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New Lease Of Life

A cluster of important historical buildings in Hong Kong undergoes adaptive reuse under the hands of Herzog & de Meuron to become a heritage and arts complex.

Michele Koh Morollo

In Hong Kong’s densely packed, bustling Central and Western District, an important 14,500m 2 site that has been vacant since 2006 now sees new life as a historical and cultural oasis within the heart of the city.

Built in 1841, this compound, which sits on valuable hillside real estate in between the city’s vibrant nightlife hub of Lan Kwai Fong, the commercial streets of Soho, the Central business district, and Mid-Levels residential area, was formerly the British colony’s main police station, magistracy, and the Victoria Prison.

Commissioned by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, and christened Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage & Art, the revitalised, 27,000m 2 compound is the largest restoration project ever undertaken in Hong Kong.

SOMETHING OLD

The Centre, which took close to eight years and approximately S$665 million to build, consists of two large courtyards, 16 carefully conserved heritage buildings, and two new, bold and modern volumes that rise over the old prison walls.

The old and new spaces and outdoor areas are all linked by walkways and sculptural concrete staircases.

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Issue 107

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