HONG KONG IS a colourful city. Even the most gaudily painted building can fade into the streetscape. So when a friend told me about a local hotspot known colloquially as the ‘Blue House’, I thought it could be anything.
And it was hard even for my local friend to find – nestled halfway up the slope between, lo and behold, an orange building and a yellow building. Condominiums overshadow the building on almost all sides. And unsurprisingly, it’s one of the oldest buildings in the district.
Once upon a time this building was on Hong Kong Island’s coastline – but you’ll never tell that with the wall-to-wall blocks of skyscrapers in front of it. The place has gone through quite a history, being, at various points, a hospital, a school and a slum. As Hong Kong’s economy exploded, the locals had to fight for it to be restored. It hasn’t always been blue – but one aspect of the decision to preserve it has been that to paint it in its ubiquitous colour. Today, it’s a hub for arts and crafts, such as this workshop that was happening when we entered. Nonetheless, they were happy to show us around.
Its colour may make it ubiquitous, but it’s still tucked away. But what may be the most ubiquitous thing about it is its contrast with the immediate surroundings. These include not only the condos, but also a bar with a deal that sounds too good to be true. Tune in next time to find out…
Locations: The Blue House, Wan Chai