Eric Cumine, Szeto Wai (overall design); Chau & Lee (blocks A, B, C, D); W. Szeto (blocks E, F, G, H, I), Luke Him Sau (blocks P, Q, R), Leigh & Orange (blocks S, T, U)
Po On Road, Cheung Sha Wan
So Uk Estate was the Hong Kong Housing Authority’s third public housing scheme during the mid-20th-century to provide affordable housing means throughout Hong Kong. The project took up a span of six years led by Eric Cumine and four architectural firms (Chau & Lee, W. Szeto, Luke Him Sau, and Leigh & Orange). It was erected as an ultra-density housing complex of sixteen high-rise blocks that incorporated experimental designs of diversifying flat designs. Nevertheless, So-Uk Estate, along with many other low-cost public housing projects adapted a high degree of repetitive design in order to scale the economic aspects of the construction.
Decades after its initial establishment, the Housing Authority decided in 2006 that it would be more cost-effective to redevelop So Uk Estate rather than to preserve the original estate. The redevelopment was carried out in two phases – the first in 2009 and the second in 2012. In order to preserve the estate’s heritage common to its older residents, the Housing Authority decided to maintain several architectural structures deemed the Three Treasures of So Uk – the Little Whitehouse, Swallow Pavilions and the former estate entrance.
– Jiwon Chung