Tai Kwun — Hong Kong’s Centre for Heritage and Art
Tai Kwun will bring a wide range of heritage, contemporary art and leisure programmes to the meticulously restored Central Police Station compound which comprises of three declared monuments, the former Central Police Station, the Central Magistracy and the Victoria Prison. What was once a closed-off part of Hong Kong will become an open and inviting new space for all to enjoy.
Through a partnership between the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and The Hong Kong Jockey Club, the decommissioned site is being restored and revitalised. Tai Kwun is the trading name of The Jockey Club CPS Limited, the not-for-profit operator set up by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust to manage the centre for heritage and art at the revitalised site.
The name ‘Tai Kwun’ (大館) in Chinese means ‘big station’, the colloquial name used by police officers and the public alike to refer to the former law enforcement complex. The name has been adopted by The Jockey Club CPS Limited as a reminder of the historical importance of the compound.
Tai Kwun will offer an immersive experience – a place where people can join a heritage tour, engage with contemporary art, participate in workshops, and where the shops and restaurants will offer additional programmes to further enliven the site.
Opening Up a Closed Part of the City
The revitalisation project involved dedicated efforts from global teams of conservation specialists, researchers, architects and other professionals such as, Herzog & de Meuron, Purcell and Rocco Design Architects Limited. With a deep respect for authenticity in materials, techniques and design, 16 heritage buildings and several open spaces are being restored for adaptive reuse.
Two new buildings have been added to the site to house a world-class art gallery space and a 200-seat auditorium. Designed by internationally leading architectural practice Herzog & de Meuron, the new buildings’ facades draw inspiration from the granite walls surrounding the historic landmark. These new additions offer international standard venues to foster the city’s art, leisure and cultural landscape.
The two open spaces, the Parade Ground and the Prison Yard are also being restored, and will offer outdoor programmes and events. These areas will be an accessible tranquil space in the heart of Central for all to enjoy.
Tai Kwun will operate the meticulously restored Central Police Station compound. The heritage compound is located in Central district on Hong Kong Island. The site is bordered on three sides by vehicular roads: Old Bailey Street, Hollywood Road and Arbuthnot Road. Chancery Lane runs along the southern prison wall.
This is a vibrant and bustling part of the city centre, with easy access to other important heritage sites. Hollywood Road is a busy street dotted with galleries, bars and restaurants. The Mid-Levels escalator system will be connected to the compound by a new footbridge planned to be built at the key intersection of Hollywood Road and Old Bailey Street, to provide easier access to the site.