Shau Kei Wan is an old residential neighbourhood on the eastern fringe of Hong Kong Island, predominated by a mix of old tenement buildings from 1960s and newer high-rise residential buildings. Built in the 1962 to 1978, Ming Wah Dai Ha is an existing public housing estate located near the town centre of Shau Kei Wan, and is the oldest public housing estate developed by the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS). In May 2011, HKHS announced the redevelopment of Ming Wah Dai Ha for public rental housing, elderly housing and social welfare facilities.
The overall vision of the redevelopment is to provide a mix of purpose-designed rental housing and elderly housing units. This is to ensure a well-mixed community of different ages so that mutual care across generations can be encouraged, realising HKHS's concept of creating an 'ageless community'.
The redevelopment plan includes provision of quality supporting social welfare facilities, ample activity / gathering spaces and improved accesses / connections with surrounding area, so as to encourage social interactions and better integration with the surrounding community, while preserving existing local character and social network. Moreover, in meeting the government's design and technical requirements, sensitive design measures stitching together the surrounding urban fabric have been adopted including a building height profile that commensurate with the surrounding context and the green backdrop; provision of airpaths / visual corridors; setbacks and non-building areas have been incorporated into the layout design. This will ensure air / visual permeability of the development, as well as overall integration and compatibility with surrounding context.
The design also utilises the site's sloped topography to create a series of 'barrier-free' pedestrian footpaths and ramp accesses linking all activity nodes / open spaces across the site, providing a much pleasant, convenient and safe walking experience for future elderly residents.
The project is seen as a catalyst for future urban regeneration initiatives within the area, facilitating the rejuvenation of Shau Kei Wan by providing newer quality housing choices well-supported with social welfare facilities for the benefit of the local community. It presents a valuable example of urban redevelopment through adopting a 'people-orientated' community planning approach with on-going engagements and dialogues with the residents to gauge their views and aspirations of the redevelopment, as well as incorporating various design elements that enhances the physical environment and user experience of the current estate.