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15 Controversial Modernist Buildings in Hong Kong


Why are certain buildings being deemed ugly and worthless by some people but treasured by others? What are the bases for forming these different opinions? How do judgements made by
professional experts and the general public affect the perceived value of our built landscapes and their fate in ongoing urban development?

In this public engagement project, we will explore these questions by examining 15 controversial modernist buildings in Hong Kong. All constructed between 1950s and 1980s, the histories of these buildings correspond with the popularity of architectural modernism in other parts of the world. Although some have been hailed as exemplars of modern architecture that deserve to be protected, they have been simultaneously labelled as “eyesores” which should be eradicated.

Through a series of activities that include a public forum, walking tours and photography workshops, we will discuss these buildings from different perspectives. Some key questions to consider include: What are the competing meanings and values that have been inscribed in these built forms over time? How have our perspectives been shaped and reshaped by the changing urban context? How can our judgements be contextualized in relation to emerging trends of architecture and urban design in the past and present?




All activities are free and open to the public. Registration is required for each event. For event registration, please visit:



Members of the public are invited to comment on the 15 selected buildings online, please visit: 



Show us your photos on instagram by adding the hastag:



To download full size poster, please click here

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To download full size event pamphlet, please click here


Hong Kong Institute of Architectural Conservationists (HKICON) is a professional body for architectural conservation practitioners.


Docomomo Hong Kong is the local chapter of Docomomo International (International Committee for Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighbourhoods of the Modern Movement).

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