From Kowloon Walled City and Kai Tak Bund in the Past, to Kai Tak Amusement Park and industrial area and nowadays becoming rivers in the city, those changes have created different memories in different generations. This “rainbow of memories” produced a dynamic of feeling to the place and people in the flow of history. With the revitalization of Choi Hung Road Playground, we hope to bring residents back to the important chapters in San Po Kong, and reminisce about the wonderful past. On top of this, we aim to produce a new memory to park users enjoying the time and moment here, and further share and celebrate “collective memories” to neighbourhood and residents in Wong Tai Sin. Leveraging the concept of “Memory”, we aim to use 4”Rs”, “Recall”, “Reminisce”, “Reconnect” and Reproduce to link the memories of place and people, in both spatial and temporal dimensions. Together with our urban design framework of identifying Kai Tak River as the spine, we will leverage the strategic position of Choi Hung Playground in recalling the memories along the river, especially the history from fishing village, to industrial area, and now evolving to a cultural cluster. Therefore, our aims not only bring the history of San Po Kong alive, but also recreate and inherit from one generation.
Both tangible and intangible elements contributed to the memories are mapped and further integrated into our design. Before entering the stage of detailed urban design, we acknowledged that the existing active and passive recreational facilities are important to the current park users. Besides, the new Kai Tak River near to our site is an important blue and green infrastructure which connects different green open space in the vicinity. Hence, we took these elements carefully into account during the design stage.
Water becomes one of our key carriers that can be utilised to bring the past memory back to our park, and continue to run the flow of history. Other historical elements including the former Kai Tak Amusement Park and airport, Lung Tsun Stone Bridge, manufacturing company including Star Industrial Co. Ltd. in the industrial cluster in Kowloon East, Tai Hom Village and its association with film industry. These historical attributes constitute the valuable memories of the communities, therefore, they are all considered together with the identified user needs to further develop into our themes and what corresponding urban furniture and activities are needed in our design. In our new designed park, different spaces echo with different parts of the memories. Various spatial programmes from active to passive recreational activities are also designed to reconnect and reminisce memories of the site. Character-defining elements which contributed to the memories will also be featured in our new park. We have also conserved and adaptively reused the stone wall and flying bridge in an innovative way, which are the only surviving legacies of the former Kai Tak Theme Park, to strengthen the connection of the people and memories through a more playful environment.