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Ginko House – Viet St. / 銀杏館- 越老


Alhambra Building, Yau Ma Dei, Hong Kong

Project Description:

How to make it happen
The Gingko House is an esteemed local social enterprise restaurants chains that provide employments for retired elderly. In 2016, The Gingko lost their lease of their main restaurant, and they were desperate to find a new space. Our previous client owned unit persuaded his father to lease out the unit (300 sq.m.) within the Alhambra Building. The kind-hearted client even agreed to only asked for one-eight of the market rate as the rent. Hoping low rent would aid The Gingko’s business and facilitate their social causes.

Design Philosophy
Alhambra Building is over 60 years old with weathered and aged interior wall. For us, it is a perfect opportunity to echo the unique nature of the elderly enterprise. We retained the existing wall linings/fabric as much as possible, to be flagship for the love of old things. Meanwhile, since there is limited budget for a social project, this design philosophy could minimize construction cost. There are no windows for the venue, thus when you ascend the stairs from street level and enter this aged realm, it is very possible that you might lost the sense of time. Therefore, we have full control of the lighting to create an environment like the Saigon back in the 1960s.

Description how the project contributes with humanity:

The use of “useless”
The limited budget project leaded us to upcycle materials as much as possible. The Mahjong operator downstair donated their used mahjong tables, where we turned them into dining tables. The weathered walls are kept being flagship for showing respect for old stuffs and being environmentally friendly.

Most importantly, the project is to enhance self-confidence of our dearest elderly. Many senior citizens have no choice but to retire after reaching the statutory retirement age, but they still want to work and to earn an income to cover their living expenses. Ginko House and we understood how depressed senior citizens struggling to get re-employed. We wish the new restaurants could provide them chances to start a new page in life. Apart from the restaurant stuff, during the
construction process, we employed 82 years old contractor. His fruitful experience leaded us to this amazing final design.

Since its establishment in 2003, Gingko House has employed for more than 3,000 elderlies. We are gladded to announce that the project affirmed their working ability and life experience. They regained self-confidence through this whole project. The Gingko had chosen us for the work not only because of our past successful restaurant design cases, but also our philosophy and humanistic approach towards architecture matched with their mission and vision.

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