"It matches so well with the name of the estate, which is rainbow in Chinese,” Professor Rosman Wai from the University of Hong Kong said.
"Everyone knows about the rainbow colour facade, and also the very colourful playground. When you take photographs there, that is a kind of immersive experience. You seem to be surrounded with all these beautiful colours, and that gives you the sense of identity... Sense of identity will lead to your sense of community. You feel proud of it.”
Sources said the Housing Authority planned to demolish and redevelop the estate built in the 1960s.
Wai said the estate’s overall design and planning – featuring taller blocks on the periphery and smaller blocks in between – is also worth keeping.
“I think this is the reason why when you walk inside the estate, you still feel the spatial feeling... Because it is stepping outward, and so it gives a bit more sky that you can see."
She also said having shops on the ground-floor level offers a "street experience" that can't be found in a mall.
“When you come from the MTR, [the shops] extend the roof of the transformer room, switch rooms and then into shops, so it is like an arcade. Sometimes [the corridor] is single-loaded, sometimes it is double-loaded, making the space very interesting and vibrant.
“I think instead of just a shopping mall, this kind of street experience gives life to the estate.”
Wai pointed out that the design of the external space had not been part of the original planning.
"Choi Hung Estate was what we call low-cost housing... It came out because after the Second World War, housing was a great problem in Hong Kong. Everywhere were squatter huts. The major problem to be resolved was housing the people… That’s why the main focus of design is on the residential blocks.
“And all the external area, it is a kind of afterthought or leftover space. And it is not until later, like Wah Fu Estate, when we have a more comprehensive design.”
The architect said structural safety must be taken into consideration on any decisions relating to Choi Hung Estate.
“Whether the block should be demolished for redevelopment or not, or should it be retained, I think one of the most important things to consider of course is the safety of the block,” she said.