H&deM in Hong Kong

Heritage Exemption


Set amid the tight mass of skyscrapers of Hong Kong, Herzog & de Meuron’s new Tai Kwun Art and Heritage Centre may be modest in size, but certainly not in conceptual aspiration nor in originality. Beyond the talent of its architects, this signals something rare in China: putting a brake on the voracity of real estate speculation in order to preserve a historical building. In this case the object of heritage conservation is a former main police station, central magistracy, and prison erected by the British after they took control of the territory in the mid-19th century, a volume with colonial arcades that the Swiss partnership has masterfully combined with an extension clad in metallic pieces.

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