The Walled Villages of Hong Kong

Typology and Continuity

A self-published research website. 2022.

The Hong Kong of popular image is the city of towers around Victoria Harbour. Once upon a time this was an agricultural landscape, its plains and coves interspersed with wooded mountains, settlements, temples and impressive fortified walled villages, such as Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen, the village dominating the 1846 view of Kowloon by Lt T. B. Collinson. Amidst today’s chaotic metropolis there still remain vestiges of these villages with their characteristic rows of houses separated by narrow lanes. Sadly Nga Tsin Wai is not one of them, having been demolished as recently as 2016.

At a time of intense pressure locally on development with the opening up of access to mainland China, and internationally for sustainable urban futures, to what extent do these historic settlements offer a viable model?

Link: The Walled Villages of Hong Kong: Typology and Continuity

Nga Tsin Wai

A speculative urban co-operative, rehousing the families evicted in 2016 after 600 years of clan occupation. This 80m x 140m village includes elevated alleyway houses above workshops, community spaces and a market, a multistorey car park repurposed as school, and market gardening farming on the rooftop irrigated from the nearby Kai Tak River. Project 2019.

Later taken on as a successful masters level MA Architecture and Urbanism project by Yanya Tan, 2019-20.