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WORK UNDER THE BUILDING ORDINANCE
16. General Remarks.—An unsatisfactory feature of the year was the large number of collapses of buildings which occurred, many of the buildings involved being new or nearly so. In several cases the collapses were attended with considerable loss of life. With a view to preventing such occurrences in future, numerous provisions have been inserted in the new Ordinance referred to above. They include a substantial increase in the thickness of walls and the building of certain portions in cement mortar, the insertion of iron tie-rods in unsupported external walls of considerable length, the prohibition of persons practising as Architects unless authorized by the Governor in Council and the imposition of increased responsibilities upon Architects.
The Naval Yard Extension and Messrs. Butterfield & Swire’s Shipyard Works were in progress throughout the year, and building operations were going on over the entire area bounded by Ice House Street, Des Voeux Road, Pedder Street and Connaught Road. The South-eastern section of Princes Buildings was also begun. The erection of so many large buildings simultaneously taxes the resources of the Colony in the production of the materials and the supply of skilled labour required to carry them out.
43. Governor's Peak Residence.—The buildings were completed in July and occupied by His Excellency the Governor on his return to the Colony in September. Sundry small alterations were subsequently made, which were practically completed by the end of the year.
The main building contains the following accommodation on the ground floor:—
Dining room, drawing room, billiard room, boudoir, Governor’s office, office for Private Secretary and Aide-de-Camp and waiting room; and on the upper floor:— 4 large bed-rooms, two of which have dressing-rooms attached, and three smaller bed-rooms, besides bath-rooms. The hall and principal staircase occupy a large amount of space on both floors, being lighted by means of a large skylight. Wide enclosed verandahs are carried round three sides of the building.
In a wing attached to the main building are the kitchen, larder, pantry, a manservant’s room and a drying-room on the ground floor and a school-room, drying -room and maid’s room on the upper floor. An enclosed verandah is provided round two sides.
A short distance from the main building and connected with it by a covered way, are the servants’ quarters containing 3 boys’ rooms, 2 amahs’ rooms, a cooks’ room and accommodation for 16 coolies, besides cook-houses, &c. Separate quarters are provided for the gardeners and there is also a shelter for chairs. Entrance gates and a small gate-lodge have been erected at the entrance to the grounds.
In the main building, all floors of verandahs and bath-rooms are constructed of iron beams and concrete and laid with encaustic tiles; the floors of the kitchen, pantry, &c. on the ground floor being similarly laid, but supported on the solid ground. All other floors are of teak-wood. The main staircase is constructed entirely of teak with carved screen at foot and massive main balusters.
The principal rooms on ground floor, the hall and staircase have panelled wooden dadoes and the kitchen, larder and all bathrooms have dadoes of white glazed tiles. All the ceilings and cornices are of wood, except in the case of the verandahs, &c. where they are formed by the underside of the concrete floors already mentioned. The ceilings of the principal rooms on the ground floor are suitably panelled.
The main roof is Covered with double pan and roll tiling, whilst the roof of verandahs and of towers at angles of building are of cement concrete.
Hot and cold water are laid on to all bath-rooms and the lighting of the building is by gas; electric light not being available at the Peak. A lightning conductor has been fixed on each of the four towers.
Storm-water is carried off in open channels, as far as practicable, and a system of drains is provided for waste water and connected with the Peak main drain.
The approach road and some of the principal pathways about the grounds have been concreted, whilst a number of the old paths have been improved or new paths made round the adjacent hills.
The buildings were erected under the supervision of the Public Works Department from designs supplied by Messrs. Palmer & Turner, Architects.
44. No. 7 Police Station.– This work was completed in September when the Police entered into occupation of the buildings. These occupy the site of the old station, at the junction of Pokfulam and Queen's Roads, being arranged round the North, East and South sides of it, with a compound in the middle, whilst the West side is left open. They are all of two storeys in height, with a basement where the site, which varies considerably in level, admits of one.
On the North side, facing Queen's Road, are the charge room, separate mess rooms for European, Indian and Chinese Constables, a dormitory for for Chinese firemen, and Interpreter's room and three cells on the ground floor, and, on the upper floor, quarters for an inspector (four rooms and bathroom), a Sergeant's room a dormitory for 4 European constables, a bathroom and store room. In a basement, which extends under a portion of the building and opens onto Queens Road, there is a workshop and store and accommodation for a fire engine.
On the south side are two dormitories for Indian constables (32 beds in all) and two for Chinese (also 32 beds in all). A basement for storage purposes extends under part of the building.
On the East side are the various kitchens, cook houses and bathrooms, besides a drying room and lamp room. Latrines are provided in a separate building.
The buildings are of brick, plastered over externally, and roofed with double pan and roll tiling. Masonry and brick for around, with concrete floor, projects from the North Block over the footpath in Queen's Road, whilst the two remaining blocks have verandahs of iron and concrete, which serve as corridors. The floors of all rooms are of hardwood, iron beams being inserted where required to support the joists. The ceilings and cornices are of wood. The floors of bathrooms, cook houses, etc are of cement concrete supported on iron beams. The compound is surfaced with concrete and is enclosed on the West side by a substantial boundary wall.