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Architectural Services Department
Low Carbon Buildings for a Greener Future
Sustainability Report 2012
Resources Utilization and Conservation

Heritage Conservation

We are fully aware of the growing realization and expectation from the public on social, economic and environmental benefits of heritage conservation. It is always our belief that effective conservation of heritage resources should be able to rehabilitate the physical structures of historic buildings, and to assure the identity and a sense of belongings to our community.

With the announcement of the Chief Executive Policy Address 2007/08, a number of initiatives for enhanced conservation of historic/heritage sites and buildings have been imposed. These initiatives include the requirement for assessing impacts on historic/heritage sites and buildings arising from the implementation of capital works projects so that due consideration will be given for their conservation.

As one of the works departments of the Government, our team has been working closely with the Antiquities & Monuments Office (AMO) of the Leisure & Cultural Services Department to ensure that every effort has been made to preserve the heritage sites or sites with possible heritage value while minimizing possible adverse impact. In addition, Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) will be conducted when necessary so that balance between the requirements for development initiated by the Government and heritage conservation can be achieved.

Case Study

Conversion of Yau Ma Tei Theatre and Red Brick Building into a Xiqu Activity Centre

Project Description:

The Project includes the conversion of the old Yau Ma Tei Theatre (YMTT) into a small-scaled Xiqu, i.e. Chinese opera, performance venue and the Red Brick Building (RBB) into the supporting facilities.

Completed in 1930, the YMTT is classified as Grade II historic building and the only surviving pre-war cinema building in the urban areas of Hong Kong. The RBB is the oldest water pumping station structure in the territory built in 1895 and was accorded as Grade I historic building.

Yau Ma Tei Theatre before Construction
Red Brick Building before Construction
Interior View of the Theatre
Reservation of the Chinese Fir Purlins
Entrance Feature Column
Red Brick Verandah
Restoration of the Tiles in Toilet
  1. Yau Ma Tei Theatre before Construction
  2. Red Brick Building before Construction
  3. Interior View of the Theatre
  4. Reservation of the Chinese Fir Purlins
  5. Entrance Feature Column
  6. Red Brick Verandah
  7. Restoration of the Tiles in Toilet

Design and Features:

The conservation concept for the YMTT is to make adaptive reuse of this valuable historical building that represents local culture and to develop itself as the local cultural and heritage tourism hot spot for Xiqu performance.

Without glamorous outlook and drizzling decorative feature, the new Theatre puts focus on conservation of valuable heritage characters and reinforcement of its local context and district identity. The building fabric together with some historical building elements and interior fittings such as steel truss system, Chinese fir purlins and classic arch, its frank walls and entrance feature columns etc. are retained and restored.

For the RBB, the original layout is retained. The red brick façade, the verandah, the existing tiles discovered in toilet are restored.


Transformation of the Former Police Married Quarters Site on Hollywood Road into a Creative Industries Landmark

Project Description:

This project is one of the eight projects under the "Conserving Central" initiative announced in the Chief Executive's 2009/10 Policy Address.

The Former Police Married Quarters (PMQ) is located at the site of the former Central School built in 1889, which at the time was the first government school to provide Western style of primary and secondary schooling to the public. PMQ provided the first quarter for the married Chinese police officers of junior grades.

The Former Central School
The Former Police Married Quarters
Artist's Impression after Conversion to a Creative Industries Landmark
Artist's Impression on Underground Central School Interpretation Are
Artist's Impression on Main Courtyard
Artist's Impression on Landscape Open Space
  1. The Former Central School
  2. The Former Police Married Quarters
  3. Artist's Impression after Conversion to a Creative Industries Landmark
  4. Artist's Impression on Underground Central School Interpretation Area
  5. Artist's Impression on Main Courtyard
  6. Artist's Impression on Landscape Open Space

Design and Features:

Following extensive consultation with key stakeholders, the Government decided to conserve and revitalize the PMQ for promoting the development of creative industries. After revitalization, the site will be catered for the uses of art galleries, design studios, art education and training centres and accommodation for overseas artists visiting Hong Kong etc.

The revitalization of the PMQ involves upgrading two quarters blocks to meet the functional requirements and modern-day building requirements. Meanwhile, the historical relics of the original Central School are preserved. Besides, it also involves constructing a new multi-purpose room-cum-exhibition area and new galleries and provides about 1,200 square metres of landscaped open space.

The whole project has been commenced since January 2012 and is scheduled for completion in December 2013. During the revitalization of the PMQ, the following features have been carefully preserved:

  • the existing retaining walls together with the unique trees along Hollywood Road and Shing Wong Street, and at the lower platform of the site;
  • the granite steps (stairs) leading to the 4th Plateau together with the remaining rubble wall; and
  • the original granite plinths and pillars of the fenced walls along Staunton Street and Aberdeen Street.

The following environmental features will be injected into the revitalization of the site:

  • a green roof at Block A and vertical greening;
  • photovoltaic LED external lightings;
  • an VRV air-conditioning system;
  • T5 fluorescent tubes with motion sensors;
  • LED exit signs and feature lights;
  • heat recovery fresh air pre-conditioners; and
  • automatic on/off lighting and ventilation fan inside lifts.