herzog & de meuron completes a pair of buildings as part of hong kong arts complex

herzog & de meuron completes a pair of buildings as part of hong kong arts complex

after 12 years of heritage conservation and revitalization, a major new arts complex has opened to the public in hong kong. the site, which is located the commercial center of hong kong island, has been transformed from a compound of 16 police buildings by swiss architecture firm herzog & de meuron. the design team sought to maintain the destination’s openness — a rare characteristic for a site in one of the world’s densest cities.

herzog de meuron tai kwun
all images courtesy of tai kwun



named ‘tai kwun’, a name that means ‘big station’ in chinese, the complex includes two new buildings by herzog & de meuron: JC contemporary, a gallery building with a contemporary art space; and JC cube, an auditorium building for the performing arts, film screenings, educational events, and more. both new buildings are clad with a façade unit system of 100% recycled cast aluminum, a material that sets the structures apart among the site’s masonry blocks.

herzog de meuron tai kwun
herzog & de meuron has designed a pair of new buildings as part of the project



important new connections have been created between the two buildings, including a covered outdoor stair — known as the ‘laundry steps’ — that can be used for a host of events and live performances. meanwhile, the prison yard and the parade ground will also become performance spaces for theater, music, dance and film, with a wide range of programming to appeal to all audiences.

herzog de meuron tai kwun
both new structures are clad with a façade unit system of 100% recycled cast aluminum



‘our goal was to preserve its openness and distinct character, and to reactivate it for public use as a new type of urban ‘found space’,’ herzog & de meuron explains. ‘for this purpose, we implemented measures in order to allow access to the site from various new places by means of specifically designed staircases, bridges or breakthroughs.’

herzog de meuron tai kwun
a covered outdoor stair can be used for a host of events and live performances



the revitalization project has been led by the hong kong jockey club in partnership with the government of the hong kong SAR. upcoming shows at tai kwun include cao fei’s first large institutional exhibition in asia, and ‘our everyday–our borders’, where artists tang kwok-hin and motoyuki shitamichi reflect on the notion of borders with a series of objects, installations, and dialogical practices.

herzog de meuron tai kwun
‘JC contemporary’ includes gallery space for art exhibitions

herzog de meuron tai kwun
upcoming exhibitions include cao fei’s first large institutional exhibition in asia

herzog de meuron tai kwun
JC contemporary will also house a viewing terrace and a restaurant

herzog de meuron tai kwun
the building’s sculptural concrete staircase

herzog de meuron tai kwun
the former prison yard will host performances and cultural programs

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