Central Police Station set for new role
After receiving statutory permits and certificates, Hong Kong’s largest heritage conservation and revitalisation project, Central Police Station, will open as Tai Kwun – Centre for Heritage and Arts.
Site infrastructure is being tested with an opening ceremony planned for 25 May, to be followed by community days and limited numbers of visitors in order to give Tai Kwun the chance for fine-tuning before fully opening.
Three F&B providers were earlier named for the project – Lock Cha Tea House, a casual-dining Thai restaurant from Long Chim (Hong Kong) and two “”sister” restaurants from Aqua Restaurant Group’s Cornhill Limited. There will also be a social enterprise cafe, a noodle shop, a French cafe and a bar/restaurant.
Considered an important component of the project, retail will account for up to 27 per cent of the 27,900sqm floor area.
The permits and certificates for the project have been issued following inspections of 15 historic buildings, including the new art gallery and auditorium buildings. Conservation, restoration and construction works have been certified as meeting antiquities protection and public safety requirements.
Eleven historic buildings are undergoing interior fitouts, namely, the Police Headquarters Block, Barrack Block, Ablutions Block, Superintendent’s House, Bauhinia House and Halls
A to F. These buildings, together with the new art galleries and auditorium plus the Parade Ground and Prison Yard will open first.
Four other buildings being fitted out – the Armoury, Married Sergeants’ Quarters, Single Inspectors’ Quarters and Central Magistracy – are also targeted for opening this year.
A recovery plan is being formulated for the Married Inspectors’ Quarters which partially collapsed in 2016.
Leading the revitalisation project, the Hong Kong Jockey Club is working in partnership with the Hong Kong government. With three declared monuments, 16 historic buildings and outdoor spaces, the 13,600sqm site in Central is the largest heritage conservation and revitalisation project in the territory.
“True to the club’s spirit of pursuing world-class excellence, the revitalisation works have been carried out meticulously,” says executive director (charities and community) Leong Cheung.