The “Densification” of Modern Public Housing: Hong Kong and Singapore

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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.52200/50.A.2TTL4OUX

Keywords:

Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing

Abstract

In the Asian mini-city-states of Hong Kong and Singapore, massive public housing programmes, far more extreme in density and height than their European and North American predecessors, have played an unexpectedly prominent role in development policy since the 1950s. This article explores some of the ways in which the original conventions of public housing were transformed and “densified” in these territories, and argues that the key influences in this process were not so much avant-garde modernist architectural discourses as the organisational mechanisms and political pressures within late British colonialism and decolonisation.

How to Cite

Glendinning, M. (2014). The “Densification” of Modern Public Housing: Hong Kong and Singapore. Docomomo Journal, (50), 44–51. https://doi.org/10.52200/50.A.2TTL4OUX

Published

2014-08-01

Issue

Section

Essays

Author Biography

Miles Glendinning, University of Edinburgh

(b. 1956, London, UK). MSc in Architectural History, UEA Norwich, UK. Professor of architectural conservation at the University of Edinburgh and Director of the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies. Chair of docomomo ISC/ Urbanism+Landscape. Miles Glendinning has written many books on the modern built environment, ranging from Tower Block (London, Yale, 1994, with Stefan Muthesius) to The Conservation Movement (London; New York, Routledge, 2013).

References

AKERS-JONES, David, Feeling the Stones: Reminiscences by David Akers Jones, Hong Kong, Hong Kong University Press, 2004.

CASTELLS, Manuel; GOH, L.; KWOK, R., The Shek Kip Mei Syndrome — Economic Development and Public Housing in Hong Kong and Singapore, London, Pion, 1990.

GLENDINNING, Miles; MUTHESIUS, Stefan, Tower Block, London, Yale, 1994.

Hong Kong Housing Authority, Planning, Design and Delivery of Quality Public Housing in the New Millennium, Hong Kong: HKHA, 2010.

Housing and Development Board, 50,000 Up: Homes for the People, Singapore, HDB, 1965.

YEW, Lee Kuan, The Singapore Story, Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore, Press Holdings, 1998.

LOW, Calvin and National Heritage Board, Ten Stories: Queenstown Through the Years, Singapore, NHB, 2007.

PRYOR, E. G., Housing in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Oxford, 1973.

SMART, Alan, The Shek Kip Mei Myth – Squatters, Fires and Colonial Rule in Hong Kong 1950-1963, Hong Kong, Hong Kong University Press, 2006.

URE, Gavin, Governors, Politics and the Colonial Office: Public Policy in Hong Kong, 1918-1958, Hong Kong, Hong Kong University Press, 2012.

WONG, A. K.; YEH, S. H. K. (ed.), Housing a Nation: 25 Years of Public Housing in Singapore, Singapore, Maruzen, 1985.

YEUNG, Y. M., Fifty Years of Public Housing in Hong Kong, a Golden Jubilee Review and Appraisal, Hong Kong, Hong Kong University Press, 2003.

This article also makes extensive use of the government file records of the Hong Kong Public Records Office and the National Archives of Singapore, for which see the following general links:

http://www.grs.gov.hk/ws/english/ps_online_cata_ar.htm#record

http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/government_records/