A brief history of “Viva Blue House” Revitalisation Project is mentioned in the last blog. The project is now completed and provide 32 units, including ground floor shops. Existing residents will be moving back to their units, while the remaining 12 units will be used in the “Good Neighbourhood Programme”.
Co-living, as a new alternative form of housing is introduced to Blue House. The aim is to build a sustainable community, and to work against gentrification in the district or even Hong Kong
Figure 2: Viva Blue House Objectives
Figure 3: 5 Core Programmes launched in the Blue House Cluster
Co-housing in Hong Kong – One of the World’s Busiest City?!
Unlike other co-living projects, people do not create their own community from zero. In Blue House, it is an existing community with its own rich historic background and community. People who are interested in living in the co-living and participating in community engagement must, at the same time, respect and help preserve the traditional Hong Kong lifestyle of Tong Lau.
“Good Neighbour” Membership
More than being a tenant, people joining the scheme is also a member in building the community. Rent is paid in form of membership, members should attend meetings and events regularly. They should be sharing their experiences and skills, as well as uniting to achieve shared living, management and responsibility. (St James’ Settlement, 2017)
Figure 4, 5: Rights and Responsibility of Members
Applicants have to attend at least one workshop or one briefing of co-living, and submit an application form and articles. They should be wiring about their experiences in community engagement, reasons explaining the motivation of joining the programme, and in what way can they contribute to the community.
Activities and briefings started in early February 2017, and the deadline for the first-round submission was in early March 2017. After that, interview and flat viewing happened soon after that. Successful applicants are expected to start move in in May 2017.
Other core programmes
House of Stories
The building also houses the Hong Kong House of Stories, where visitors can visit the Blue House’s typical living quarters. The House of Stories has been organising over 20 exhibitions on local culture since 2007. There are also trained Wan Chai inhabitants as cultural tour-guides to lead community tours in Wan Chai and Central.
Figure 11: Wine and spirit licence remained from the previous shop as decoration in the House of Stories
Blue House VBH Studio
In the common space there are various activities for local residents or anyone interested. Film night, evening music club, “Let’s Paint!!! Blue House Art Jam”, “Bargaining Market”, and festive function like Mid-Autumn night bazaar are the communal events.
Figure 12: Blue House Thursday Film Night
Figure 13: “Let’s Paint!!! Blue House Art Jam”
Address: 72 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island
Tel: +852 2835 4372
Website: http://society.sjs.org.hk/GNS/ or houseofstories.sjs.org.hk
Google Cultural Institute. (2017). VIVA BLUE HOUSE & Hong Kong House of Stories – Google Arts & Culture. [online] Available at: https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/u/0/exhibit/viva-blue-house-%C2%A0hong-kong-house-of-stories/dgIiRbp05DoTLA [Accessed 2 May 2017].
House of Stories. (2013). To Continue the Tong-lau Way of Life with All Its Diversity and Sense of Community. [online] Available at: http://houseofstories.sjs.org.hk/sites/all/files/Viva%20Blue%20House%20Summary_Eng.pdf [Accessed 2 May 2017].
St James’ Settlement. (2017). Hong Kong House of Stories. [online] Available at: http://houseofstories.sjs.org.hk [Accessed 2 May 2017].
St. James’ Settlement. (2017). Viva Blue House Good Neighbour Scheme. [online] Available at: http://society.sjs.org.hk/GNS/ [Accessed 2 May 2017].
Featured Picture: Rendered street view (photo credit – Kenneth Design Architect: Kenneth Tse @ Meta4 Design Forum Ltd) (http://society.sjs.org.hk/gns/Images/Rendering.jpg)
Figure 1: Rendered street view (http://indexarchitecture.com/content_product/b1-street%20view%202048%20x%201425(IT008).jpg)
Figure 2: Viva Blue House Objectives (http://society.sjs.org.hk/GNS/Default.aspx#BH)
Figure 3: 5 Core Programmes launched in the Blue House Cluster (http://society.sjs.org.hk/sobh2016/VivaBlueHouse.aspx)
Figure 4, 5: Rights and Responsibility of Members (http://society.sjs.org.hk/GNS/GoodNeighbour.aspx#Rights)
Figure 6: Interior of a unit, renovation in progress (http://society.sjs.org.hk/GNS/Images/Interior20.jpg)
Figure 7: Historic apartment door (https://cdn.hk01.com/media/images/459274/xlarge/4e79e9929d3fdf476643bc9ab1519190.jpg)
Figure 8: Historic window design (https://cdn.hk01.com/media/images/459213/xlarge/599932e1da71f13f551ea6bc7152e349.jpg)
Figure 9: Newly built corridors connecting the Blue House Cluster’s buildings (https://cdn.hk01.com/media/images/459204/xlarge/ac2f4411d23ff722bc550f6e527e4793.jpg)
Figure 10: Hand-written timetable outside House of Stories (https://revitalisesoldhongkong.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/img_5764.jpg)
Figure 11: Wine and spirit licence remained from the previous shop as decoration in the House of Stories (https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/u/0/exhibit/viva-blue-house-%C2%A0hong-kong-house-of-stories/dgIiRbp05DoTLA)
Figure 12: Blue House Thursday Film Night (https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/u/0/exhibit/viva-blue-house-%C2%A0hong-kong-house-of-stories/dgIiRbp05DoTLA)