Admission is free, and the restoration includes a temporary exhibition of Sun’s life. A permanent exhibition will be installed within the next couple of years. The structure comprises 525 square metres of built‑up area on 188 square metres of land. It was built prior to 1892 in a busy Chinese residential and business district. The clinic becomes the latest of several sites in the city officially connected with Sun: others include the house where his first wife lived until her death in 1952 and a 17.3‑acre park – Macao’s largest – named after him.
OVERCOMING A MULTITUDE OF ENGINEERING CHALLENGES
“The project has cost MOP13 million,” according to Leong. “The government acquired the site in 2011. Our principle in restoration is to use original materials, which were not easy to find.” The main challenge for the IC was the condition of the original building which had deteriorated greatly in the 120 years since Sun’s departure. It was repurposed as a silk shop, then a retail store for electrical goods and finally a storehouse. “We had a lot of work to do,” confesses Leong. “First, we had to repair the roof, to stabilise the structure. Many of the bricks had crumbled.” Of course, this particular kind of old brick is no longer produced, so the IC had to go to sites where old buildings were being demolished and salvage. It was a similar situation with the roof tiles. Skilled conservationists were also employed to repaint the interior in its original form. During renovation of the rear part of the building, a large amount of rough stone and silt was uncovered. After excavation, archaeologists determined that these had been part of the earliest piers in Macao. This archaeological work caused a severe delay in the restoration. “The base of the structure was close to the water, so the foundation was weak,” says Leong. “So we had to work there, to prevent salt from coming up through the walls and causing decay. The engineering work was very hard. It is a narrow structure, with buildings on each side and there is no side access,” she adds. Each floor of the clinic is comprised of front and rear sections. A lift, toilet and staircase in the rear section have been installed for the convenience of the public.
The clinic becomes the latest of several sites in the city officially connected with Sun: others include the house where his first wife lived until her death in 1952 and a 17.3‑acre park – Macao’s largest – named after him DELAND LEONG WAI MAN Head of the Cultural Affairs Bureau's Department of Cultural Heritage