Man who built much of our town says bus stations are in wrong place

Senior architect wants open spaces by the sea to be for public leisure

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Raymond FUNG Wing-kee

The man who designed so much of Sai Kung — waterfront park, Man Yin playground — says the bus stations are in the wrong place.

Raymond Fung Wing Kee, former senior government architect, wants the buses and mini-buses moved in-land. The waterfront spaces should belong to the public. “But it won’t happen in my life time.” Too many people would be opposed.

Raymond designed what he calls the “Sai Kung Visual Corridor”.  He is talking about the public open space running diagonally from the Tin Hau temple past the basketball court through Man Yee playground and Sha Kok gardens all the way to the public pier. Except it doesn’t. The architectural vision collapses when it runs into the minibus station.

The buses, including the big ones, should move over past the police station where the new terminus is, largely unused.

Now an adjunct professor of architecture at the Chinese University, Raymond’s design hand can be seen all over Sai Kung. He used to be a senior architect at the Architectural Services Department.  Aside from the waterfront park and the Man Yee playground, he designed the promenade and the public pier. The five bells in the centre of town are his creations. Each represents a Sai Kung temple. The paper boats, iron sea birds and newspaper cuttings about Sai Kung heroism against the Japanese are all Raymond’s touches.

You can also see Raymond’s architecture in seven houses at Hebe Haven and Po Lo Che. “The Flower Box” at Hebe haven is his. It’s a drastic recreation of an ordinary three-storey house.  All of these house designs are for friends and relatives. “I am not interested in commissions and not motivated by money.” His own house is Archvilla near Habitat at Pak Sha Wan.

Raymond is also an artist and founder of the “Ink Movement”. This society links art and charity.  He has held 70 exhibitions of his ink art all over the world and his works are displayed in museums, galleries and collections internationally.

He has an approach to public space design that many people will consider refreshing.  On the West Kowloon Cultural District — he is an adviser — Raymond says, “I am hoping it will have a big lawn, trees and, of course, art.  That’s it.”

In his early years as an architect, Raymond worked with I. M. Pei, “a man of passion”, and Tao Ho.  Tao is the renowned architect who designed the Arts Centre and Sai Kung’s Town Hall. Raymond reports, sadly, that illness has paralysed Tao.

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