Community Life On Demand In Hong Kong’s Empty Shop Spaces

In the city with the most expensive housing market and one of the highest population densities in the world, local organizations struggle to find adequate space for community services. Designers One Bite Social came up with a modular interior concept to turn vacant ground floor spaces of buildings in Hong Kong into spaces for local communities.

Project House is an urban matching platform that pairs up vacant spaces with social needs. Using temporary design as a tool for urban regeneration and community revival, Project House brings local exposure to vacant buildings and creates room for social experiments of community groups.

Vacant spaces are converted into livable environments via a modular system of boxes developed by design firm One Bite Design. Consisting of 40 boxes of various sizes that can turn into a variety of objects and furniture, the system can easily transform abandoned locations into cozy and colorful spaces that attract neighborhood attention.

The first Project House was carried out in Sham Shui Po, an old Hong Kong district with increasing poverty levels, where an empty store was transformed into a four-week community hub. A second Project House was housed for two weeks, in November, in the ground floor of an artist’s quarter building in Hong Kong financial district Wanchai. The two projects have attracted over 2,000 participants and have seen over 30 local organizations involved.

Project House aims to become a placemaking instrument in every Hong Kong district with a more diverse community offer, that could increase neighborhoods liveability and bring back vibrant street life by means of pop-up urbanism and co-creation.