A historical four-storey tong lau, or tenement building, at the corner of Queen’s Road West and Bonham Strand now serves as a community space in one of Hong Kong’s most bustling neighbourhoods. onebite Social, a city-based community-empowering initiative, has transformed this former shop into a hub where kaifongs (neighbours) of Sheung Wan can meet up, learn new skills, and get wellness checks.

The space, which onebite has dubbed Project House @1QRW, provides visitors with free water, Wi-Fi, and restroom facilities. The team also organises a variety of services, such as weekly counselling and meditation sessions, a community nanny team that provides childcare, and a sewing team that gives members a chance to learn a new skill and earn extra income in the process. The space will remain open until April this year.

meeting space and sewing club at sheung wan community space
The comunity space at the corner of Queen’s Road West and Bonham Strand provides a hub for interaction and learning new skills.

The building that currently houses Project House @1QRW is a Grade III historic building, as it is among the few remaining tong lau in Hong Kong on a street corner with its shopfront visible on both sides of a right angle. The site is also opposite Possession Street, which is where the British first landed to claim Hong Kong Island as British territory in 1841.

Records show that the structure dates back to at least 1926, and according to the bright green Chinese characters still on the façade, it used to be a shop called Yau Kee Hop that sold preserved and roast meats. It later became a Chinese herbal tea shop, a vegetable stall, and a grocery store. The Antiquities Advisory Board considers it a “valuable piece of built heritage” and the only surviving part of a row of now-demolished shophouses.

For more information, visit the onebite Social website.

See also
13 Best Historical & Heritage Buildings To Visit In Hong Kong That Will Take You Back In Time

Image credits: onebite Social

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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