02/02/2021 - 18:30

    “Exploring Spectacular Architecture in Hong Kong”

    The century-old Romanesque underground reservoir at Bishop Hill in Hong Kong has recently raised the public’s awareness of preserving heritage buildings, to the extent of striking a needed balance between urban development and heritage conservation. In the 14th “INSIGHT FORUM” webinar organised by Our Hong Kong Foundation, a panel of eminent experts and scholars spoke on “Exploring Spectacular Architecture in Hong Kong”, and discussed the city’s historic architecture and their preservation.

    “Exploring Spectacular Architecture in Hong Kong”
    Full live webinar: https://youtu.be/gnHN4eHflUc?t=426

    Mr Bernard Chan, Convenor of the Non-official Members of the Executive Council of the HKSAR Government, President of Asia Financial Holdings and Chairman of Asia Insurance, underscores the importance of heritage conservation and the historic values of heritage buildings in understanding the bygone years of Hong Kong. “Heritage preservation work is not difficult in itself, however, it is challenging to strike a balance between urban development and heritage conversation and to meet the interests of different stakeholders, with public funds properly used.”
    Professor Joseph Ting Sun-pao, Adjunct Professor of the Department of History at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and guest host of the webinar, discusses Hong Kong’s historical architecture and the way forward to preserving them with a panel of distinguished experts and scholars. He sheds light on the background of the Bishop Hill reservoir.
    Mr Douglas So, Chairman of the Antiquities Advisory Board, displays some latest photos of the Bishop Hill reservoir in the webinar. He notes that Bishop Hill and Yau Ma Tei reservoirs will be graded this year with commendable ratings expected. “Conservation of the Bishop Hill reservoir will help revitalise the historic relic and bring about sustainable development for the community.”
    Dr Lee Ho-yin, Assistant Professor of Architectural Conservation at the Hong Kong University, underlines that sustaining and inheriting the cultural heritage of established communities are the focus of heritage preservation. He cites Blue House in Wan Chai as a success in balancing the interests of different sectors of society, putting a mark on community involvement and cooperation in heritage conservation.
    Professor Ma Koon-yiu, Adjunct Associate Professor of the Department of Real Estate and Construction of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong, points out that in the late 19th century to early 20th century, Hong Kong was faced with population increases and severe droughts. Different models of water supply systems and reservoirs were developed to cope with the water shortage problem.
    Mr Chee-kuen Yip, Former Museum Director of Hong Kong Science Museum, and Former Adviser of the H2OPE Centre of the Water Supplies Department, expresses that in light of the current 41 waterworks monuments in Hong Kong, the HKSAR Government should optimise the framework of heritage preservation with trained  personnel to handle preservation matters and interact with the public effectively.