Designing with Heart, Building for the Community
The FEHD Skylight Market located in Tin Shui Wai (formerly known as Tin Shui Wai Temporary Public Market) was opened last month, providing residents with a pleasant shopping environment of fresh food provisions. The project only took about a year from planning, funding approval, construction to commissioning, which enabled the public and the tenants to benefit from it early. This time, I have invited colleagues from the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) to talk about how they have completed the project rapidly and share with us the architectural design features of the market.
Building a temporary public market for the convenience of residents
In the 2018 Policy Address, the Chief Executive announced that the Government planned to spare space at the section of Tin Fuk Road next to TSW MTR Station for building a new public market. Considering that it would usually take six to seven years to build a permanent public market, the Government announced in October 2019 that a temporary public market would be built at the open space of Tin Sau Road Park, so that the public could have an additional choice for purchasing fresh food before the completion of the new public market.
Construction started at the outbreak of the epidemic
Senior Project Manager of the ArchSD, Mr CHAN King-tak, Alfred, says that to expedite the completion of the FEHD Skylight Market, the Food and Health Bureau, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) and the ArchSD collaborated in various aspects, including the coordination over the layout arrangement of the market, and tackling of technical and environmental difficulties, so as to meet the operational needs of the Market. When the contractor commenced the construction in January last year, it was at a time that coincided with the first wave of the outbreak of COVID-19. The construction materials were in short supply due to the temporary closure of the Mainland factories. , The project team responded promptly and rearranged the construction procedures flexibly while the contractor liaised closely with suppliers for contingency measures. He says he is grateful to have such an efficient team that could complete the project within a designated period despite the pandemic.
Completion for commissioning in about a year
Regarding the construction, Senior Architect of the ArchSD, Mr TSANG Wai-lun, says that a market usually takes about six to seven years from planning to completion. However, to cope with the community demand for a public market to be completed as soon as possible, the department adopted Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) to have most of the modules prefabricated in a factory before their transportation to the site for installation. For the main canopy, Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) was applied to avoid wet trades with cement. An up-stand foundation design was adopted to minimise excavation, reduce construction time and facilitate construction. As a result, the market took only a year for completion and commissioning.
Meticulous architectural design
The project team has been meticulous in the design. Architect of the ArchSD, Mr LO Yee-cheung, Adrian, tells us that with an aim to strike a balance among aesthetics, functionality and comfort, the design focused on natural ventilation and lighting. The high head room central corridor with opening on its two sides allow daylight to enter the market. Not only can it reduce energy consumption of lighting, but it can also block direct sunlight for better comfort of users. Besides, the straight layout of the market promotes cross ventilation and brings coolness and comfort. The pitched roof design is a response to the rainy weather in Hong Kong and is good for draining.
Creating more entrances/exits to enhance accessibility
With 36 fixed stalls and four temporary stalls, the Skylight Market offers 40 stalls in total. The market has wide pedestrian access and provides barrier-free facilities. Besides the main entrances/exits located on the east and west sides of the market, there are four secondary entrances/exits to facilitate public to access from the park, nearby residential buildings or transportation nodes. Greening and benches are provided on both sides of the building for the elderly and public to take a rest after shopping. The soft wood tone of the market and the theme colours of the ceiling – blue, orange and green, echo with the fresh food sold by the stalls.
Bringing technology into the community
Furthermore, during the epidemic, to help the public feel at ease shopping at the market, the project team has specially introduced new technologies in collaboration with the Nano and Advanced Materials Institute (NAMI) and innovation and technology companies of the Hong Kong Science Park. For example, anti-fouling and anti-bacterial ceramic panels have been installed between stalls, “nano-coating” technology has been applied to ventilation areas to reduce dust accumulation, and smart litter recycling machines have also been installed. Other than bringing technology into the community, the market has also provided a testing ground for innovative technologies to promote their development in Hong Kong.
Popular with tenants and residents
The market has been running smoothly since its opening. Miss LAM, a vegetable vendor of the market, says that the market has the most customers from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day. The comfortable environment of the market has attracted many local residents to visit it. After doing business for a week, she already has many regular customers. Mr CHAN, a vendor selling dry goods (figures), says that as the market is clean and tidy, parents would shop at the market with their children. His stall was open during the Christmas holidays, so business was quite good. Mrs LEUNG, a local resident, says that as the market has a good variety of goods and is at a convenient location, she will come shopping again for daily necessities.
Markets are one of the main outlets for residents to purchase fresh food. Leading the project team, colleagues from the ArchSD have overcome difficulties and challenges brought about by the epidemic to give the market a good design. Also, by collaborating whole-heartedly with various departments, they have completed the project quickly to provide convenience for members of the public. I hope you can feel the thoughtfulness of our colleagues, too.
17 January, 2021