A Guided Tour - Infrastructure Imagination: Hong Kong City Futures 1972-1988

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A Guided Tour - Infrastructure Imagination: Hong Kong City Futures 1972-1988

Please email yammie@britcham.com for more information

Infrastructure is at the heart of the physical, social and economic foundations of the modern city, and plays a key role in facilitating economic development and the shaping of everyday urban life. Understanding how Hong Kong’s public and private sectors responded to geographical, social and political challenges in the past will allow us to better understand the social formation of Hong Kong, and the community’s collective aspirations for the future.

This special exhibition featuring images from the Heather Coulson Photograph Collection showcases a number of major infrastructure projects completed in Hong Kong in the 1970s and 1980s. Join us for a special guided tour of the exhibition with photographer Heather Coulson, and engineer Colin Coulson.


About the speakers

Heather Coulson trained as an orthoptist but did not take up photography until she came to Hong Kong with her husband in 1970. She then studied photography with James Ho at HK University, evenings and weekends, including dark room work on developing and printing. Commissions from toy manufacturers needing photographs for toy boxes for the European markets followed.

In 1972 she was commissioned to take the press release photographs for the opening of the first Cross Harbour Tunnel. Her reputation spread rapidly and for the next 16 years she photographed railway installations, road and bridge construction, water treatment, power stations and buildings. Many photos were used in brochures and annual company reports. During this time she submitted panels to the British Institute of Professional Photography and the Royal Photographic Society gaining associateship of both. Her clients included China Light and Power, MTR Corporation, contractors, consulting engineers and architects.

On returning to UK in 1988 her reputation had preceded her and she continued to photograph a wide range of infrastructure projects until 2008.

Soon after the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in 1991 a chance meeting with a Kuwaiti business man in London led to a visa for Kuwait arriving by post within 7 days, at a time when such visas were otherwise unobtainable. A commission was obtained from National Power to record the damage to the Power Station and the extensive burning oil fires up to the Iraqi border.


From 1953 to 1955 two years compulsory service in the British Army saw Colin Coulson commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers where he commanded a survey troop in Germany. From 1955 to 1959 he studied engineering science at Oxford University. Upon graduating he joined Freeman Fox and Partners, consulting engineers and worked on hydroelectric projects in Wales. Later he moved to the head office in London and was design engineer on the Cannon Street station improvement and development, including upgrading the underground station. In 1965 he was seconded to the World Bank to supervise power station construction in Malaya.

In 1970 he moved to Hong Kong where he was made senior partner of Freeman Fox and Partners Far East. He was first involved with the completion of the cross- harbour road tunnel. From 1972 to 1980 he was responsible for overall design of the Initial System of the Mass Transit Railway. He was a founding council member of the Hong Kong Association of Consulting Engineers, and later its chairman.

In 1980 he moved to the Mouchel Consulting Group taking responsibility for the design of civil engineering and building works for Castle Peak B Station among other projects. In 1988 he returned to UK to join the main board of the Mouchel Group with responsibility for all overseas projects. In 1992 he took over as Executive Chairman of the group. He retired in 1999. 


A light sandwich lunch will be available from 12:30pm. The presentation will begin at 1:00pm.


This is one of a number of Satellite Events that The British Chamber is hosting in partnership with the GREAT Festival of Innovation. To find out what other events we have taking place throughout the festival please visit our website for more information. 


Member $ 270.00 HKD
Non-Member $ 320.00 HKD
  • Reservations in advance are required. Please consider your booking confirmed unless notified otherwise.
  • Cancellations must be made in writing 24 hours prior to the event. No shows will be charged.
  • This event is closed to the media.
  • The event will be cancelled if the No.8 Typhoon signal or the Black Rain Storm warning is in force.
  • For further information please email yammie@britcham.com
  • Please make cheques payable to: "The British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong" & send it to Room 1201 Emperor Group Centre, 288 Hennessy Road, Hong Kong

A Guided Tour - Infrastructure Imagination: Hong Kong City Futures 1972-1988

Mon, March 26, 2018
12:30 PM - 02:00 PM

Heather Coulson, ABIPP, ARPS

Colin Coulson, MA, FICE

City Gallery, 3 Edinburgh Place, Central
Contact Person:
Yammie Yuen
Contact information:


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