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[Talk is cancelled] Design DNA of Mark I: Hong Kong's Public Housing Prototype

Opening Remarks:

Dr Wong Wah Sang, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture

Speaker:

Dr Rosman C.C. Wai, the author

Moderators:

Dr Lee Ho Yin, Associate Professor, Head of Architectural Conservation Programmes, Faculty of Architecture, HKU

Date:

21 November 2019 (Thursday)

Time:

6:30 - 8:00 pm

Venue:

2/F Multi-purpose Area, Main Library, HKU

Language:

English

   

 

 

About the Talk

Overcrowding and unsanitary living conditions had been chronic problems in Hong Kong since the mid-19th and well into the mid-20th century. The conflagration in Shek Kip Mei on Christmas Day 1953 triggered Hong Kong’s internationally-renowned public housing programmes which provided an almost miraculous solution to a desperate situation. Within the first year after the tragic blaze, eight six-story Mark I resettlement blocks, with 64 back-to-back single-room units per floor surrounded by balcony access, were erected on the fire-ravaged site. Intriguingly, the design bore no resemblance to any Hong Kong domestic building typologies that prevailed at that time, including Tong Lau and Composite Buildings. What were the design origins of the Mark I Blocks? Why were these designs adopted?

 

About the Speaker

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Dr Rosman C.C. Wai is a lecturer in the Architectural Conservation Programmes, Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong. She is a registered architect and has worked in the Housing Department for many years. She furthered her Master degree studies in architectural conservation (with Distinction), and Doctor of Philosophy studies in The University of Hong Kong. Her research interest is on public housing and relating to the topic, she has published many articles and has been interviewed by various newspapers, television and radio stations as well as given talks and lectures in many local and international conferences and universities.

 

About the Book

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The book Design DNA of Mark I: Hong Kong’s Public Housing Prototype is written and crafted like a detective story, using in-depth archival research to identify possible causal factors that contributed to the design of the Mark I resettlement blocks. It reveals intriguing findings in the architectural origins of the Mark I Block which was a fusion of the British socio-cultural concept of low-income housing and traditional living preferences in Hong Kong. The book includes the personal interview story of the chief architect of the Mark I Block of Hong Kong public housing. It is well-researched and well-illustrated with more than 100 photos, architectural drawings and sketches. Bilingual in English and Chinese, the book aims to be informative and educational, but at the same time, avoids using architectural jargon and technical terminology.

 

About the Moderators

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Dr. Wong Wah Sang is an Associate Professor of the Department of Architecture at HKU, where he has been an academic staff since 1990. He has served as the Associate Head and the Acting Head of the Department, as well as the Acting Dean of the Faculty. He specializes in the teaching of architectural design and construction technology in the BA(AS) and MArch programmes and supervises PhD and MPhil students in architecture-related research topics. A renowned expert in Buddhism and feng shui, he has been lecturing in HKU’s Centre of Buddhist Studies since 2004, to advance the understanding of Buddhism philosophy and the rational relationship between feng shui and the built environment.

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Dr. Lee Ho Yin co-founded the postgraduate and undergraduate programmes in architectural conservation at the University of Hong Kong and he is the Founding Head of the Division of Architectural Conservation Programmes. A well-published academic and an experienced practitioner in built-heritage conservation, he has been appointed by government agencies in Hong Kong, Mainland China and overseas as an expert advisor or a consultant for conservation projects and the designation and monitoring of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In 2017, he was cited in the award certificate for the highest UNESCO  conservation award for the “Blue House Cluster” revitalization project.

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