This local sewage pumping station cannot be considered an architectural masterpiece when compared with like the Grand Central Station in NYC or the Union Station in Chicago. But it certainly meant quite a big deal to the people in this small town of Shek Wu Hui (literally meaning a market with a pond of water bounded by a stone wall) when it was built around 1940s.
The station was probably the first modern sewage pumping station they ever had. And architecturally, this building must seem pretty foreign or alien to them at that time – a little building with no decoration of any kind except some small holes of simple rectangular forms, looking totally functional. It was a product of the Bauhaus and early International Style. The very lean and light name tag (signage) on the front was done strictly in the Bauhaus fashion. The form of the building carried no bullshit but truth to its function.
What about the inside though? Sadly I have no idea! It was never open to the public when it was in use. And then it was close When it retired. People in general here are not encouraged to be curious about their neighborhood. Now the station was blown up and a new shopping center and high-rise will be built.
Honestly I do not really think the station was ever condemned a piece of historic “crap”. I believe most people just do not have the knowledge to understand that this station is a valuable asset to the history and development of the market (Hui). It carries a collective memory that the station itself has to be physically present to sustain this memory. The land belonged to the government, and it should have never been auctioned out to real estate developers because it belonged to the people.
Well what could have been done with this retired station? I was watching this program on TV called “Museums of the World” and in it I learned that every building should have a story to tell. This pumping station presented a unique opportunity to create the first historical museum from a former sewage pumping station. It could have composed a very compelling story for its past and future existence. Oh wow, it is all too late. A clear has been made between local heritage and shopping center.
former shek wu hui sewage pumping station, shek wu hui, sheung shui, north district, hong kong – 10:43am, may 6, 2007 / 2:51pm, apr 17, 2012