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181-183, Pei Ho Street, Sham Shui Po District (demolished in 2009)

In response to critical shortage of living quarters to accommodate rising population in the 1930s to 1960s, Tong Lau in Hong Kong served the function of tenement housing.

Many pre-war Tong Lau have their upper floors projected over the whole width of the public pavement in the form of verandas and balconies. They are sometimes supported by columns.

The covered arcade at the street level, formed by projected verandas or balconies on the upper floors, can provide shelter for people during adverse weather conditions.






The ground floor of shophouses is used for shop space; in this case, the Tung Yat Pharmacy.

The upper levels of shophouses are usually for residential uses, hence the name "shop-house".

Tong Lau are usually 2 to 4 storeys high.

Illustration by Bruce Lai, Adrian Pang, Kevin Siu, Benny Lee, Sam Yiu

18 Sept, 2003 (Source)

Click to explore shophouses around Hong Kong, categorised according to their architectural characteristics

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