Chink in the City: Residential Design in Shen Shui Po

In modern residential design, “family” has always been regarded as the most basic social unit and economic unit in the city. However, with the continuous urbanization, the residential demand has become more diversified. For example, people live in Sham Shui Po, the slum of Hong Kong, usually live with strangers because they cannot afford the cost of living alone. Traditional residencial buiding no longrer suitable for such living situation, so what is the proper way spacial form to contain ten random people in Sham Shui Po or in Hong Kong? That what this project discussed about.


Sham Shui Po is the epitome of Hong Kong’s contradictions: it has the highest rooms and the lowest incomes; there are old buildings and a large number of young people; it is Hong Kong’s slum and the most lively place in Hong Kong. Living in Sham Shui Po has many differences from the traditional family model.

This design project considerded ten people who have different living styles and needs that might live togetheer. The site is located inbetween two residential building, with 5 meters width and 25 meters depth. The limitation of area and directions result in a poor lighting condition,making the task that creating customized space for different people more difficult.

Daily life of ten people and their time intersects

Based on the different need of residents, 3 types of units were designed to fit their lifestyles:

Type-A units with single-storey L-shaped plan are conducive to the spatial organization of complex needs , and are suitable for households with greater needs for meeting guests, kitchens, etc. One-level space is also friendly to elders and children;

The unit type B with the bedroom on the second floor is conducive to the separate conduct of a certain type of activity, suitable for the occasional need to invite outsiders to hold activities.

Placing the main living area on the second floor, type-C units creates a high-quality private spacensuitable for young peoplen whose lifestyles are relatively regularly and often work or live alone. the division of private and public space is also convenient for meeting guests or having party.

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