项目名称 Project Name: 银杏屋：社会建筑的力量 / Gingko House： the Power of Social Architecture
参展机构Company：元新建城建筑师事务有限公司 / Groundwork Architects & Associates Limited
客户 Client : 銀杏館 / Gingko House
创作年份 Year : 2017-2018
设计师 Designer : 元新建城建筑师事务有限公司 / Groundwork Architects & Associates Limited
Tak Lee、Lawrence Law、Jerry Wong、刘振宇、阮文韬 / CY Lau 、Manfred Yuen
摄影 Photographer : 鲍静 / Fiona Bao
文案 Copywriter : 阮文韬 / Manfred Yuen, Janet Wong
The Gingko is an esteemed local social enterprise which operates restaurants that provide employments for retired elderly. In 2016, The Gingko lost their lease of their main restaurant and they were desperate to find a new space. Hong Kong is rated as one of the most expensive city to live in the world and it has the highest real-estate prices, opening a new restaurant in Hong Kong is difficult.
The landlord, Jeffrey persuaded his father to lease out one of their units within the Alhambra Building for The Gingko, which has a net floor area of 300 square meters. Not only that Mr. Kwok senior agreed, he had only asked for one-eight of the market rate as the rent, hoping that the low rent would aid The Gingko’s business and facilitate their social causes.
Problem Statement and Project Solution
The Gingko restaurant, which is a social enterprise, is ironically situated above a “Mahjong School”. The Kwok’s family - the landlord of the Gingko House - ran a chain of "Mahjong Schools"(a.k.a. Mahjong parlors) in Hong Kong and his flagship outlet is situated on the ground floor of a sixty years old building called the Alhambra Building in Kowloon, Yau Ma Tei, near Temple Street. The Kwok’s family also owns other units within the same building. Temple Street was, and still is, one of the cities red-light districts mainly visited by aged local men and currently, Temple Street is now dazzling with tourism.
The Gingko had chosen us for the work not only because of our past successful restaurant design cases, but perhaps for our philosophy and humanistic approach towards architecture.
The project unexpectedly took much longer than normal projects because of lengthy government funding validation process. The Gingko is a non-government organization and their spending were monitored and needed justifications. In Hong Kong, restaurants with such size would take three to five months to complete, The Gingko took two years.
Creation Process & Result
We have built a few successful restaurant chains in Hong Kong and China and we have been experimenting with the thematic of Hong Kong’s colour and nostalgia for the past years.
This is a Vietnamese restaurant, and there is no windows so we have full control of the lighting. We were thinking that we may create an environment where the visitors may felt that they were trapped in the Saigon back in the 1960s.
We chose retain interior surfaces finishes ceilings and mottled walls to accentuate its history.The existing wall linings and floors are already beautiful, they would not need more fabrications.
We were also the brand builder, responsible for the naming, logo and visual identity: the name of the restaurant in Chinese is ”Old Viet-man”. We have written: "the older the hotter” at the front door. At the end of the day, we mean it; the hotness grew with age!
How does the project reflect the exhibition theme "Cultural Bay Area • Humanistic Design"?
From the outside, there's no difference from any other restaurants, but the stories behind the restaurant is moving and its design expresses our care of humanity in many ways.
The contribution of the elderly makes this Vietnamese restaurant special. The restaurant has a feeling of nostalgia. It seems there's a time machine which takes customers back to Saigon in1960s, educating the younger generation about history and bringing corporate social responsibility to the bustling city.
Ginkgo Pavilion itself is a very meaningful social enterprise, providing employment opportunities for the elderly in need, so as to obtain psychological and economic satisfaction. The restaurant is a way for the elderly to reintegrate into society. Nostalgic design with the restaurant ontology -- re-employment of the elderly, the two are integrated, inseparable, making a beautiful scenery.
Ginkgo Pavilion reminds us to embrace the past and fall in love with the traces of time on our bodies.