The revitalisation project of the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) School of Chinese Medicine – Lui Seng Chun was recently selected as the winner of the “2012 Special Architectural Award – Heritage & Adaptive Re-use” by The Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA). The project successfully beat 22 entries in the same category and became one of the 11 winning projects in the HKIA Annual Awards 2012. In its report, the jury praised the architect’s effort in overcoming the difficulties posed by the extremely tight site at Lui Seng Chun and solving the dilemma between conserving the essence of the original historic building and meeting modern needs. The glass enclosure solved problem of the traffic noise and the lack of usable space. In 2009, HKBU was selected by the Development Bureau of the HKSAR Government to undertake the Lui Seng Chun project under Batch I of the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme. The University transformed the over 80-year-old Grade I historic building into a Chinese medicine clinic named “HKBU School of Chinese Medicine – Lui Seng Chun”, blending healthcare services, education and display facilities. The clinic began operations in April 2012. The Lui Seng Chun building is one of the few shophouses built in the 1930s that is still standing and it bears the distinctive architectural characteristics of a pre-war verandah-type tong lau (Chinese tenement). While ensuring that the original appearance and architectural features of the building were retained as far as possible, a staircase was built at the back of the building and a lift for the disabled was installed to comply with modern building and fire regulations. To reduce traffic noise as well as to increase the usable floor area and to preserve the integrity of the building façade, clear low-reflective glass panels were installed along the interior edge of the balustrades of all verandahs. In terms of heritage conservation, the original look of the building and most of its typical architectural features were retained as far as possible, including the “Kee-lau” (Chinese veranda) design, decorative balustrades, doors, windows, floor tiles and the stone plaque marked with the name of the old family shop “Lui Seng Chun” installed at the top of the building. For greening purposes, a Chinese medicinal herb garden was built on the rooftop, and other green measures, such as photovoltaic and rainwater collection systems, were also installed. Since 1965, the HKIA Annual Awards has been organised every year to recognise outstanding architectures with the aim of encouraging industry practitioners to further their creativity and enhance their design standard while offering the opportunity for public admiration and appreciation. This year, HKIA received a total of 82 entries from which 11 projects were selected to receive the Annual Awards and 15 projects were chosen as shortlist entries.
Mr. Lam Long-chau (second from left), Director of Estates; Dr. Xu Daji (fourth from right), Senior Lecturer of the Clinical Division, School of Chinese Medicine; and Mr. Tony Lam (centre), the project architect, join the team of the Lui Seng Chun revitalisation project in receiving the HKIA Annual Awards 2012