Eric Cumine, William Ling and Michael Teoh (project manager)
50 Waterloo Road, Kowloon
The Truth Lutheran Church located in Waterloo Road, Kowloon, is one of the last surviving architectural works in Hong Kong by prominent late 20th-century architect Eric Cumine. Sponsored by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hong Kong, it was one of the wave of modernist churches in Hong Kong that erected across Hong Kong following post World War II with the influx of Mainland Chinese refugees. During the time of its planning and construction in the early 1960s, the architects of the church wanted the building to have a more secular appearance that didn’t register as looking overly Occidental. At the same time, it also managed to maintain ecclesiastical elements through its three unequal pointed arches and tall steeple.
Perhaps the most unusual feature of the design in the context of a church building is the fact that the main church hall is on the first floor rather than on the ground floor. While the ground is reserved for the lobby, a general meeting space, and a small bookstore at its side, the first-floor level accommodates the disproportional nave. The peculiarities of the structure can be attributed both to Cumine’s eccentric style as well as the difficulty of constructing on a site that encompasses an uneven elevation.