Passionate about preserving historical buildings in the context of community regeneration, Purcell Partner David Hills explains to why we need to conserve Hong Kong’s notable buildings, and how we can make them relevant today.

Purcell has worked on a huge range of projects in Hong Kong,from Cantonese temples to colonial architecture to modernist buildings. Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts, restored by Purcell, has recently been named a finalist for the World Architecture Festival Awards 2019.

On buildings that have the potential to be repurposed in Hong Kong, David says: "Hong Kong has an amazing legacy of modern architecture that has yet to be discovered and recognised as ‘heritage’. In the UK, we’re well underway with this, with protection for buildings from the 1980s and even ’90s becoming commonplace, often bringing with it new uses and guidance on the management of change. It would be great to see a similar thing happening in Hong Kong – for example, Foster’s Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank building as a seminal piece of ’80s design. Some more diversity of use within that would be interesting, although it’s obviously great that it retains its utility and remains in its original use."

A sense of communal value is a very powerful force, and to take something away that signifies it, like a building or a space, is a big move.

David Hills, Pucell Partner