Palmer and Turner Architects
20 Stanley Village Road, Stanley
c. 1955 (demolished)

The house was designed for Lam Chik-Suen, one of the managers of Lam, Woo & Company.  It sits on a site with two different levels, the lower of which was occupied by a tennis court.  The upper level contained a garden in which a pavilion with changing rooms and showers was built.  The pavilion served as a spectator stand for lawn tennis and parties as well as changing rooms for family and guests returning from the beach.

The two-storey structure was originally designed as one unit but the owner decided to divide it into two apartment units, one on each floor.  On the ground floor there was a large combined dining and living room (on the plan, indicated as a playroom) running from the front to the back of the house, which facilitated healthful cross-ventilation throughout the house.  The south and east walls of this room were occupied entirely by sliding and folding glazed doors, which also enabled greater flow between interior and exterior.  A verandah stretched around the south and east sides of the living/dining room.  Other accommodation provided on the ground floor includes three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and servants’ quarters.  Access between the house’s two floors was by means of two external staircases.  The main staircase south of the house was built of a rigid frame with cantilevered steps.  A service staircase north of the house was supported on one central beam.

The building’s construction consisted of a reinforced concrete frame supported on a Franki piling system, which consists of expanded base cast-in-situ concrete (Franki) piles driven into the ground.  Developed by Belgian Engineer Edgard Frankignoul in 1909, the system’s efficient rationalism make it a key modern architectural innovation of the 20th century.

– Eunice Seng

 

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