Corner Houses


Have you ever wondered …

why those old corner houses feature round edges? Well, this is the short version of the answer:

These houses, most of them built in the 1950s and 1960s, used to have shops on the ground floor and living quarters above. Building Ordinances required that the pedestrians on the pavement walking by the shops had to be sheltered from rain and sun. As nobody passes a street corner at a right angle, but instead goes “around the corner”, the balconies overhead were likewise. Due to a shortage of accommodation, the tenants later started to close the balconies and annexed the space to enlarge their living quarters.


The long version of the answer can be found in Michael Wolf’s great photo book “Hong Kong Corner Houses” (Publisher: Hong Kong University Press).

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