Lifestyle

Story behind the Blue House

Stone Nullah lane has become a hipster hub in Wanchai – with laidback dive bars like Tai Lung Fung and unpretentious restaurants like Stone Nullah Tavern, this quiet corner of Wanchai has become a hidden gem for both locals and expats. If you’re familiar with this neighbourhood, you’re bound to have come across a bright blue colonial building. While this particular shade of colour contains modern undertones and leads to curiosity, here is the true story behind this special building:

History

Built in the 1920s, the Blue House is a four-storey Lingnan-style house with a combination of Chinese and Western architectural style. In fact the blue colour wasn’t a deliberate decision for aesthetic reasons, as it was the only colour available to the painters at the time. Before World War II, the 3rd and 4th floor of the building served as the only English school in the area and the 2nd floor of the building provided free education for children in the same neighbourhood. The Tong Lau was also home to Kung Fu master Wong Fei-hung’s student Lam Sai-wing and his nephew in 1950, as they opened their Kung Fu studio in the very same building.



Wanchai Livelihood Museum

Other than being officially listed as a historical building by the Antiquities Advisory board, visitors can find the Wanchai Livelihood Museum in the building and visit the living quarters there. Although the building doesn’t include modern facilities such as flushing toilets, local residents can still be found living there. It seems as if history has hit the pause button in the building, as large families can still be found living under a tight and cramped space similar to the living conditions of the 70’s. Visitors can also interact with the local residents there to truly understand the history of the Tong Lau and lifestyle of Old Hong Kong.