Archive | August, 2012

Where Is the Church??

14 Aug

I came across this street sign and said to myself, “it’s weird they have a sign for a church…”. I looked at the direction that sign was pointing to and still couldn’t “see” the church. Apparently the clients really can’t find the church, even with a sign.

In my humble opinion, the design of this church does not quite work. Architects from the classical time had overcome the challenge of making the church visible in a built-up city from afar and around by creating soaring spires for these churches and placing them at a strategic position, like at the front of the church or at a street corner. Christopher Wren, architect of the St. Paul’s Cathedral, had designed several churches using this principle in the 17th century congested city of London, Church of St. James Garlickhythe is an great example of that.

around church of st. george the martyr, toronto

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Best Use for Pedestrian Footbridge’s “Underneath Space”

13 Aug

After months of observation, I have come to the conclusion that the space under pedestrian footbridge is best used for storing bicycles. These bicycles that bring people to the bridge for “transfer” are in great demand for “parking” and the unusable space underneath the bridge is perfect for that. The empty space in between the bicycle parts and the bicycles themselves actually enables one to still see the supporting structures of the bridge, instead of having the pillars covered up if they build a box around it. It is funny that relationship between the bicycles and the bridge are quite like that between the planes and an airport terminal!

pedestrian bridge between sheung shui kcr station and sheung shui center, sheung shui, hong kong – 12:45pm, aug 8, 2012

A Pathetic Disaster in Hong Kong’s Fanling North “New Development”

3 Aug

rendering by government

Fanling North has a long history that traces back 800 years ago. Until recently, it is still an area with sacred hills and historic walled villages. These villages houses one of the only two Heritage Trails that illustrates the early settlement and development in pre-colonial era Hong Kong. Along this Lung Yeuk Tau Heritage Trail, there are fine examples of walled villages and historic buildings that are listed historic monuments. As we all know, there is not many historic monument in Hong Kong because they are seen as obstacles to so-called “development”.

Apart from the important cultural heritage, Fanling North is blessed with natural resources. There are farmlands on both sides of the River Indus. The river and the farms are also homes for numerous animals such as egrets and hawks.

Basically, Fanling North is one of the remaining places in Hong Kong that is still untouched by pollution and it has a connection to our history and nature.

With all these treasures in this area, the government is still planning to build a new town right by the river and an elevated freeway over the river. The so-called “river-and-nature” themed development would put numerous monolithic highrises on the completely erased farmlands right by one side on the river. This so-called river walk would have a freeway above it. This freeway could also be seen right outside the historic walled villages. And I personally believe the sacred egrets would not be fishing on the river anymore.

Just look at the rendering above and you can see for yourself this planning disaster. If a supposingly meant-to-look-better rendering is already so disgustingly scary, the real deal is going to be much more ugly. While the rest of the civilized worlds are restoring nature and waterways, recreating farmlands and eco-life, preserving cultural heritage, Hong Kong government is committing a crime against these values that other civilizations are protecting. You can read the whole scam here, in English or Chinese. And seriously, it takes me almost half an hour to find these so-called “for public engagement” information.

I would not want to see this piece of treasure be ruined by the government. This development is PATHETIC.

Listed below are some of the things that will be murdered or badly affected by the development. Please scroll on photos to see each description.

ma sik road, fanling north, hong kong

Palace of Fine Arts vs Palace of Materials

1 Aug

Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

“Palace of Materials” (Landmark North mall) in background, Sheung Shui, Hong Kong

On a nice day out, people in San Francisco were taking a stroll at the Palace of Fine Arts, admiring the sculptures and arts, perhaps imaging how it would be like walking in the Palace when it was first created for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915, six years after the great fire. The lagoon, the trees and the arts cost them nothing.

While at the same time in Sheung Shui, people from the People Republic of China and some locals were busy consuming goods at the “Palace of Materials”. This “Palace” alone opened the doors for each shopper to review goods and brands from top nations in the world, though most goods actually made in China. Nike, Adidas, K Swiss, Rolex, I Phones, Mac books, milk powder had cost them everything in their pockets…

the sculptures and arts

the materials and the shoppers

palace of fine arts, san francisco – 3:24 pm, sep 3, 2011
“palace of materials” (landmark north mall), sheung shui, hong kong – 3:45 pm jul 29, 2012