Pok Fu Lam is located at the western end of the Southern District. The place is famous for its beautifully sceneries of the green mountains, open seaview, the medical (Queen Mary Hospital) and education (The University of Hong Kong). It is also renowned as a residential area in Hong Kong Island with a much diversified living scenarios, as the area has one of the oldest villages – Pok Fu Lam village; one of the largest private developments in HK – Chi Fu Fa Yuen; It is also a reputable luxurious residential area.
Pok Fu Lam Village (Original)
|Pok Fu Lam Village|
As we all know, the Hong Kong Island is a high-dense and well developed area with high level of internationalization and modernization. The Pok Fu Lam village is actually one of the rare traditional living clusters in Hong Kong Island. Some of the historians and heritage consultants even recognize the Pok Fu Lam Village to be the “Last Village on Hong Kong Island”.
The houses in the villages are quite old-fashioned and I am just wondering how the villagers could live there. But after a more detailed observation, I found some the engineering designs are quite wise. For instance, to keep away from hot, the villagers built 2 roofs on the top, so that the higher roof could radiate hot and the hot reaching the lower roof was reduced significantly. So even without air-conditioning, the villagers can also keep themselves cool inside the houses.
Albeit the village is old and space inside is quite limited, there are still open space for villagers there to relax, just resembling public housing estates. Obviously, the rest space is too narrow. There some other vacant land within the village, but the efficiency is quite low as they are fenced and the ownership was back to the government. Drainage system inside the villages is not systematic and just arranged along the outlines of the houses. But of course, in an old village like Pok Fu Lam, it is impossible to design a regular drainage system with orderliness layout. As a result, it always meets troubles in rainy days. We experienced a heavy rain yesterday and happened to find somewhere of the system was just being fixed because of flood.
Influence of Pok Fu Lam Master Plan: The history of the Pok Fu Lam village can date back to 1973 and some of the original architecture and facilities still existed within the village. However, the government’s master plan on Pok Fu Lam and the internal demand of improving villagers’ living quality is threatening the existence of the old village. Therefore, the authorities should develop the old area in an appropriate approach to conserve the heritage.
Diversified Residential Scenario: A way walking down the Pok Fu Lam road, you will find various brand new luxurious buildings, with the old Fok Fu Lam village inside and blocks of private development – Chi Fu Fa Yuen ahead, what a diversified scene, which is just a showcase of different classes in Hong Kong Island within the same area.
Chi Fu Fa Yuen (Mid-end)
The Chi Fu Fa Yuen is one the largest private development in Southern District of HK. It was developed by Hong Kong Land Limited in 1978 with 20 blocks of high-rise residential buildings in total. The location of the Chi Fu Fa Yuen was originally the Pasture of Pok Fu Lam.
|Chi Fu Fa Yuen|
Chi Fu Fa Yuen is quite renowned in the real estate development history of Hong Kong. It is one of the oldest private developments in HK. As we all know that HK was witnessing the fastest population growth in the 1970s and in Hong Kong Island, this problem was even tougher. Most of the people at the time could not afford private housing and the public housing was still not enough to accommodate so much population. Chi Fu Fa Yuan was actually an “affordable” private housing and was developed in a very large scale. In this way, it contributed a lot to the social stability at that time albeit Hong Kong Land bear some development risk itself as the land area was so large.
Chi Fu Fa Yuen also has other features, which are also significant:
- There are no walls around the entire development to increase public accessibility;
- There is a bus terminal inside the community which enhances the accessibility further.
There are also commercial ancillaries and landscape and recreational facilities inside, all in all, a rare “cost-efficient private residential project".
The Chi Fu Fa Yuen is very successful in the real estate development history of HK. Facing the shortage of housing history and problems in HK in 1970s, it was a role model to solve the problem in an innovative way by “affordable private development”. Though the developer – the Hong Kong Land were bearing development risk (so large scale) and under the pressure of economical returns, they still make that happen and was on doubt a milestone in HK’s housing history.
|Jessville under Development|
Since the Pok Fu Lam is so famous for high-end residential, we pay a special visit to a development project there – Jessville. The Jessville has a very long history. It was built in 1929 by the father-in-law of Sir Yang Ti-liang. Facing threat of demolition, Jessville was declared a "Proposed monument" in 2007. The declaration was withdrawn and the building was listed down as a Grade III historic building in 2008. The conservation plan was also approved by authorities. The new development could resume with Jessville protected.
The case was controversial because the government lower grade the historic building, which was not a sustainable attitude the authority should hold. Actually, these development controversies often happen in HK and there are always queues from the public. The Jessville is not the only case. But on a strategic planning point of view, the Jessville is a successful case as it fulfilled development potential on economic logic with the history and heritage preserved.
 Pok Fu Lam Village Studio (http://pokfulamvillage.com/)
 Chi Fu Fa Yuen (http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%BD%AE%E5%AF%8C%E8%8A%B1%E5%9C%92#.E5.B0.8D.E5.A4.96.E4.BA.A4.E9.80.9A)
 Jessville (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessville)