Feature: "Dress-up flyovers" in Hong Kong show characteristics of local districts, preserve memories

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 08, 2023
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HONG KONG, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- Walking through the streets of Hong Kong, thematic designs that manifest the uniqueness of local districts come into view from time to time, making passers-by slow down.

In order to enhance the streetscape, improve the leisure environment of the community, and showcase the cultural characteristics of the city, since 2017, the Highways Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government has introduced thematic designs for the beautification of nearly 300 highway structures and subways.

Beautification works such as "Be Sunny and Positive, Kwai Tsing," "Memories in Blossom, Causeway Bay," "Lion Rock Flora, Kowloon Tong," "City Transformation, Tsim Sha Tsui" and so on, have created a lively and refreshing image.

Tin Shui Wai, having a wetland park and many green belts, attracts various species of birds including finches and migratory birds to feed here, many of which are endangered species.

The flyover at the junction of Tin Wah Road and Tin Tsz Road in Tin Shui Wai used to be dull and ordinary. Themed "Hide and Seek, Tin Shui Wai," the beautification work is painted with elements such as wetlands and bird feeding on the walls and pillars of the flyover.

The features of a variety of rare birds are abstracted by designers with simple lines, making the flyover look new and interesting.

"The painting period of the Tin Shui Wai beautification work lasted for four months, and we went to the construction site more than a dozen times," Gigi Ng, a landscape architect of the Highways Department of the HKSAR government, said.

She said that one of the design difficulties in this beautification work was how to paint flat patterns on the uneven concrete pit-patterned walls.

For this reason, the landscape architects visited the site several times and coordinated with the artists of the project contractor, including fine-tuning the size and position of the image, in order to achieve the best visual effect.

Ng cherishes the opportunity to beautify the flyovers and tunnels. Providing a more pleasant and comfortable environment to the public makes her feel that her efforts have not been in vain, she said.

According to Ng, every time a design is made, the landscape architect should go to the scene to feel the environment and pay attention to whether there are some unique elements that can be brought into the design, so that the work can be in harmony with the surrounding environment.

For example, when choosing the site of "Fly over the Walled City, Kowloon City," the landscape architects found that the Olympic Garden was quiet and safe, with three overhead flyovers across the park.

Inspired by the iconic former Kowloon Walled City and old Kai Tak Airport, the beautification work "Fly over the Walled City, Kowloon City" makes use of a series of hand sketches to illustrate the unique building fabric of the walled city and dramatic scene of low flying aircraft above the crowded streets of Kowloon City.

Jimmy Yuen, a Highways Department landscape architect, said the design captures the building structure of Kowloon Walled City and displayed it in the column of the flyover.

Yuen said they have chosen a mirror-finish material to resemble the sky, to provide contrast to the aircraft.

Due to the open-air display of the beautification project, the selected paints and materials also have strict requirements, he added.

"I was watching this work done little by little, for three months," said Zau, who is a sanitation worker at Olympic Garden, and also lives nearby.

She said this work perfectly illustrates the memories of the residents living in this area, and with this beautification work, the environment in the park becomes better, attracting many people to take photos here. Enditem

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