Renovation of Religious Building Cluster at Glenealy, Central, Hong KongEdit profile
Sheng Kung Hui Ming Hua Theological College and St. Paul’s Church, both are AMO graded historical buildings of some 100 years old, comprise part of a cluster of religious utilities located along a sloping site at Central’s Glenealy, facing Lan Kwai Fong and SOHO where arts, entertainment and F&B outlets are flourishing. Apart from the practical aspects of repair, a design oriented approach was adopted for the restoration of the two so as to give the Complex a facelift to match with the evolving vicinity. Situated at its prime location along an imaginary border that divides the hustle bustle of entertainment and nightlife in the north and the rich cluster of heritage and places of worship on the Government Hill in the south, the Complex is at a key point of linkage that weaves together the different urban fabrics on both sides. The design approach also attempted to add value to the originally subtle and retreating facades of the Complex, thereby reinforce and highlight its associative role in the belt of heritage and bring its function in the urban landscape to the fore. The 110 year old Theological College was a modest building standing on a weakened structure on the slope of Glenealy. Apart from fortifying in its footing, the structure of the verandah was also reinforced with bracket supports. Spatial arrangements, interior design and furniture fittings around the heritage staircase linking all floors were all straightened out, renewed and realigned. The verandah, which was repainted with the façades, is now illuminated with down lighting that casts conical glows to the paned windows and doors, adding an intangible layer of design to the College. The St. Paul’s Church project saw the transformation of the over 95 year old Main Body and its Annex into a compound that also caters for kindergarten use, multiple religious activities and day-to-day administrative support. The roofing and the truss in the Main Body were re-waterproofed and maintained, and the timber flooring was also made good. To meet the needs of the future, relevant electrical and mechanical, IT and AV facilities were thoroughly reviewed and revamped. Sound proof partitions were introduced for flexible use of function rooms. Design styles and materials for both projects were chosen to match with the original. All major historical ornaments, motifs and features, such as the timber windows, stained glass and the colour of the external facade, were restored with careful reference to the Church’s historical literature. After the restoration, with their fresh façades coupled with ambience lighting, the Complex has become a landmark of the precinct, one that attracts avid photographers at night and that wayfinders identify as points of reference, when before, the Fringe Club was the only recognizable building to the fleeting traffic down Wyndham Street and Ice House Street.