Jockey Club Mafoos’ Quarters

Jockey Club Mafoos’ Quarters

Address: 58 and 60 Blue Pool Road
Completion date: 1955
Architect: S. E. Faber
Owner/Developer: Hong Kong Jockey Club

 

Following the considerable financial success of the Jockey Club in the 1950s and the subsequent increase in staff, it became necessary for the Club to provide residential quarters for the “Mafoos”, a Chinese word referring to a person who looks after horses. Because of its proximity with the race course and the stables, a long and narrow site was chosen between Blue Pool Road and Hip Wo Lane. The architect S. E. Faber designed 7 evenly spread blocks across the steep slope with one reserved to accommodate a primary school for 280 children which was opened in 1955. Located at 60 Blue Pool Road, the school is now occupied by the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF. Today, only one housing block remains intact and can be seen at 58 Blue Pool Road.

Because of the steep sloping of the site, the buildings were designed to rest against the hillside. Despite lacking elevators, each of them has a maximum of 8 floors. However, an ingenious series of additional steps built on the slopes in between each block gives direct access to the first 4 floors, making sure the highest apartments are no higher than 4 floors above the street. Another major difficulty was the presence of bomb shelter tunnels underneath the site of which many needed to be filled. You can still see the entrance of one of them at the intersection of Hip Wo lane and Cheong Ming street.

Laid out on both sides of a central corridor, a total of 325 units were built with very basic accommodation. Each flat had an area of 330 square feet and consisted of a kitchen, a small outdoor balcony and a single main room (see unit plan). Particular attention was paid to air circulation and natural light with many windows, opening on both sides of the apartments for cross ventilation.

The building appeared briefly in the 1974 film Men of the Dragon featuring Kung Fu actor Jared Martin (see image).


 

Skills

Posted on

13 September, 2020

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