Walled City park project wins top award
By NG KANG-CHUNG
LOCAL architects have won a prestigious award for their design for a $59-million park on the site of the demolished Kowloon Walled City.
The design of the 3.1-hectare park by the Architectural Services Department won a diploma from the Central Society of Horticulture of Germany at the fifth International Horticulture Exhibition Expo.
The event, held every 10 years in Germany, saw the participation of 23 nations.
Architects from Stuttgart and Dusseldorf, have planned two visits to the department later this year to study the design.
Secretary for Works James Blake, speaking at the opening of an exhibition for the design yesterday, said: ''The expo is held only once a decade. Obviously the standard of exhibits was of very high order indeed as to attain international recognition.'' The exhibition, featuring pictures, models, and an artist's impression of the future Walled City park will be held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre until Sunday.
The department's acting chief architect Tse Shun-kai said yesterday their design tried to blend functional, historical, and educational aspects into the park.
Mr Tse said: ''We aim to make it a big Chinese garden, following the designs adopted in southern China in the early Qing dynasty.
''We have pavilions, fish ponds, winding galleries, and a yamen - which is a relic - will be restored to be an administrative office of the park.'' Parts of the wall, which were pulled down by troops during the Japanese occupation, will be reconstructed as the south and north gates of the park, Mr Tse said.
Some 37 contractors have bid for the project worth a total of $59 million. The successful bidder will be decided late next month.
Construction work is expected to start in May and be completed in a year.
The Kowloon Walled City was the only part of Hong Kong not ceded to Britain by China in 1898 under the Convention of Nanking.
Both countries agreed on the clearance of the slum area seven years ago.