For the main offices, sited in the earliest prison cell block, “D-Hall”, we were conscious of its barren but distinctive character and used vibrant colours to lift the rooms not only to reflect the clients’ brand but also to provide functional arrangements and clear wayfinding. Breakout spaces were created in the long corridors to relate the offices to a communal area that was stimulating and unifying for staff.

In other buildings we respected the original design in other ways, for example by reinstating the timber floors but contrasted this with modern furniture to balance clients’ requirements and heritage values of the building. The educational rooms were designed to allow for flexible working environments that provided comfortable but functional spaces.

Going from a 19th century prison to a contemporary office was no small challenge. I am delighted to say that Purcell rose to this challenge, showed great attention to detail, listened to staff input and then added their own dash of creativity over the top. The results are extremely pleasing, and we now look forward to occupying our new offices.

- Euan Upston, Director, Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Art