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A graphic concept of how the Wan Chai old town can be regenerated
Professor David Lung introducing the development concept competition

Development Concept Competition for Lee Tung Street/McGregor Street Project

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Sunday) announced a development concept competition inviting visionary and practical ideas from professional planners and architects for its largest-ever urban redevelopment project, the $3.58 billion Lee Tung Street/McGregor Street project in Wan Chai.

This is the first time that an open professional competition is held for a major urban redevelopment project in Hong Kong. Up to five prizes will be awarded to the selected entries with each receiving $100,000.

The competition covers an area of about two hectares in the old town of Wan Chai that includes the development site of the Lee Tung Street project and its immediate surrounding environment.

A five-member adjudicator panel will decide the winning entries. Panel Member, Professor David Lung, head of the Department of Architecture, University of Hong Kong, said: "Wan Chai is one of the most interesting towns of Hong Kong heritage since the 1860's when it became a popular habitat for emigrants from Guangdong Province."

"With the passage of time, it is now an old town of diverse charm, character and tradition. An important purpose of the competition is to preserve the local characteristics as well as strengthen the vitality of the area.

"Another important factor is that the Lee Tung Street project area occupies a central location in the Wan Chai old town and thus provides a strategic link with the ongoing urban renewal projects by the URA and those of the private sector in the vicinity.

"The relatively large size of the Lee Tung Street project also opens up an opportunity for the URA to apply its holistic approach to urban renewal in a single project by embracing all "4Rs" of its work, namely redevelopment, revitalisation, rehabilitation and preservation. This can turn the Wan Chai old town into an exemplary project of urban regeneration," said Professor Lung, who is also the former Chairman of the Antiquities Advisory Board.

The URA's Executive Director of Planning and Development, Mr Andrew Lam, said the competition was open to all locally based architectural and planning practices with professionally qualified architects or planners and individual professionally qualified architects or planners supported by a practice.

Apart from Professor Lung, members of the adjudicator panel are the Chairman of the Wan Chai District Council, Mrs Peggy Lam; President of the Hong Kong Institute of Architecture, Mr John Wong; Director of Planning Department, Mr Bosco Fung and Managing Director of the URA, Mr Billy Lam.

The competition covers an area in the older part of Wan Chai that includes Johnston Road, Lee Tung Street, Amoy Street, Queen's Road East, Spring Garden Lane, Sam Pan Street, McGregor Street and Cross Street. Two features of the project are the pedestrianisation of Lee Tung Street and the preservation of three blocks of pre-war Cantonese-style shophouses.

Specifically, participants of the competition will be asked to give consideration to the following:

  • identify options for integration of the pre-war buildings with the new development;
  • explore possible options to revitalise the surrounding areas;
  • recreate the shopping street character;
  • identify a development theme, making the development a landmark to the surroundings;
  • create a sustainable and environmentally friendly design;
  • enhance pedestrianisation network in the context of other development proposals in the locality;
  • demonstrate how the area will harmonize with its surrounding area;
    explore opportunities for building rehabilitation; and
  • financial viability and implementation feasibility, etc.

Any interested participants should register with the URA before noon on 14 November 2003. All entries should reach the URA headquarters at 10/F Low Block, Grand Millennium Plaza, 181 Queen's Road Central before noon on 2 January 2004.