The Central Police Station compound has a rich history. In its heyday, it was the headquarters of the police, the central magistrates court and the main prison for the Colony. Following the decommissioning of the site in 2006, the Hong Kong Jockey Club sought a team to regenerate the Compound for reuse. The revitalised Central Police Station will open to the public as the Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts in May 2018.

As conservation architects, Purcell researched the history and significance of the Central Police Station compound and identified the areas that should be retained, and the scope for change. Building on this work, we provided the advocacy in support of stakeholder consultation, and ultimately, statutory approval. Once works began, we deployed up to 10 staff on site to ensure that our design ambitions were delivered. The result will be a site that is fully restored and adapted to new uses for a sustainable future, which will promote understanding of Hong Kong’s past and provide exciting new arts facilities.

Commissioned by the Hong Kong Jockey club, who spearheaded the revitalization project, Purcell worked in collaboration with Herzog & de Meuron who designed two new buildings and sitewide interventions and Rocco Design Architects in the executive architect role. As the single largest heritage project that Hong Kong will perhaps ever do, it has revitalised a 6-acre site and restored some 16 heritage buildings.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club, working in partnership with the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, aims to transform this prime location at the heart of central Hong Kong into a public cultural venue that everyone can enjoy. Originally conceived as a fortress, this ambitious project has sought to breathe new life into the site and to make what was once closed to the community, into a lively centre of contemporary art and heritage appreciation. The sensitive restoration has rejuvenated the site as Tai Kwun - Centre for Heritage and Arts. Read about the opening here.