bridges - Wanchai houses

Submitted by patricia on Sun, 01/02/2011 - 16:51

Can anyone give me an idea of what a 'bridge' is in the context of a 1900's Wanchai house.  ... "on the first floor there was a bridge and when we got up to this we could see Tom, Dick and Harry on the first floor".  There's a bridge on the second floor of this house too .... Any light gratefully received!


Hi there,

For the descriptions of houses like you posted, the 'bridge' thing is something like an open air corridor linking up the living/bed room area wth the loo and the kitchen.  These style of shophouses are usually went in pairs.  That is, the upper floors (mostly 2 or 3 storeys) corridors went on both sides of an open area which you could see the sky.  This kind of houses are usually using wood for the floors and the ceiling, and with stone, brick and even concrete for the main structure.

If you are in Hong Kong, I'll see if there are any surviving houses having such a characteristics and get back to you.  The row of shophouses that used to be in the present day Leighton Centre were house having such bridges.  I'm uncertain if those houses were dated back to 1900 though.

Best Regards,


Hi there,

You might like to take a look at this one.  It is not exactly what I was talking about as this house is at a triangular junction.  The land lots of the houses I talked about near the then Lee Theatre had been rectangular.

The street view clearly shows an open air corridor linking the living area to the kitching/toilet/storage area.

Hope this helps you to visualize the houses you have in mind.



Thank you for all of this - from what you say, T ... and what I've got - I'm picturing that there was one staircase for a pair of houses, which seems to be one flight per floor, leading down to the street and at the top of the flight there was an open area which functioned as a common landing.  The floors, with their passage, cubicles and the kitchen at the back are off that.  The only one I've seen is the Blue House, but this has a winding staircase and I don't think is as deep as the one I'm trying to envisage.  The photos - is this a cross section, really?  I'm not sure I understand the photo with the description - sorry, being thick, no doubt.


Hi Pat,

The photo is the Lui Sang Chun in Lai Chi Kok Road and Tong Mei Road.  It is not a cross section but instead one stand along house.  It is still there.  I picked this one for you because:

1.  It is still there and with easy access by Google Maps Street View;

2.  The open air corridor is similar in concept despite the material in used for other houses might be different;

3.  Lui Sang Chun sits on a triangular junction.  If you use Street View you should be able to see its thre sides.  That was why I mentioned in my previous entry saying it is not exactly the same as those rectangular houses.

Sorry to have stirred up more confusion.  I'll see if I could come up with another example somewhere else.

Thanks & Best Regards,



This is a photo of the dormitory of Lingnan primary school from the 1920s to 1970s at 15 Stubbs road. There were bridges on the 2nd and 3rd floors connecting the dorms with the bathrooms. Upper left is the facade facing the east. Lower right facing the north.

lingnan primary school dormitory 1920s-1970s
lingnan primary school dormitory 1920s-1970s, by simtang