This building has been vacated and will be torn down soon. What are the developers doing in the meantime? (Hint, look at the lit up windows). It would be cool if they could sponsor my favourite small theatre company from the UK to hold a performance here before tearing it down.
And, invite all the residents of Wan Chai and beyond to commemorate the loss of a yet another architectural icon in a truly special manner. By remembering it through an experience and a story.
In Hong Kong, the grubbiest residential buildings stand insolently next to flashy skyscrapers, mirrors reflecting sunlight and steel glinting like unsheathed swords against the sky.
Buildings weren’t always designed to maximise square footage by being square. Neither did they incorporate angles which could “cut” their neighbours feng shui. The rounded corners are a style snapshot in time 1960’s or before, incorporating the best design for feng shui… especially in Wan Chai where roads and intersections can go off at crazy angles.
A few old and modern buildings retain the curves, let’s take a look at the ones in Wan Chai.
Here are buildings that have incorporated the curve into the design.
1. Queens road east & Anton Street
2. Church on intersection of Johnston Road, Hennessy and Arsenal Street
3. Johnston Road and Fleming Road
4. Newly renovated Takan Lodge, Johnston Road
5. Curved building on Hennessy, Stewart Road intersection
6. On Wan Chai road, near Wan Chai outdoor market
7. Almost circular building, Johnston- Fleming Road intersection
8. The building on Johnston Road and Wan chai Road & Hopewell Center
Of course the only completely round building in Wanchai is Hopewell Center.
Then there are the buildings that “cheat” and incorporate a rounded ledge.
Try spotting these buildings on your next walk around Wanchai.
You can read a little more on the fate of a curved Pawn Shop. It’s already been torn down.
There’s also the haunted house of Wanchai which is curved. However it’s not accessible to the public as Hopewell is constructing its new hotel and convention center, so you can read about it here.
The Blue House in Wan Chai is a historic site that serves the community as a place to gather weekly for an assortment of talks, view small exhibitions of Hong Kong’s past and a hodge podge of books and toys.
The event space is a small area of roughly 250 square feet, furniture and randomly placed bric-a-brac reduces it to roughly 100 square feet of walkable area. Pretty small. It’s up some stairs (possibly to avoid flooding in the old days) and this is certainly an inconvenience to the disabled or those confined to a pram.
The extensive renovations taking place behind this facade is estimated to continue for the rest of this year, but it looks like there’ll be some open areas and rooms to hold yet more bric-a-brac.
Of the four little rooms on the ground floor, the first and second are blocked off with simple plaster board and serve as a makeshift notice board.
The third is the current event space area and the fourth is often full of guys wearing white undershirts sitting around. I’m unsure of what they do in there but perhaps it’s a rest area of sorts. Maybe it’s where the mahjong table is placed.
An open-air rectangular clear glass aquarium full of small koi and goldfish make a nice pit stop if you have kids in tow.
The Blue Househas its own decorations for this Chinese New Year. Red lanterns hang out front, a very cute knitting of a monkey couple adorn the corner street sign.
On the “notice board”, a range of announcements compete for attention. If you’re looking for something to do in Wan Chai, you might want to stop by and have a look.
You can volunteer to help out with the Southorn community during Chinese New Year (2016) though you’d have to speak Cantonese, or take part in the stamp making workshop later in the month on the 27th of February.
Digging beneath the dirt… To find the good and the gritty