Macau | Mansion of former opium trade businessman tops local choice for Open House Macau

Kou Ho Neng Mansion and Saint Joseph’s Seminar were among the most popular choices submitted by local participants as their preferences for Open House Macau, which will soon launch a second call for volunteers

Macau (MNA) – Kou Ho Neng Mansion, a yellow house located on Rua do Campo, Tai Fong Warehouse on Pier 8 in the Inner Harbour, and Saint Joseph’s Seminar were among the most popular choices submitted by local participants as their preferences for Open House Macau (OHM), according to a note from the organisers to Macau News Agency (MNA).

The OHM is a programme that seeks to showcase 50 historical houses and sites – usually closed to the public – for visitation on November 10 and 11.

Organised by CURB-Centre for Architecture and Urbanism, a non-profit architecture organisation, and curated by Nuno Soares, a Portuguese architect based in Macau, the event had invited residents to submit their suggestions up to August 17.

The yellow house located on Rua do Campo across the corner from Banco Delta Asia (pictured, top*) was bought by businessman Kou Ho Neng in 1916.

According to information available on the IACM portal Macao Streets, Kou began to run fantan houses and monopolised the opium trade in Macau in 1911. He was also the founder of Tak Seng On Pawnshop, Tong On Steamship Company, and the Fu Hang Money Exchange Shop.

Other public favourites on the OHM list include the Portuguese School, Pier no. 11, the Albergue of the Holy House of Mercy (pictured, below), and the Portuguese villas on Av. Coronel Mesquita.

Image credit: Holy House of Mercy

As at the deadline of August 17, the event organiser team had received suggestions for 49 buildings, claiming it “would be just about enough to build our full programme.”

Of the total suggestions, 34 were submitted by Chinese-speaking respondents.

The event spokesperson also said that roughly half of the suggestions, or 25, converged with the shortlist prepared by the event’s curator.

The initiative also attracted 26 volunteer applications, 17 of which were Chinese, and 14 from students of architecture, urbanism, design or landscape in the city.

Starting this month, some of the applicants will join OHM as part of the Festival’s core team, as interns or volunteers for specific tasks in areas that include translation and public relations, production and management, and marketing and communication, to name but a few.

The organisers also told MNA that they had issued a call for interns in local universities and are now in the process of recruiting.

A second call for volunteers will be issued from September 18 to October 9.

*Image credit: IACM Macao Streets