Craft on Peel

by Annette Chu & Gigi Chiu

“Renovation is an act that connects history and future possibilities.  We preserve, at the same time, intervene.  We remove and insert precisely new elements.”

The project revitalises a 3-storey tenement built in 1948 to become a creative and experiential venue to serve its new mission to revive and reinterpret traditional crafts in a contemporary context.

A prominent feature that runs through the building is the exposed brick wall which the design deliberately preserves.  Large voids, which are thought to be windows of the originally exterior walls, are replaced by stainless steel display shelves that also serves as structural supports.  Loose bricks are broken into chips, mixed with white cement and installed as terrazzo to strengthen the brick wall.


To keep the 120m2 floor space flexible, full height oxidized steel posts with adjustable display shelves extend across the exposed brick wall.  On second floor is an addition of an artisan-in-residence studio that models after the traditional accommodation which the bed platform is elevated.  Young apprentice can live and work on this floor, and have the works exhibited on the floor below. 

The renovation process is an improvisation with the existing building which design modifies and refines with site conditions.  Three different steel treatments are used throughout to create  deliberate tactile differences.  Intact stairs threads are kept and while the broken ones are repaired with a 5mm thick steel plate installed.  Polycarbonate layered with perforated steel panels are inserted between flights of stairs, but give way when existing solid balustrades can retain.  Plaster mouldings, old timber windows, concrete columns are exposed to create a juxtaposition of the old and new.

Externally, the building is painted white with fine horizontal texture, retaining the outline of the original façade features.  Revolving windows reminiscent of 1940-50s fenestration designs encourage natural ventilation to the space inside. 

Culture - Eureka

Timber Tale, Kwun Yum Temple

by Annette Chu, Vincent Kwok, Gabriel Lee & Jai Yip

The renovation of Kwun Yum Temple embarked the long collaboration between Eureka and the Lotus Association on its renovation of its Buddhist Park in Tai Po.

The Buddhist Park, built in 1930s, belongs to the era of Chinese Renaissance. The Residence of Wong-Se has been classified as Grade 3, while the rest of the buildings are unclassified. The challenge of the project is to reinterpret and at the same time create a subtle hierarchy in the various different buildings in the park.

Working closely with the client, a more radical approach was adopted for Kwun Yum Temple. The contradiction to create connections with the exterior landscape and yet retains the sense of privacy for the sacred interior calls for an alternating facade of 120mm diameter treated pine poles and 120mm wide glass. The rhythm is derived from studying the dimensions of the existing building and its elements. The soffits and balustrades are also carefully proportioned, with the panelling lines carrying on to the joints between the granite floor tiles.

The soffit timber poles in the interior, gradually transforming from straight line to the circle at the centre when the Buddha sits below on Ground Floor; or rises up to celebrate the pitch roof on First Floor.

With time, the pine has slowly become more golden, echoing the existing ceramic roof files.

Culture - Eureka

Tak Wai Tong

by Annette Chu, Wendy Hui & Loky Leung

The aged Buddhist hall building emanates a strong rhythm in itself. The clarity of structure and apertures posed refined orders and peace. The renovation brief to convert the ground floor space to a lecture hall and first floor private level to retreat rooms calls for sensitivity and respect to all these intrinsic qualities.

Culture - Eureka

Pun Chun Yuen Office

by Annette Chu and Wendy Hui


Set in a tranquil Buddhist park, a pragmatic little house is being transformed to a small office as a greeting to the visitors.






white granite chips.


A natural palette and the true-self of material is brought to complement the delightful greenery and overwhelming nature in the surroundings. Continuing the use of wood as a mark of transformation, the intrinsic proportion of existing windows is accentuated with wooden frames and screens. 

Masses of concrete stairs and ramps extend from the original landscape to reach the platform that naturally sets the building slight above.

With the afternoon sun in place, an interplay of light, shadows and texture comes into play.