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Visions for a Home with Dignity

2019 – on going


Project Description:

Make Room Community has been collaborating with the Society for Community Organization (SoCO) since 2019 to develop transitional housing visions to help the community to provide self-helping homes with dignity for households residing in inadequate housing conditions. These self-initiated, socially responsive designs have been used for policy advocacies and to seek funding and policy support.

The projects look at unused land across entire Hong Kong, from urban sites to rural lands, each with its own challenges; as such, using our professional knowledge and experience, we helped SoCO to identify development potential and challenges at an early stage. Some of these projects have eventually found government support and were executed by other architectural practices. The following list shows the projects that we have collaborated with SoCO over the years:

-May 2019:Nam Cheong Park, Sham Shui Po -September 2019:Ying Wa Street, Sham Shui Po(building completed by Thomas Chow Architects(TCA) in Jan 2022)

-March 2020:Former Eu Tong Sen School, Tai Po -August 2020:Industrial Building Conversion, Hung To Road, Kwun Tong

-December 2020:Junction at Yau Ma Hom Road and Cheung Wing Road, Tsuen Wan(design development by TCA ongoing) -January 2021:Cheung Shun Street, Lai Chee Kok

-May 2021:Sheung On Street, Chai Wan(design development by Nelson Chen Architects ongoing)

Description how the project contributes with humanity:

Although Hong Kong is an advanced global city, some of its populations are still suffering from poor living conditions in sub-divided units, with lack of daylight and natural ventilation, overcrowding, affecting their mental and physical health. Our project with SoCO contributes to humanity in the following aspects:

1) Challenge the minimum requirements of housing to provide a healthy indoor environment
Through our series of proposals, we investigated what it means to provide for a decent living condition. This is a full reassessment of the spatial and architectural requirements, challenging the accepted norms from the appropriate room width (which challenged the standard 2.5m container box), to the minimum household area, and the placement of kitchens, windows, and furniture to provide the best spatial arrangement for a decent living within the stringent limitations.

2)Provide social housing as a means of building up communities
Housing for those in need is much more than just providing a decent unit, but also a supportive community.  Our attention in the design is also on the communal spaces.  Outdoors, we strived to provide various scales and qualities, from flat roofs to courtyards to plazas with playgrounds and farming spaces; whereas indoors, we allowed for communal spaces such as recreation rooms and pantries. We hope that these spaces create opportunities for residents and social workers to mingle and interact with each other, creating a sense of bonding and mutual support.

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