Tai Kwun presents a wide range of heritage, contemporary art, performing arts and lifestyle experiences in the restored and revitalised Central Police Station compound, which comprises three Declared Monuments, the former Central Police Station, the Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison. It is the recipient of the Award of Excellence in the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation 2019.
Currently, 16 heritage buildings and several outdoor spaces are being restored for adaptive reuse, while two new buildings have been added to the site to house an art gallery space and auditorium.
History and Architecture
One of the oldest buildings on the site, the Barrack Block was built between 1862 and 1864. In the turbulent decades of the early 20th century, refugees came spilling into Hong Kong from war-torn Mainland China and the colony’s population increased rapidly, creating law and order challenges. As a result, Hong Kong’s police resources were increased and the compound underwent several expansions between 1905 and 1925.
The red-brick building facing onto Hollywood Road was the Headquarters Block, built in 1919. The late-Victorian style building is notable for its red-brick walls, granite features and the imposing columns in its entrance hall. The barracks blocks at the left of the main entrance to the old Central Police Station were built in 1860 and 1913. These have impressive granite staircases and wrought-iron balconies.
The former Central Magistracy is a Greek-revival style edifice built in 1914. The two courts here served the entire colony and the building's commanding façade was designed to impress the population with the majesty of the law. Inside, there are corridors and tunnels leading from the magistracy to the police station, the prison or the open air — which passage one was led down depended on the verdict received.
Want to pay a visit? You can now register for the Tai Kwun Pass on the official website.
- 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong Island