Unique Fusion of Tradition and Modernity:
Successful Revitalisation of Historic Heritage
Development Bureau, Architectural Services Department

Exemplary Services@Gov
2015

The revitalisation of the former Police Married Quarters on Hollywood Road, a Grade 3 historic building in Hong Kong, was listed as one of the eight projects under the “Conserving Central” initiative announced by the Chief Executive in his 2009-10 Policy Address. Through the coordinated effort of the Development Bureau (DEVB) and the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD), this historic site was transformed into an iconic creative centre named “PMQ. The project’s purpose is to preserve an important heritage site, which witnessed the development history of Hong Kong, while nurturing local creative design and promoting local creative industries.

Unique design and tactful fusion

The project is committed to the tactful integration of conservation and innovation. In order to preserve the historic appearance, the additional parts have adopted a transparent or hidden design, including the transparent canopy, the central exhibition hall with glass curtain walls, and the underground interpretation area. The transparent design enhances the spacious feeling and creates an unconstrained realm of imagination. For the purpose of a nostalgic feeling, the working team adopted old-style iron windows although aluminium windows are cheaper and easier for installation. The team also improved the manufacturing and the installation process for the iron windows so as to address the contemporary requirements for functionality and safety. In addition, the open corridors were retained to facilitate more interaction between designers and visitors as well as to link up various kinds of design studios. Multiple access points linking the outside and inside of the site ensure a close connection with the community, and make it a wonderful place for people from the neighborhood to spend their leisure time.

Breakthrough partnership mode for enhanced cooperation

Aiming for powerful synergies, the DEVB and the ArchSD held a value management workshop before commencement of works. This effectively brought together the operator, the consultant team, the construction team, the Antiquities and Monuments Office, and other stakeholders in building a consensus, establishing team spirit, and ensuring smooth cooperation in future.

Facing problems like tight construction schedule, complex decision-making and approval processes involving many authorities, the DEVB and the ArchSD created a brand new partnership mode as well as a synchronised workflow. They are both significant breakthroughs to the conventional relationships between bureaux and departments and the traditional linear workflow. The new partnership mode allows the DEVB, the ArchSD, the operator and other government departments to directly communicate with one another and collectively identify solutions. An example for this new partnership is that the DEVB, the ArchSD and the operator together attend meetings of the Legislative Council, District Council and Antiquities Advisory Board etc, so that they can work hand in hand to answer questions about policy, as well as design and operation based on their own professional knowledge.

The seamless collaboration between the DEVB and the ArchSD helped the entire project to be smoothly accomplished within only 3.5 years. From its opening in 2014 through the middle of 2015, PMQ has brought in over 4 million visitors, and the project earned broad attention and recognition from the media.

The transparent design creates a spacious feeling and an unconstrained realm of imagination for designers and visitors.
The transparent design creates a spacious feeling and an unconstrained realm of imagination for designers and visitors.
The design of the original iron windows is retained and their manufacturing and installation methods have been improved. These old-style iron windows create a sense of nostalgia for the old Hong Kong.
The design of the original iron windows is retained and their manufacturing and installation methods have been improved. These old-style iron windows create a sense of nostalgia for the old Hong Kong.
The design of the original iron windows is retained and their manufacturing and installation methods have been improved. These old-style iron windows create a sense of nostalgia for the old Hong Kong.
The project preserved the Central School’s stone wall as well as the stone wall trees in order to improve the environment at the community.
The project preserved the Central School’s stone wall as well as the stone wall trees in order to improve the environment at the community.