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Wah Fu Estate

Location: Pokfulam
Category: Public Housing

Architect: Donald Liao Poon-huai
Project year: 1967

There were many firsts when Wah Fu Estate was built.  Donald Liao Poon-huai, or the “father of public housings” in Hong Kong, was the mastermind behind the project.  Being a new home for more than 50,000 residents, Wah Fu Estate was the first public housing estate built with a township concept. It means that the project would include infrastructures from schools to grocery stores to restaurants. By taking care of different basic needs, the project hopes to draw people to move to the then remote location.  Wah Fu Estate is home to Hong Kong’s first public library in a housing estate – the second public library in Hong Kong after the one at the City Hall. It also has the first car park and the first elderly home inside a public housing estate.  Architecture wise, a total of 18 blocks of buildings were built on the hilly landscape by the sea. They were designed individually to adapt to the landscape, to maximize the number of sea-viewing flats and to allow more space in between the blocks. It was the first “Twin Tower Blocks”. The design retains the natural topography by building two connecting housing blocks on platforms of different heights without the need to level the hilly slope. Liao compared the design to “repairing a broken tooth.” Looking from above, the two buildings look like two hollow squares jointed at one corner. The design allows residents’ doors to face each other in the well-like atrium. It is also less likely for people to be staring into someone else’s flat through their windows and vice versa. A few more public housing projects have adopted the Twin Tower Blocks design since Wah Fu Estate. The design was phased out in the late 1980s as the design would require more land, at the same time, yield smaller flats. The well-like structure was also deemed by some a less safe design compared to an enclosed corridor design. 

由被稱為香港公屋居屋之父的廖本懷策劃,當華富邨建成時,它擁有多個全港第一。 當年,廖本懷要於南區打造一個人口達5萬人的屋邨,是香港首個以市鎮概念打造造的公共屋邨,計劃中除了房屋問題,還照顧到居民日常需要,區內有學校、市場、餐館等基礎設施,讓屋邨能自給自足,吸引市民搬到當時還是比較偏遠的南區。 華富邨擁有香港首個屋邨內的公共圖書館,是繼香港大會堂之後香港第二個公共圖書館,它還有第一個公共屋邨內停車場以及第一個老人院。 建築特色方面,華富邨於沿海地帶共有18幢建築物建,邨內不同的大樓有著不同的設計,以適應山勢打造,讓更多單位能看到海景,並為樓宇之間騰出更多空間。 廖本懷為華富邨設計出香港第一個雙塔式大廈,於山坡上建立兩幢接連著,但不同高度的大廈,這讓一來令結構更堅固同時不需要平整坡度,或者如廖本懷所描述的那樣,這個設計的原理「就像在補牙一樣」。 從高空俯瞰,兩座建築看起來像兩個空心方塊,方塊的其中一個角落連接著,設計該居民的門在天井中彼此面對,同時減少從窗戶與別人居所對望的機會。 在華富邨以後,有幾個公共屋邨項目同樣採用了雙塔式大廈設計。該設計因為所需面積較大,而建造到的房子較小,加上開方式的天井走廊設計,被認為較封閉式走廊危險,令雙塔式大廈設計在80年代後期逐步被淘汰。 

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