Sai Ying Pun, High Street

China > Hong Kong > Sai Ying Pun, High Street

Site Coverage  
Parking Ratio
income group Mixed
Range Heights 6-24
basic project statistics
gross building area 49115
units 449
population 1796
site area 7224 sq. m
coverage 69.00
parking 0
seniors 0
families w/ children 0
singles/couples 0
other 0
Sai Ying Pun is one of the oldest areas of Hong Kong and is the target of current urban redevelopment efforts of by the Urban Renewal Authority of Hong Kong. Sai Ying Pun was laid out in 1855-61 and literally meant the Western Encampment-the earliest British military camp in Hong Kong between 1841 and 1863. It measured approximately 300 meters on each of its four edges and was oriented close to the four cardinal pints. The naming of streets was a matter of fact. Military influence has been suggested as a reason behind this regimented plan. But the square form and axial Centre Street also evoke imperial models of Chinese and Roman walled cities. Irregularities of street orientation, block size, building types and pedestrian circulation have given character and richness in this square. There were two types of streets relative to the terrain – a perpendicular one for access to the harbor and a parallel one for the ease of building. There were two types of blocks – the typical back to back tenement, and a wider inland block. A labyrinth of internal connections cut through the area, provided access to the block interior, and connected adjacent properties. Underlying these urban solids and voids of the district was a hidden structure of order and disorder that recalled history, formed the armature of urban life and has shaped the transformation of Sai Ying Pun since.

Hendrik Tieben, Woo Pui Leng and Yuet Tsang Chi, “ Urban Transformation of Sai Ying Pun,” Department of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2008.