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Background Information

   
Address : 2 Bridges Street, Central
Site Area : About 640 sq. m.
Gross Floor Area : About 950 sq. m.
No. of Storeys : 3 Storey (G/F, 1/F, 2/F & Roof)
Year Built : 1953
Grading of Building : Grade 3
Current Management Department : Food and Environmental Hygiene Department
Present Uses : Market
Future Possible Uses* :
  • Information centre (e.g. heritage resource centre, Central and Western Heritage Trail information centre, "Conservation Central" projects information centre)
  • Recreational and cultural facilities (e.g. rehearsal venue for drama or opera establishments)
  • Exhibition and convention facilities (e.g. photo exhibition of Hong Kong's history, exhibition of Dr Sun Yat-sen's activities)
  • Shops and services (e.g. retail gift shop, visitor information centre)
Layout Plans : (This link will open in a new window)Click here to download

* Applicants are welcome to come up with other suggestions on the possible uses.

(This link will open in a new window)Photo of Bridges Street MarketThe building of Bridges Street Market is located at No. 2 Bridges Street, Central. It was built under the auspices of the then Urban Council after World War II to replace the old markets which had been destroyed during Japanese occupation, with a view to meeting the demand of the rising population. It was constructed and commenced operation in 1953, housing 26 stalls for selling fish and poultry on the G/F and 33 stalls on the 1/F mostly selling beef, pork, fruits and vegetables. It was the first of its kind built in Hong Kong's urban areas after World War II. Part of the 1/F was converted into an indoor children's playground in 1969 connected by two link bridges to Wing Lee Street. Bridges Street Market has served the community for almost 60 years and is remembered by local residents.

The Market partly falls on the old site of American Congregational Mission Preaching Hall (now named as China Congregational Church) where Dr. Sun Yat-sen lived and received baptism. The Mission was founded by an American missionary, C.R. Hager in 1883. Dr. Sun Yat-sen was baptized in the church in the same year and given the name "Yat-sun", which was later changed to "Yat-sen". He also lived on the third floor of the building in 1884-1886 when he was studying in Central School. In 1901, the church was relocated to No. 68 Bridges Street.

ARCHITECTURAL MERITS

The Market is a two-storey utilitarian building of reinforced concrete frame construction built in the International Modernist style. This style of architecture is generally accepted as originated in Germany by the Bauhaus school of art in the 1920s, and its main characteristics, which can also be found in the Market, were asymmetry, severe blocky cubic shapes, smooth flat plain undecorated surfaces often painted white, the complete elimination of all mouldings and ornament, flat roofs, large expanses of glass held in steel frames on the elevation, and long horizontal streamlined bands of windows. Very free planning was made possible by the adoption of reinforced concrete post-and-slab construction with flat slab floors and a flat roof-slab carried on concrete columns thus enabling partitions to be erected freely as desired, as they played no part in the structure bearing function of the building.

The front elevation of the Market facing Bridges Street is an asymmetrical composition with the main entrance recessed on the left side flanked by a panel of Shanghai plaster grooved to resemble masonry. Above this panel there is a large grid pattern window which illuminates the internal staircase. The remainder of the elevation is a plain painted rendered wall featuring two horizontal streamlined bands of windows with projected horizontal sun-shading concrete fins. The rear elevation and side elevation are similar to the front elevation in design. A small penthouse on the roof provides accommodation for a caretaker and coolies.

Internally, the ground floor plan consists of open fronted stalls with white glazed tiled partitions separated by aisles. The upper part of the walls and the beams and ceiling are painted white. A staircase in the corner beside the main entrance leads to the first floor. There is an entrance with a link bridge at the east elevation to connect the first floor of the Market to Shing Wong Street. The remaining part of the first floor is used as an indoor children's playground which is connected to Wing Lee Street by two link bridges.