Lun Sang & Co (聯星建築) and The Pressure Piling Co (HK) Ltd (香港壓力打樁)

York Lo: Lun Sang & Co (聯星建築) and The Pressure Piling Co (HK) Ltd (香港壓力打樁)

Lun Sang & Co Image 1 York Lo

Left: Lun Sang & Co founder Henry Luk Hing-yao (the spelling in the Chinese and English caption are inaccurate, a mix-up with the Malaysian Chinese millionaire/philanthropist Loke Yew); Center: ad for for Lun Sang and its affiliate Pressure Piling; Right: Luk Ping-sheung, second generation leader of Lun Sang & Co. and HKBCA chairman (HKBCA yearbook, 1960-66) 

Lun Sang & Co., one of the leading building contractors from the 1950s, was founded by Henry Luk Hing-yao (陸慶, 1889-1963), who also went by H. Lukyao (). The exact date of the founding of Lun Sang is to be determined but it was already in existence in the 1930s as Lukyao a contractor affiliated with Lun Sang was already listed as a juror in 1937 with an address at 256 Prince Edward Road in Kowloon  (Sessional Papers before the Legislative Council of Hongkong) and the firm was listed in the Directory of China, Japan, Corea … in 1938 as civil and structural engineers and building contractors with an address on the 3rd floor of the French Building at 5 Queen’s Road Central. By the late 1940s, Lun Sang was operating out of 406 Holland House at 9 Ice House Street in Central and aside from Lukyao as managing principal was supported by manager Yau Wai-lam (邱惠霖), who later became chairman of Kwong Yuet Tong, the governing body of the Lo Pan Temple, from 1978-80. (Business Directory of HK, Canton and Macao, 1949)  

In January 1949, Lun Sang was awarded the contract to build the King’s Park Quarters for the HK government and by year end the concrete work was completed up to the first floor level. (HK Department of Public Works Report

In 1951, the firm was awarded the $250,000 contract to build a new gymnasium for the Diocesan Boys School in Kowloon with Yuan-Hsi Kuo as the architect (HK & Far East, Volume 9,No 4)

In July 1953, Lun Sang won the $3.04 million contract to construct the new 7-story headquarters for the HK Police in Wanchai, the Caine House within the current HK Police headquarters complex within 14 months. (KSEN, 1953-7-4) 

In 1955, Lun Sang & Co Ltd was incorporated with HK$10 million in capital. By this time, he was joined at Lun Sang and succeeded by his sons – Luk Ping-chuen (炳泉, exact same name as the former Postmaster General but not the same person) and  Luk Ping-sheung (炳常), both graduates with B.Sc in engineering.

In November 1956, Lun Sang won the contract for the construction of a new bridge in Tai Po Market with pedestrian walkways on both sides to replace an older bridge nearby that was no longer wide enough for the traffic volume. The tender was won for HK$520,000 and the project took 14 months to complete. (WKYP, 1957-1-29) 

Lun Sang & Co Image 2 York Lo

Article about Lun Sang’s bridge contract in Tai Po Market with picture of the bridge under construction (WKYP, 1957-1-29)

Lun Sang & Co Image 3 York Lo

Picture of Pressure Piling’s work at 4 Valley Road in Hunghom in 1959 (WKYP, 1959-12-9) 

In 1958, the Luks entered the specialty business of foundation and structural steel through the establishment of The Pressure Piling Co (HK) Ltd in partnership with the Wheelock Marden group (see articles) and Pressure Piling Co Ltd in the UK. J.L. Marden was chairman of the firm while the Luk brothers, G. Meadows from London and K.B. Allport were directors supported by chief engineer Bryan Ivan Cope, who was an engineering graduate of Trinity College in Dublin. (Handbook of Hongkong Commerce, 1960)

In December 1959, Pressure Piling received attention from the press when it conducted a special project in Hunghom which lifted an entire four story building and fixed its leaning situation, a first in the industry in HK. The building was a new construction on 4 Valley Road and its leaning was caused by the construction site next door where a former knitting factory was being re-developed into a theater. To fix the situation, Pressure Piling was brought in to put in ten 30-foot long pressure piles inside the building and twelve similar size pressure piles outside. Then four large holes were drilled near the foundation where four oil pressured levers were put in to lift up the building. (WKYP, 1959-12-9) 

In 1963, Henry Luk Yao died at the age of 74 at the St Teresa Hospital in Kowloon and his funeral at the Kowloon Funeral Parlor was attended by or received wreaths from Ho Tim of Hang Seng Bank and the lawyer/legislator C.Y. Kwan, Mui Chok-chu of Kamsing Knitting (see article) and many from the construction industry. (KSDN, 1963-3-13) 

Lukyao was succeeded by his two sons at Lun Sang. Outside of his business, Luk Ping-sheung was very active in the 1960s. He was elected chairman of HKBCA in 1967 and before that as a board member of HKBCA was involved with leading the HK delegation to the international conferences. Outside of construction, he was active in the football circle and as representative of the Eastern Sports Club () visited Taiwan, Japan and South Korea in 1965 both for his own business and for the club. (WKYP, 1965-3-17) Luke Ping-chuen married the daughter of Dr. Yip Tai-ching (葉大楨) and sister of Dr. S. Y. Yip (葉承耀) , famous dermatologist and collector of Ming furniture. 

In January 1964, Pressure Piling was awarded the piling contract for the Ma Tau Wai head office building of the HK Housing Society. 

In 1972, Pressure Piling formed a joint venture by the name of Pressure Westpile (HK) Ltd with West’s Piling and Construction Co Ltd from the UK. The JV offered “driven and bored piling and in addition has a Steel Structure division” and was “also equipped to undertake the erection of transmission towers in consortium with international line contractors”. Pressure Piling’s chief engineer B.I. Cope became the managing director of the new JV while J.A. Large and R. Watts from West’s and Luke Ping-chuen served on the board. (Civil Engineering and Public Works Review, 1972). Unfortunately, the partnership did not last and Pressure Westpile as a firm was dissolved in 1975. Cope however stayed on with Pressure Piling and as of 1987 was still listed as one of its directors alongside Tsang Kwong-chiu and Soo Wing-lun with offices at 5-11 Thomson Road in Wanchai and Cheung Chok-lam as manager and secretary. (Hongkong $ Directory, 1987) 

In more recent years, Lun Sang has been managed by Eddy Yau Shik-fan (邱錫), presumably the son of Yau Wai-lam. Yau was an executive director of the listed International Tak Cheung Holdings until 1992 and had served as president of the HK Society of Builders and a member of the Basic Law Committee and the Construction Industry Training Authority.  

In 1992, Lun Sang was renamed International Tak Cheung General Contractors, presumably as it was acquired by ITC. It was renamed once again Paul Y-ITC General Contractors in 1993 when ITC took over Paul Y. As for The Pressure Piling (HK) Ltd, it was acquired in 2012 by HK-based steel structure engineering contractor Goldwave. 

Sources (other than those cited above):

This article was first posted on 29th May 2020.

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