Date
15 December 2017
The Ma Wan Residents Museum originally housed a school for local children. Photo: Fong Yuen Study Hall website
The Ma Wan Residents Museum originally housed a school for local children. Photo: Fong Yuen Study Hall website

Learning from Ma Wan: An architectural romance

Hong Kong-based Manfred Yuen is an architect with a social agenda and his latest work reflects this kind of communal affection.

Yuen proudly describes the transformation of the former Fong Yuen Study Hall in Ma Wan as a Hong Kong-style romance, a project to retain the unique essence of Hong Kong culture for visitors to appreciate, Apple Daily reported Friday.

The hall was built by villagers in the 1920s as a school to educate local children and was listed as a Grade 3 monument by the Antiquities Advisory Board in 2010. 

It has been converted into what it is now called the Ma Wan Residents Museum, helping to not only document history but to add depth to a community.

“Hong Kong’s skyscrapers have their roles to play, but you need monuments and antiquities to balance them out,” Yuen said. “Conservation and economic development can definitely co-exist.”

He said some mainland cities are outpacing Hong Kong in terms of conservation and revitalization of historic buildings. In Nanjing, for example, the city government is trying to either protect old buildings or at least preserve their traditional construction methods.

Yuen said the public also has a role to play in architectural preservation by complementing the Hong Kong government’s efforts in the area, the report said.

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