Tai Kwun – Where Art and Culture meets Heritage

Tai Kwun is the former Central Police Station compound which contains heritage buildings dating back to 1862. Many of the historic buildings on the site have been restored and transformed into spaces for contemporary art, performing arts, stores, and eateries.

It is a very special place that blends old and new, heritage and purpose, from a place of incarceration to a place of joy and free expression. It’s a joy to explore the site not only from the heritage perspective but also for the creativity that it pours out through regular shows and performances, the craftspeople, and the unique stores here.

There are 30+ unique stores and eateries to explore here including uniques fashions, homewares, crafts and craft workshops, hand made ceramics and porcelains, a bespoke tailor, along with fashion designers Vivienne Tam and Harrison Wong.

For eateries, there are casual cafe such as Behind Bars, hc:Bistro that trains and gives a safe haven for those with disabilities, MaoMao Eat for local specialties, Lock Cha Teahouse for a truly traditional Chinese teahouse experience, and five upmarket dining experiences.

 

The site is open from 10AM–11PM daily.

Tai Kwun layout and map

1. Police Headquarters Block 2. Armory 3. Barrack Block 4. Married Inspectors Quarters 6. Married Sergeants Quarters 7. Single Inspectors Quarters 8. Ablutions Block 9. Central Magistry 10. Superintendents House 11. A Hall 12. B Hall 13. C Hall 14. D Hall 15. E Hall 17. F Hall 19. Bauhinia House  20. JC Contemporary 21. JC Cube

Nearby Hotel Pick

Hotel Madera Hollywood – The five-star Hotel Madera Hollywood has an excellent location near Lan Kwai Fong, a short stroll from Tai Kwun, and 8 min walk from the mid-level escalators or Hollywood Road. MTR Central is an 8 min walk away.

Wikipedia Says

History

The Former Central Police Station Compound, built between 1841 and 1925, comprises 16 historic building grouped under the former Central Police Station, the Former Central Magistracy and the Victoria Prison.Most of the city’s historic colonial architecture had been bulldozed for development before the British government handed it back to China in 1997.

The first building in the Former Central Police Station Compound is a Magistrate’s House with jail blocks, which were built in 09Aug 1841. In the year of 1899, the Former Central Prison renamed into Victora Prison (or Victoria Gaol). The site underwent numerous expansions and reconstruction over the next century. In the year of 1862, the number of prisoners increased to 650, therefore the government decided to develop the land nearby. The series of compound hence formed ‘Tai Kwun’. When Victoria Prison was decommissioned in 2006, the compound accomplished its mission as a law enforcement organization for Hong Kong.

In 1867, the Chinese diplomat and statesman during the Qing dynasty, Guo Songtao with his team passed by Hong Kong in December while their trip to the Great British. In the meanwhile, they made a visit to the Central Police Station, and Guo had written down the situation inside the prison in his journal. In his journal, he mentioned that Victoria Prison is a 3-storey building, the prisoner who committed the most serious crime would be locked at the top level of the building.

Tai Kwun

A Former Central Police Station (CPS) Revitalisation Project was established to conserve and revitalise the heritage site for reuse. The project was operated by the Hong Kong Jockey Club and took eight-year and HK$3.8 billion.

Tai Kwun, named after the historical colloquial name of the compound, is a mix of heritage and contemporary architecture. 16 heritage buildings have been restored for reuse. An additional two new buildings have been constructed, featuring designs inspired by the site’s historic brickwork.
The remodelled compound was opened to the public in three phases, beginning with the inaugural exhibition “100 Faces of Tai Kwun” on 29 May 2018.

As early as the 1880s, the name Tai Kwun has been recorded in news articles in reference to the Former Central Police Station. In 2018, Time listed Tai Kwun in its “World’s Greatest Places 2018” list.

Wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai_Kwun

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Details

  • Website: www.taikwun.hk
  • EN Address: 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong Island
  • Getting There: MTR Central Station, Exit D1. Cross Wellington Street and Lyndhurst Terrace to Hollywood Road.

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