You may not of heard of it, but by golly you are going to fall in love with it. During your exploration of Central, Sheung Wan, and Soho, you may have passed by the Old Central Police Station under construction and wondered what was happening there. Now you can wonder no longer, the Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts is open for business.
Built between 1864 and 1925, Tai Kwun consists of 16 historic buildings that were grouped together under the police station and served as the former Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison.
This infamous site was were Ho Chi Minh was imprisoned in the 1960s, the hub of the police force during the riots of 1967, and where many faced trial and court in Hong Kong. Decommissioned in 2006 and left just screaming for a makeover, a joint venture between the Jockey Club and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region saw the building getting a revamp and new life.
The architects behind once of the largest restoration projects ever undertaken in Hong Kong are Swiss based Herzog de Meuron. They’ve added on two, rather large and boxy buildings to the existing facade, and carefully restored existing buildings to their former glory. The whole complex is now a wonderful mix of the old Hong Kong and the new Hong Kong, with tradition meeting innovation and history clashing with art and culture.
What is going to be there?
Led by Tobias Berger, Tai Kwun Contemporary has over 1500 square metres of exhibition space that will be home to 6-8 exhibitions a year. Art installations, photography exhibitions, and everything but the kitchen sink in the way of art and culture will soon be available for the public to see.
The JC Cube, the Laundry Steps, and The Prison Yard and Parade Ground, are spaces dedicated for performing arts, theatre, music, dance, and even film. Imagine finally being able to be immersed in culture and arts of our fab city without having to travel hours out of the concrete jungle. In addition to the huge gallery spaces and performance zones, Tai Kwun is also going to become the next hangout spot (or leisure space, as the formal term). The centre has two large open spaces which will become a hub for meeting friends and relaxation.
Can I eat/drink/be merry there?
A make or break for our activities in Hong Kong, we are pleased to implore you to make sure you arrive with your stomach empty and your appetite on a high, because Tai Kwun is jam packed with restaurants and bars. With cuisines ranging from budget and beer snacks, to fancy high end dining, you probably will have to wear your stretchy/comfy pants to accommodate for all the goodies.
From the cocktail king Ashley Sutton, prepare for Dragonfly; a nature themed cocktail bar that will no doubt rival sister bars Ophelia and Iron Fairies, J.Boroski, and Dear Lilly. Set to be opening officially in July, this boutique cocktail lounge will be a spotlight for artwork from American painter and glassblower Louis Tiffany.
Nestled on the top floor of the former Barrack Block, make sure you visit Madame Fu. Kee Club’s Christian Rhomberg has created a 8,000 square foot space complete with lounge, bar, private dining, and good vibes. The dishes served are a fusion of contemporary Chinese and Cantonese dishes, and a long list of western desserts.
With a huge selection of bars, cafes, restaurants, and eateries, we are pleased to once again assure you that yes, you can eat/drink/and be merry to your hearts content in this wondrous centre.
If all that exploration has you worn out, or if you have a hot date later that night and want to arrive pampered and shiny, then BloomMe has you covered. Our favourite Vida Spa is just a stones throw away from the centre. With treatments ranging from massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and a jolly good time, Vida should be your pre-party before your Tai Kwun Party.
You may not of heard of it, but by golly you are going to fall in love with it. During your exploration of Central, Sheung Wan, and Soho, you may have passed by the Old Central Police Station under construction and wondered what was happening there. Now you can wonder no longer, the Tai Kwun…