Reclamation Street and Waterloo Road, Kowloon
Yau Ma Tei Market was founded in 1913 at the junction of Reclamation Street and Waterloo Road in Kowloon. It was not until the 1930s that several permanent, two to three-storey concrete block and brick buildings were constructed on the site. In its efficient use of space and rational circulation, the market reflects several of the Modern Movement’s core ideas. Each of the market’s major building blocks were designed in rows and organized based on trading routines between sellers. The efficient storage and refrigeration of goods was also an important factor in the market’s overall program. Some office and public sanitation space was also provided. The site remains an emblematic example of the intertwining of local cultural context and internationally-driven architectural ideas occurring in early 20th century Hong Kong.
Subsequent expansion and maintenance have significantly altered the original building block. Since the 1960s, the site has been used solely as the Yau Ma Tei Wholesale Fruit Market. Although the Hong Kong Government currently ranks the market as a Grade 2 listed complex, there has been discussion concerning the market’s complete redevelopment.
– Joseph Chan