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Ridley House

Built in 1962, not graded.

Hong Kong Central Hospital Nurses Residence

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. Ridley House is named after the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Victoria, Ridley Charles Duppuy (1920- 1931). The building was designed by S. K. Loong Architect and the drawings were approved on the 2nd May, 1962 by Building Authority. Formerly the left-wing of Martin's House, it is now the Hong Kong Central Hospital nurses’ residence.

S. K. Loong (龍韶基) was ordained in 1941. Loong had been sent to work in Calcutta during the war. After returning to Hong Kong, he helped the architect who designed Central Hospital and supervised the construction work. Soon he became involved with the building of churches in the diocese. Loong was most proud of Kei Oi Church which had a novel design at that time for Hong Kong. The faithful Loong became R.O.H.'s secretary, and chaplain and registrar of the diocese in 1949, and remained in these positions until R.O.H.'s retirement. Loong was the only Chinese and one of the right-hand men
of R.O.H..

Architectural Merit

Ridley House is a six-storey Post-war Reinforced Concrete Shophouse which classified as Fourth Generation. As the economy was recovering steadily through the 1950s, the Hong Kong shophouse typology entered the fourth and final generation of development; it was replaced by bigger and taller developments in the 1960s. The widespread application of reinforce concrete in the construction of shophouse during this period reflected the maturity and affordability of the technology. Shophouses of this generation are typically six-storey high and of austere appearance.


Externally, the linear block exhibits all the typical features of Modernist architecture. The main themes of the building were smooth flat plain undecorated surfaces often painted white, complete elimination of all mouldings and ornament, and flat roofs 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, a large terrace, and big windows. It has been said that the building was one of the good examples of the functionalistic and pragmatic approach for designing residential buildings at that time.

Rarity & Authenticity

Ridley House has been little altered since it was built, therefore retains its authenticity. It is a rare, excellent local example of the Fourth Generation shophouse with definite built heritage value. The other remaining architecture is the continuous tenement row stretching from No. 190 to No. 220 Prince Edward Road West; this four-storey block is listed as a grade 2 historical building.

Ridley House has been little altered since it was built, therefore retains its authenticity. It stands out as the only high-rise building (seven-storey) in Hong Kong with post-Bauhaus architectural features. It is a rare, excellent local example of the International Modern Style with definite built heritage value. The three other remaining architectures are Wan Chai Market, Central Market, and Bridges Street Market.

Social Value & Local Interest

With a history of more than 58 years, Ridley House has supported the development of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui (Anglican Church) as well as the interaction between Christianity and Hong Kong society. Today, surrounded by lush greenery and old banyan trees, the building stands as testimony to the story of the gospel and the eternally immutable love of God in this blessed land.

Group Value

Ridley House 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). 

Ridley House (attached to Martin House) residents, together with those in Martin House, Alford House, and Government House, have been guarding the change and continuity in the church as well as the city. The unique scenery and cultural landscape are the collective memory of the Central and Western District residents, especially the Kei Yan Primary School graduates.

Ridley House 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 the Alford House are all in excellent condition. Adaptive re-use of the building as a youth hostel should be considered, given its significance to Hong Kong’s community and providing affordable hospitality in Central District.

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