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Ming Hua Theological College

Built in 1953, not graded.

The main building of Old Kei Yan Primary School Campus (OKYPSC).

Historical Interest

In 1932 Ronald Owen Hall (aka R.O.H.) was appointed as the Bishop of Victoria, Hong Kong. R.O.H. participated in the coordination and design of the religious, educational, social welfare, and residential complex of Bishop’s Hill.

In 1953, Ming Hua Theological College (MHTC) was designed by Gin-Djih Su (徐敬直) who was
China's first-generation formally-trained architect studying aboard. Su was the contemporary of and
shared fame with “Father of Modern Chinese Architecture” Sicheng Liang (梁思成) and Yuan-Hsi Kuo (過元熙). Su graduated from the Department of Engineering at the University of Michigan, majoring in architecture in 1926 and he obtained the master degree in 1930.
Su was the first president of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects from 1956 to 1957. Su’s early
architectural design style combined the antique style with modern building techniques and materials. He later became known for its practicality and people-oriented. Su was the architect of
National Museum in China (1935) and Nanjing Central University (1936). His significant projects in
Hong Kong includes Kowloon Church of Seventh-day Adventists (1949), the dismantled MacPherson Stadium (1952), Hong Kong Scout Centre (1954), Shek O Bus Terminus (1955) and Hong Kong Funeral Home (1963).

The building of Ming Hua Theological College used to be part of the S.K.H. Kei Yan Primary School
when it was operating on site. The building was designed by Gin-Djih Su (徐敬直) and the drawings
were approved on the 29th June 1953 by Building Authority.

Architectural Merit

Ming Hua Theological College is a five-storey utilitarian building of reinforced concrete frame
construction built in the Modernist or International Modern style. This style of architecture is generally accepted as having originated in Germany at the Bauhaus school of art in the 1920s, and it is also mixed with Fourth Generation shophouse style in the 1950-60s. The building block accommodated on the first floor a music room, a library, and a balcony chiefly for speech at school
assembly; the Principal’s office (it is cantilevered and altered) and two classrooms on the second
floor; two classrooms on the third floor; a storeroom on the fourth floor.

Externally, the linear block exhibits all the typical features of Modernist architecture. The main themes of the building were asymmetry, smooth flat plain undecorated surfaces often painted white, the complete elimination of all mouldings and ornament, flat roofs, large expanses of glass held in steel frames often in the form of curtain walling, and long horizontal streamlined bands of windows. Very free planning was made possible by the adoption of steel-framed or reinforced concrete post-and-slab construction with flat slab floors, central ventilation staircase with precast R.C.C. sunscreen, large terrace with steel railing teak handrail, big windows, exposed fire escape stairs, and long horizontal corridor at each floor level. It is safely said that the building was good example of the functionalistic and pragmatic approach for designing school/ institutional buildings at that time.

A precast cement sign on the reinforced concrete sunscreen at the northeast staircase core and four concrete structure signs at the northwest staircase core celebrate the sense of arrival as well as the glory of Anglican Church.

Rarity & Authenticity

Ming Hua Theological College has been little altered since it was built, therefore retains its authenticity. It is a rare, excellent local example of the post-war modern and Bauhaus architecture with definite built heritage value. The four remaining architectures are the Former Police Married Quarters (graded 3), Wan Chai Market (graded 3), Central Market (graded 3), and Bridges Street Market (graded 3).

The building is one of Su's greatest masterpieces both for its dynamism and for its integration with its striking natural surroundings. It resembles Fallingwater, a now heritage house designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 in southwest Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands, particularly in interpenetrating exterior and interior spaces and in the strong emphasis placed on harmony between man and nature. Su's passion for modernist architecture was strongly reflected in the design of the building.

Social Value & Local Interest

The unique scenery and cultural landscape are the collective memory of the Central and Western District residents, especially the Kei Yan Primary School graduates. With a history of more than sixty-five years, Ming Hua Theological College has supported the development of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui (Anglican Church) as well as the interaction between Christianity and Hong Kong society. Beginning life as an institution dedicated to supporting the education of poor and under-privileged members of Hong Kong’s lay Chinese communities. Today, surrounded by commercial and historical buildings, the building stands as testimony to the story of the gospel and the eternally immutable love of God in this blessed land.

Group Value

Ming Hua Theological College has historical and local interest and also group value being situated alongside Bishop’s House (Grade 1), St. Paul’s Church (Grade 1) and the Old S.K.H. Kei Yan Primary School (originally the south wing of St. Paul’s College, Grade 2). 

Ming Hua Theological College was part of the OKYPSC as well as the main core of the Bishop’s hill historical building complex. The building is attached to St. Paul’s Church Kindergarten and Old S.K.H. Kei Yan Primary School with its external staircases. The entrance at the northwest elevation connects to the path which links Central Hospital, Upper and Lower Albert Road. It arches over the passage for students to board the school buses at the end of the school day. The entrance at the northeast elevation connects to the Bishop’s House. MHTC was also a commander tower of the OKYPSC - the principle and teachers hosted the assembly and gave a morning speech to students standing in the playground.


Ming Hua Theological College is part of the “Conserving Central” initiatives was announced in 2009-10 Policy Address by chief executive Tsang Yam-kuen. The eight sites mentioned in the initiatives include the Central Government Offices Complex, the Central Market, the Central Police Station Compound, the former French Mission Building, Murray Building, the New Central Harborfront, the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Compound (Bishop Hill), and also Police Married Quarters on Hollywood Road.

Adaptive Re-Use

The structure and interior of Ming Hua Theological College are in excellent condition. Adaptive re-
use of the building is its original school function, given its significance to Hong Kong’s community

and providing comprehensive theological education services in Hong Kong.

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