Architectural Restorations for Remote Countryside Regeneration in Hong Kong Posted on June 19, 2023 (June 19, 2023) by Dinda Years2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 30-day free access to FuturArc App CategoriesMain Feature City Profile Showcase Commentary Showcase / 2nd Quarter 2023 Architectural Restorations for Remote Countryside Regeneration in Hong Kong by Thomas Chung June 19, 2023 Outside of the hyper-dense high-rise compactness of urban Hong Kong, three-quarters of the city’s territory remain relatively rural and undeveloped. Lai Chi Wo celebrated in 2019 the decennial Hing Chun Yeuk Da Chiu. Photo courtesy of the Countryside Conservation Office There has been more attention to rural revitalisation since the government’s recent launching of countryside conservation policies and funding mechanisms. In 2018, the Countryside Conservation Office (CCO) was established to support innovative conservation of natural and cultural heritages in the remote countryside.1 In Sha Tau Kok, the remote northeastern corner of Hong Kong, a string of lesser-known Hakka settlements is dispersed throughout the hilly coastal terrain. These 300-year-old villages have evolved authentic agro-cultural heritage landscapes, yet most have become deserted after urbanisation and mass migration since the 1960s. Three cases of architectural rehabilitation in Lai Chi Wo, Mui Tsz Lam and Kuk Po are considered here, with respect to how traditional construction and passive design features have been restored or reinterpreted; how they contribute to the integrity of the village’s cultural heritage; as well as its overall revitalisation. READ MORE | Lai Chi Wo: Restorative Reuse Lai Chi Wo: Restorative Reuse | FuturArc Lai Chi Wo is the largest and best-preserved of the seven-village cluster of Hing Chun Alliance in Sha Tau Kok. Backed by mountains and facing the sea, its nine-row, three-column walled village layout has ancestral halls within, a temple and school overlooking an open plaza without. Once an affluent… READ MORE | Mui Tsz Lam: Radical Renewal Mui Tsz Lam: Radical Renewal | FuturArc Mui Tsz Lam is a 20-minute uphill hike away from Lai Chi Wo. An unwalled 360-year-old hamlet predating its bigger neighbour, its two main rows of east-facing rowhouses are also backed by feng shui woods and fronted by rice paddy terraces that once extended all the way down to the coast. By the early… READ MORE | Kuk Po: Resilient Regeneration Kuk Po: Resilient Regeneration | FuturArc Kuk Po, similar to Lai Chi Wo and Mui Tsz Lam, is defined by its coast-to-hill topography, one that stretches from the picturesque expanse of mangrove and reed wetlands, emerging from the long-abandoned rice paddy grid, to the once-productive valley topography nurtured by numerous streams. Endowed w… [This is an excerpt. Subscribe to the digital edition or hardcopy to read the complete article.] Thomas Chung is Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is an international award-winning architect who graduated from the University of Cambridge. Chung has been active in curating, exhibiting and steering the HK-SZ Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture UABB since 2008. His award-wining projects Value Farm (2013) and Floating Fields (2015) fuse ecological design with socially innovative public space. Chung’s current research interests include countryside conservation projects, co-creative rural place-making and learning for well-being. He leads a multidisciplinary team with expertise in architecture, anthropology, geography and life sciences, and is consolidating a research hub on countryside-city regeneration. Read more stories from FuturArc 2Q 2023: Old is Gold! 1 The Countryside Conservation Funding Scheme (CCFS) funds village revitalization projects that promote interactive partnerships between non-profit organisations (NPOs) such as universities and villagers. To read the complete article, get your hardcopy at our online shop/newsstands/major bookstores; subscribe to FuturArc or download the FuturArc App to read the issues. Previously Published Showcase Showcase / 2nd Quarter 2023Photo Essay: Malaysia Showcase2nd Quarter 2023Photo Essay: Malaysia Showcase / 2nd Quarter 2023Kuk Po: Resilient Regeneration Showcase2nd Quarter 2023Kuk Po: Resilient Regeneration Contact us at https://www.futurarc.com/contact-us for older commentaries.