The University of Hong Kong's main building was designed by Leigh & Orange and completed in 1912. It was constructed as the first university building in Hong Kong, which contained teaching, assembly, and administrative spaces, accommodating up to 500 undergraduates. The building, and notably the Great Hall, now renamed as Loke Yew Hall, was severely damaged during WW2. The post war rebuilding included extending the building to provide additional accommodation. In 1984 it was designated a Declared Monument.

Purcell is appointed as the heritage architect for the rejuvenation of the main building working alongside AD+RG and Wilkinson Eyre. The intended function is create support space to meet curriculum requirements, which includes providing lecture halls, seminar rooms, classrooms, meeting venues, archives and student and staff amenities.

Purcell’s scope of work ranges from a condition survey and conservation management plan, through to the detail design for the repair of the exterior and interior building fabric. Key heritage issues being addressed include: the integration of building services, addition of lift access, enhancing the approach to the building from within the campus, removal of modern accretions, and statutory compliance.