HKIA Article Submission

Fa Yuen Street - Pai Dong
Concept Design

Client: HKIA
Size: 2 x 3m
Location: Fa Yuen Street, Hong Kong

On the 30th of November 2011, a deadly fire broke out in one of the densest street in Hong Kong, Fa Yuen Street. 210 fire fighters were called out. The overnight fire resulted in the loss of 9 lives and homes of 118.

Traditional Pai Dong (market stall) is blamed to be the key cause of the tragedy. Similar types of street shops have long become a tourist attraction in Hong Kong. Yet little has been done to improve the condition since its first appearance of vendors store in the 70s. Evacuation route, electrical supply and fire safety equipment are by far not up to today’s standard.

The accident raised debate on the need to evaluate ways of sustaining this local cultural heritage of our city. The paper explores the needs of this unique type of business model as well as constrains of the context in order to suggest a new prototype of Pai Dong.

The new prototype focuses on four main aspects of this building type: Safety, storage, comfort and affordability. 

Safety is always the top priority in public building design particularly in the populated location of this kind. With the loads of flammable goods, the market is indeed a gigantic time bomb in the urban environment. Primitive metal frames and fabric cover are ineffective in fire insulation. The proposed model greatly improves the safety by logistic planning and material choice. It also brings convenience to the vendors and provides the customers with a more pleasant shopping experience.

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