanchai, which was threatened by demolition and wholesale redevelopment. The three dilapidated 20th century shop house blocks were deftly restored for contemporary use and upgraded with modern facilities. This unprecedented civic effort to protect a marginalized local heritage in one of the world’s most high-pressure real estate markets is an inspiration for other embattled urban districts in the region and beyond.
Excerpted from the citation of the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation 2017, Award of Excellence to this project.
“Retaining Building, Retaining People” was our starting mission.
“Repairing Heritage, Repairing Community” becomes our achievement.
Blue House Cluster is a home full of sentiments and memories to many old people who have been living there for 2-3 generations. Succeeding against all odds in safeguarding this cluster of architecture and culture of neighbourhood, the design scheme is formulated to take care of the old relics they like, and provide the new facilities they are lacking of.
The Action is Conservation + Intervention. Conservation includes repairing the deteriorated building fabrics and reveal the authentic historical characters. Intervention includes the design of a new social gathering pocket garden at the rear facades of the buildings, a new circulation of link bridge and lift, and the upgrade of living standard by re-provision of the mini kitchen and bathroom. The old and new neighbours have since formed a co-operative community.
During the tour, Viva Blue House Design Architect Kenneth Tse will expand on this and talk about the background and how the revitalization project was completed. Do not miss this if you wish to know more about it.
1. Archi-Talk cum Walk
Date: 8 December, 2018 (Saturday)
Speaker: Viva Blue House Design Architect Kenneth Tse, Director and co-founder of Meta4 Design Forum Ltd.
Moderator: Architect Tony LAM, HKAC Archi-Talk Committee Chair
Time: 10a.m. – 12:30p.m.
Gathering Time: 9:45a.m.
Venue: The Blue House Cluster, Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai, HK
Cost: HK$180 (HKAC Member) / HK$250 (Non-Member)