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又迷你、又古舊嘅通花鐵閘, 你見過未? Classic folding metal gate, the mini vintage version


通花鐵閘、摺閘、趟閘、捲閘,香港鐵閘的故事,你又知多少?

在香港通花鐵閘已是卸一個少一個,當年的通花鐵閘,會讓客人從樣板挑選出心意的的花紋,再刻上店鋪的名字,造出「個性化」的鐵閘。做法非常考功夫,要將方通屈成對稱的弧形再巧手地焊接殊不容易,突顯當年香港鐵器製造工匠的手藝。

鐵閘的通花設計,除了美不勝收的外觀,其實更窺見到以前香港前舖後居的生活方式。由五、六十年代開始,有不少的店家或伙記都是居住於店鋪後,唐樓地舖不一定有窗,總不能把一屋子人密封起來,便在鐵閘上打洞,通花設計讓整個空間變得開明清爽。此外,通花的另一特質,就是可以透光,晚上即使關上鋪,依然可以從外看到主人家的動靜。鄰里間,就這樣慢慢發展了一份恆久而益厚的信任和依靠。

時而世易,通花鐵閘即使風格獨特,手工精巧,物料非常厚實、耐用,但亦敵不過租金上升,各種環境的限制。逐漸由摺閘演化成今日較常見的捲閘,捲閘的設計比摺閘佔用的空間比較少,通常可以收藏於燈箱招牌後,可謂比較慳位。


為了保留住這一份屬於香港的集體回憶,並將小店嘅歷史回憶呈現喺鐵閘上面,所以喺通花鐵閘雕上山尾街冰室,足見AIML的設計師和工程師們之心思。


How much do you know about the stories of Hong Kong's engraved metal gates, folding gates, and roller gates?

In the old days, customers were allowed to choose the pattern they wanted from a sample and have the name of the shop engraved on it, creating a "personalized" metal gate. It was very difficult to bend a square gate into a symmetrical arc and then weld it together, it shows the strong craftsmanship of Hong Kong ironmongers in the past.

In addition to its beautiful appearance, the floral design of the gate is also a glimpse of the way of life in Hong Kong in the old days. Starting from the 1950s and 1960s, many shopkeepers and partners lived behind their shops. Ground floor shops in tenement buildings did not necessarily have windows, so they opened holes on the metal gate for better air circulation. In addition, another feature of the engraved metal gate is that it can transmit light, so even if the shop is closed at night, you can still see the movements of the owner from outside. This is how the neighbors grow a long lasting trust and reliance.

However, even with the unique style and craftsmanship of the gate, and its durability, it was not able to withstand the rising rent and various environmental restrictions. Engraved metal gates gradually evolved into today's more common roller gates, which take up less space than folding gates and can usually be stored behind a light box sign.

In order to preserve this collective memory of Hong Kong, AIML designers and engineers took the liberty of carving our cafe’s name “Shan Mei ST cafe” onto the metal gate to showcase the shop's history.


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