Design Trust Grant Recipient | BRUTAL! – Unknown Brutalism Architecture in Hong Kong

29. 9. 2021

Design Trust Seed Grant project highlight this September, "BRUTAL! – Unknown Brutalism Architecture in Hong Kong" exhibition curated by architect Bob Pang and his team, opened at the Openground from 3rd - 19th September 2021. The research team rediscovers and highlights the brutalism architectural heritage hidden in Hong Kong, presenting fifteen selected brutalist case study essays, hand drawings, photography by 1km Studio and concrete relief presentation by Moldflip.

Image by Power-nap Over ( PNO)

The team’s ongoing typological research, illustration and photo survey of Hong Kong based brutalism architectures in their Design Trust Seed Grant project, all culminated in this exhibition with fascinating research curation. Looking back to the origin, brutalism in Britain advocated the concept of “As Found”, it values an honest expression of materiality and design as the present. The case studies and drawings include United College Wu Chung Library of CUHK, Chinese Methodist Church North Point, Former Shaw Brothers Studio, etc, built between 1950s-1970s when brutalism started to emerge. Amongst architects of the fifteen works of brutalist architecture exhibited, some of them such as Ho Tao, Poon Yin-Keung, Ronald Poon Cho-Yiu, Peter Poon Yen-Shou and Chau Kai-Heem, were study abroad in UK or US in the 50s, Their brutalist works in Hong Kong have shown their sense towards trends of world architecture and adding some touches of internationality in our urban landscape.

Photos courtesy of Kevin Mak/1km Studio

Photos courtesy of Moldflip

Elizabeth Luce Moore Library is one of the fifteen case studies of Hong Kong brutalism architecture presented at the exhibition. The construction of the Library was jointly funded by the Henry Luce Foundation from the US and the Hong Kong government in 1950s; early design stage by Chau & Lee Architects and Engineers, envisaging a two storey building with provision of an extended floor on the roof. Co-founded by Chau Iu Nin and Richard Lee in the 1950s-60s, the firm earned the title “Expert in School Design” by completing numerous school projects, such as Heep Yunn School, Po Leung Kuk School (Causeway Bay) (currently named as Po Leung Kuk Gold and Silver Exchange Society Pershing Tsang School), St. Stephen's Girls College, Ying Wa Girls' School and many more.


Elizabeth Luce Moore Library. Photos courtesy of Kevin Mak/1km Studio

Research Team: Alison Chan/ Bob Pang/ Candy Tsang/ Charlotte Law/ Kenji Wong/ Kevin Siu/ Vivian Ting 


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