King Yin Lei
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East meets West
King Yin Lei, formerly known as “Hei Lo”, is a nearly century-old Lingnan mansion, located at 45 Stubbs Road, Mid-Levels East, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong. This best preserved 1930s’ Lingnan mansion of South China is a perfect example of east meets west.
The mansion combines Chinese and Western architectural features. The main building adopts the layout of Lingnan traditional Sanheyuan (three-courtyard house), with the main house and two wings, and the opening faces south.
The roofs of the main building and the two wings adopt the East Asian hip-and-gable (Chinese: Xiēshān) roof, which is the signature roof feature of the large buildings in ancient China. The roof of the pavilion behind the main building adopts the ancient Chinese double-eave hexagonal tented roof.
This style mix of Eastern and Western makes the building a rare and outstanding piece of architectural art in Hong Kong.
Prototype of Mid-Levels Mansions
In 1937, “Hei Lo” was completed. Afterwards, Li Po Chun gifted King Yin ei to his younger sister, who is Li Sing’s daughter Li Po-lun and her husband, Shum Yat-chor.
In the early days of Hong Kong, the area from Mid-Levels to the peak of Hong Kong island was mainly the residence of wealthy British foreign merchants or dignitaries, including members of Li Sing’s family and Ngan Shing-kwan, who owned Ngan Shing-kwan Mansion. They were among the few early Chinese who could afford to build a mansion in Mid-Levels.
The mansion is important as it has marked the historical development of Hong Kong. It is one of the historic mansions built along the hillsides of Hong Kong Island. It indicates not only the rising status and increasing wealth of the Chinese community in Hong Kong at that time, but also the early history of Hong Kong, in which high-class low-density residential area began to take shape in the Mid-Levels.
The Unknown Original Form
King Yin Lei is one of the most damaged historic buildings in Hong Kong that is in heavy need of restoration. Since it was built in the 1930s, many of the old techniques have already been lost or obsolete. During conservation, much time was spent looking for workshops to manufacture the mandatory components.
Before making the parts, the original form should be confirmed. However, most of the parts of the mansion have been torn down by workers: including doors, windows, floor tiles and tile roof – they are scattered all around. According to the pieces left by the site and the old photos provided by the old owners, the conservation staff spent nearly a year scrutinizing its original appearance.
45 Stubbs Road, King Yin Lane, Mid-Levels
It is only open to people with admission tickets on designated public open days. The visit time needs to be the same time as the admission ticket.
It is divided into four sections:
9:30 am to 11:00 am
11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm, and
3:30 pm to 5:00 pm
|Admission fee: |
free of charge, subject to obtaining admission tickets at designated locations of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department before the public opening day
|How to get there:|
Method A – NWFB Bus no. 15 (Central – The Peak)
Method B – Green Minibus no. 26 (Lee Garden Road, Causeway Bay – King Yin Lei)
Most of the visiting time you will be under direct sunlight. Please bring your own sunscreen or wear sunscreen clothing if necessary.
The exhibits on display in the museum are of great historical value. Look but don’t touch.