Too New, Too Ugly, and Too Unimportant? Conserving Modern Architecture in Hong Kong 太新,太醜,太不重要?

Carmen C. M. TSUI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsPolicy or Profession paper

Abstract

A New York Times article on 25 December 2020 reported that groups across Asia were rallying to save modern buildings that officials considered “too new, too ugly or too unimportant to protect from demolition.” It cited Hong Kong’s General Post Office (GPO), completed in 1976, as an example of a modern landmark in danger of eradication. The land where the GPO stands will be sold for commercial development as part of the government’s new Central Harbourfront plan. Although conservation activists have made repeated calls to save the GPO over the past few years, the Lands Department upholds the decision that the GPO needed to be demolished and removed. In addition, the Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB) has decided not to conduct any heritage grading assessment on this building due to its short history. The government’s indifference to the GPO reflects common prejudices in making conservation decisions that favour the old over the new, the ornate over the plain and monumental architecture over everyday buildings. Are modern buildings too new, too ugly, and too unimportant to be preserved?

現代建築是戰後幾代人的紀念碑,在過去的二十年裡,許多建築師、保育活動人士和公眾人士為拯救香港的現代建築免於拆除而奮鬥。如果不是他們的努力,我們早就失去了灣仔街市、中環街市、中區政府合署西翼和皇都戲院。這些保育工作反映了香港人漸漸關注文化遺產保育的問題。遺憾的是,香港已經失去了皇后碼頭、天星碼頭等等,而且很有可能會失去香港郵政總局。現代建築是我們這一代的遺產,透過對古蹟的保存,我們才能藉此建構集體記憶和身份認同,及將這些歷史文化傳承給我們的下一代。
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114–117
Number of pages4
JournalHKIA Journal = 香港建築師學報
Issue number77
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

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