Public Works Department
99 Kennedy Road, Wan Chai
The Wan Chai Polyclinic, still operating today, was designed by the Architectural office of the Public Works Department back in 1954. It was meant to replace the existing clinic at Harcourt Centre with a more modern design and additional facilities for physiotherapy of patients. It lies west of Kennedy Road, just behind the English Methodist Church and located at the junction of Kennedy Road and Queen’s Road East. Like many sites across the city, the site is irregularly shaped due to the natural topography of Hong Kong. An interesting feature of this development project was that the site was once part of Kennedy Road before it was straightened at this point.
Each of the floors of the main block is designed to accommodate the prospective needs of the patients who would be occupying them. The steep slope of the site is taken advantage of by making a basement consisting of storerooms for medical equipment and supplies, quarters for a watchman, and a small lecture room. The ground floor includes the physiotherapy and X-ray departments, which are convenient to be on this particular floor because of the higher likelihood that patients would be physically handicapped. The first floor used to be a tuberculosis clinic, as this clinic was built shortly after World War II when tuberculosis was a common disease in Hong Kong. This floor is still maintaining its tuberculosis treatment but extended its services to include other general chest services as well. The clinic’s second floor is the dental clinic, which comprises equipment for people of a diverse array of age groups.
In a holistic perspective, the clinic was built to accommodate a large number of out-patients with a one-way traffic system, which allows a smooth and continuous circulation of people flowing in and out of the clinic. This type of system was meant to facilitate about 500 patients in that limited space.