Many families blossom from the characteristic public rental housing of Hong Kong. However, many aging public housing are facing clearance and ultimately reconstruction. Lai Tak Tsuen is the only housing estate in Hong Kong that employed the byclindrical design. Let’s record this unique piece of history on celluloids.
Located at the Tai Hang region of the Hong Kong Island, Lai Tak Tsuen estate is one of the first public housing developments in Hong Kong, offering more than 2000 apartments. The surrounding is among the best of all public rental buildings – sitting on the slop of the hill, you can get the view of the Victorian Harbor. For this view, Lai Tak Tsuen was also famous for charging the highest rental fee among public housings at its time. The unique bicylindrical design of Lai Kit Lau and Tak Chuen Lau is also the first and only design ever employed in a public housing project.
Lai Tak Tsuen estate was named after the former Hong Kong Government officer Michael Wrigh, whose contribution to public housing development includes adding individual toilet and kitchen into each flat, which used to be shared publicly in previous public housings.
The housing estate consists of 3 main buildings (completed by 8 blocks). Built in two phrases, Tsuen Wing Lau was completed in the first in May 1975, Lai Kit Lau and Tak Chuen Lau in the second phrase in 1976. The name of the public housing Lai-Tak-Tsuen comes from the first word of the names of the 3 buildings.
Due to the unique architectural design, numerous TV commercials and movies were filmed here such as: The Hong Kong Government Public Hygiene Campaign (2009), Coca Cola commercial (2006), or the movie Dumplings (2004) directed by Fruit Chan.
The open space of the bicylindrical structure allows natural light to fall into the inner structure of the building, reducing energy consumption. The geometrical beauty of the shadow created by the layer of rings (circle structure of each level) can be compared to a giant modernistic sculptures. Double exposure here sounds like a good idea.
Notice: Afternoon is the best time to visit this housing estate. Go in a group of maximum 2-3 people, keep it quiet and low key, don’t flash your cameras around. Try not to disturb the life of the habitants.
Transportation (from Wikipedia ):
Lai Tak Tsuen Bus Terminus
There is a bus terminus outside Lai Kit Lau with the following routes:
23A Lai Tak Tsuen – Robinson Road (Circular)
26 Lai Tak Tsuen – Hollywood Road (Circular)
81 Lai Tak Tsuen – Hing Wah Estate
81A Lai Tak Tsuen – Chai Wan (Hing Wah Estate)
Lai Tak Tsuen Road, opposite to Tak Chuen Lau
At Tak Chuen Lau, Lai Tak Tsuen, is served by the following routes:
23A, 23B, 25A, 26, 41A, 81, 108
Lai Tak Tsuen Road, outside Tsuen Wing Lau
At Tsuen Wing Lau, is served by the following routes:
23A, 23B, 25C, 26, 41A, 81, 108.
Public Light Bus
Green Minibuses are also available around Lai Tak Tsuen:
21A Lan Fong Road – Lai Tak Tsuen, via Causeway Bay and Tai Hau.
25 Upper Braemar Hill – Peterson Street, via Lai Kit Lau