Recalling my first encounter with Lok Wah Estate, it was when i worked as a magazine journalist a few years back. Due to editorial requirements, there was a time where i had to periodically write on topics regarding Hong Kong’s public housing ( in which indirectly contributed to my writing of this website). Before interviewing about public housing affairs, you needed to gather information, or find relevant respondents in advace, such as local people, experts specializing in public housing development, etc. At that time, I was able to meet with the staff of The Conservancy Association Centre for Heritage whom helped introduce and look for suitable interviewees.
I’ve lived in public housings since I was 11 years old and hold affection for them. In fact, I’ve always been interested in the development of public housing. Naturally, i was able to share common interests with the interviewees and the staff at Association Centre. I could casually make inquiries to the staff on which housing estates she lived in as a child. She uttered the name ‘Lok Wah Estate’ and it was the first time I became aware of it.
However, when it comes to the first real visit to Lok Wah Estate, it should have been almost 4-5 years ago, because I was meeting up with friends who resided there. However, since it was nighttime, and I was merely focused on sitting downstairs and chatting with my friends in the housing estate. Thus, my first impression of Lok Wah Estate was not memorable.
On the contrary, it was only this year that I really visited Lok Wah Estate for the first time. You read it right, that is, it is just a matter in 2022.
It’s not the same. For the first time, I made the decision to visit Lok Wah Estate during the day. Of course, it was influenced by the trend of taking pictures and sharing them on the Internet. I saw many people taking pictures of the blue tunnel of time and Pantone pink exterior wall of the estate, so I wanted to bet on the estate’s true character.
But Later, after researching more information on the estate, I discovered that the distinctive design of the Estate actually has a number of short stories behind it, and many of them are worthy of everyone’s attention. Therefore, it is inevitable that many will decide to snap pictures here, but while you’re at it, it’s better to share tales related to the estate. So that readers can learn more about the history, development behind the housing estate and much more.
Tracing back the history of Lok Wah Estate, it was completed in four phases between 1982 and 1985. In order to facilitate management, it was split into the current “Lok Wah South Estate” and “Lok Wah North Estate” in 1984.
As for the origin of the name “Lok Wah Estate”, it is actually has quite the meaning behind it.
It turns out that “Lok Wah” is taken from the phrase “Fai Lok Zhong Wah”, meaning “happy China”. According to Wikipedia, the original design of Lok Wah Estate with Chinese style and minimalist style was written by architect Yang Junjie. “The design permeates the elements of Chinese architecture and echoes the design ideas of Happy China. For example, a moon gate is set up at the entrance of Qu Ti to the estate. Above, there is a granite plaque engraved with the three characters of Lok Wah Estate in Chinese calligraphy, the main entrance of the shopping mall, the color selection of the exterior wall of the building, the Chinese-style tiles of the shopping mall, the black wooden pavilion, the red triangle decoration on the footbridge, etc. Are also abstract from the details of Chinese architecture, and then expressed in a modern and simple way, north to Zhen Hua Road, south to Gongle Road, east to Corning Road. “Therefore, the many picture taking spots that everyone saw turned out to have quite interesting stories behind their birth. It can also be seen that the architect’s thoughts on the design of the housing estate at that time.
If the southern and northern estates of Lok Wah Estate are added together, there will be a total of 14 buildings in the estate, 6 in the South Estate and 8 in the North Estate.
Among them, the oldest buildings are Zhanhua Building and Hui Wah Building, which were completed in 1982 , located in the southern estate. They use the old long-shaped building that was popular from 1950 to the 1980s, which is a central corridor type, connecting buildings E+ and E.
In addition, the types of buildings in Lok Wah Estate include Y1 type, double-linked I-shaped (commonly known as “H-shaped building”) and so on. As for the double-linked I-shaped blocks, all of them are concentrated in the North Estate. This type of building will appear more often from the end of 1970 to the end of 1980.
In addition, the Lok Wah Shopping Mall in the northern estate. It is 3 storeys high and covers an area of more than 10,000 square feet. It was completed in September 1985. The shopping mall is located on a slope, and the design uses red, orange and yellow as the main colors, which are very traditional Chinese colors.
The day before filming Lok Wah Estate, I received a renowned item from a friend who lives in Lok Wah Estate: bread. You read it right, it was indeed bread, but at that time she bought orange-chocolate flavored bread. At that time, I was shocked when I took a bite: I didn’t expect public housing to have such delicious bread! So on the day of the shooting, I also visited the birthplace of Lok Wah’s famous product in the mall: Forest Bread, and bought orange-flavored chocolate bread and mochi bread that my friends claimed to be the Lok Wah’s most notable product.
Location: 50 and 70 Chun Wah Road, Happy Hill, Ngau Tau Kok
Transportation: MTR Kowloon Bay Station Exit A or B (about 15 minutes walk); bus 2A, 13X, 28, 619, etc.