Address: 92 Blue Pool Road (alias “But Lo” 弼廬) (IL 3685 & IL 3686)
Status: Grade 2 since 2018
Architects: Chau & Lee Architects and Engineers (周李建築師工程師事務所)
The site of this house was originally part of a larger development. In 1933, lots situated between 98 and 110 Blue Pool Road were acquired by Li Leung Chiu. A series of 6 houses were designed by architect Alfred J. Lane and built by King Sang and Co. in the following 2 years (1934 SCMP article). A stream running (where the gardens were located as shown on the 1945 aerial photo) had to be diverted and filled with rocks and soil from the hillside in order to form flat lots. In 1960, lot 100-104 Blue Pool Road (where the Eaton House built in 1989 now stands) was redeveloped into a 5-story apartment building named Valley Villas (see 1961 Builder article). Designed by architects Wong & Ng Associates, the building is representative of the minimalist architectural style and materials used in this period (image from Builder).
The house you are looking at on 92 Blue Pool Road was built in 1949 for Wong Hoo Chuen (黃浩川) and designed by well-known local architects Chau Iu-nin (周耀年) and Richard Lee (李禮之). With a flat roof, large rectangular windows, and plain white walls, this house is a very fine example of 1950s modernist architecture in Hong Kong. Like other modernist buildings, its main materials are concrete, steel, and glass. Although such buildings tend to be minimalistic with few decorative elements, this house also presents influences from the Art-deco movement, which was very popular in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s.
Decorative elements of the house include mosaic floor tiles and hardwood flooring adorned with geometric patterns both inside and outside. Elegant and curvilinear Art-Deco bronze decorations adorn various doors. As you can see above the main entrance door, bronze has been shaped to display the letter W for the Wong family. An impressive central staircase links both floors together with elegantly carved hardwood handrails mounted on metal balustrade with wavy patterns. The stairs feature a large internal light well made of glass blocks, a popular material of the time.