iwan baan photographs herzog & de meuron's 'tai kwun' transformation in hong kong
 

iwan baan photographs herzog & de meuron's 'tai kwun' transformation in hong kong

in 2018, after more than a decade of heritage conservation and revitalization, herzog & de meuron completed a major new arts complex in hong kong. known as ‘tai kwun’, a name that means ‘big station’ in chinese, the site comprises the city’s former central police station, magistracy, and the victoria prison. as part of the redevelopment, 16 heritage buildings were restored and two new structures, designed by the acclaimed swiss firm, were constructed. the complex, which opened on may 29, 2018, has now been documented by photographer iwan baan who captured the site’s mix of heritage and contemporary architecture.

tai kwun iwan baan
image © iwan baan (also main image)

 

 

as the existing site was articulated around two large courtyards — a rarity in densely populated hong kong — herzog & de meuron sought to maintain tai kwun’s sense of openness. the site’s two new buildings were conceived by the architects as ‘distinctive but carefully inserted elements within the fabric of existing buildings’. JC contemporary is a gallery building with a contemporary art space, while JC cube is an auditorium venue for performing arts, film screenings, and educational events. both buildings are clad with a façade unit system of 100% recycled cast aluminum, which references, in terms of scale and proportion, the site’s historic masonry.

tai kwun iwan baan
image © iwan baan

 

 

‘what we have done in hong kong is to transform a former police station into a cultural center,’ explains jacques herzog, founding partner of herzog & de meuron. ‘in hong kong and also in mainland china this is still a totally new approach to architecture — an unusual thing to do because normally old buildings and entire neighborhoods are being removed and being replaced by new ones.’

tai kwun iwan baan
image © iwan baan

 

 

the swiss architect says that this way of working has always been a part of his firm’s approach. ‘in the 1970s, when we started our practice, we first had to find and define our own architectural language. re-inventing and re-using pre-existing ideas and objects — not necessarily of a heroic period of the past, but simply of what we found in front of us — has become an essential element within our vocabulary since those early days and projects… think of early projects such as the ‘marktplatz basel’, ‘stone house tavole’, later of course ‘tate modern’ or now ‘tai kwun’.

tai kwun iwan baan
image © iwan baan

 

 

‘we adopted this strategy of working WITH instead of AGAINST the existing material world of objects because we found it natural and inspiring, often resulting in unexpected and innovative results,’ herzog adds. ‘there is no fundamental difference for such an approach, whether you do it in basel or in london, in liguria or in hong kong.’ see designboom’s previous coverage of ‘tai kwun’ here.

tai kwun iwan baan
image © iwan baan

tai kwun iwan baan
image © iwan baan

tai kwun iwan baan
image © iwan baan

tai kwun iwan baan
image © iwan baan

tai kwun iwan baan
image © iwan baan

tai kwun iwan baan
image © iwan baan

tai kwun iwan baan
image © iwan baan

 

 

UPDATE: this project has been shortlisted in the ‘completed buildings – culture’ category at the 2019 world architecture festival.

 

 

project info:

 

name: tai kwun, centre for heritage & art
location: 10 hollywood road, hong kong

 

project phases
concept design: 04/2006 – 10/2009
schematic design: 07/2010 – 10/2010
design development: 10/2010 – 04/2011
construction documents: 04/2011 – 12/2012
construction services: 09/2011 – 01/2018

 

client: the hong kong jockey club
client representative: john latter (head of property project management), timothy calnin (director of tai kwun)

 

herzog & de meuron project team

 

partners: jacques herzog, pierre de meuron, ascan mergenthaler (partner in charge)
project team: vladimir pajkic (associate, project director), edman choy (associate, project director), chi-yan chan (project manager), raymond jr. gaëtan (associate)

 

abdulfatah adan, roman aebi, maximilian beckenbauer, aurélie blanchard, emi jean bryan, alexander bürgi, soohyun chang, julien combes, massimo corradi, duarte de azevedo coutinho lobo antunes, dorothee dietz, peter dougherty, piotr fortuna, luis gisler, carl kristoffer hägerström, kelvin ho, justin hui, kentaro ishida, anna jach, sara jardim manteigas, hauke jungjohann, anssi kankkunen, rina ko, johannes rudolf kohnle, dannes kok, pawel krzeminski, jin tack lim, mark loughnan, jaroslav mach, donald mak, james albert martin, josé ramón mayoral moratilla, olivier meystre, lukas nordström, cristian oprea, leonardo pérez-alonso, thomas polster, maki portilla kawamura, tom powell, günter schwob, oana stanescu, kai strehlke, fumiko takahama, zachary vourlas, kenneth wong, sung goo yang, daniela zimmer

 

design consultant: herzog & de meuron, basel, switzerland
executive architect: rocco design architects ltd., hong kong, china
conservation architect: purcell, london, UK
structural engineering: arup, hong kong, china arup, london, UK
civil engineering: arup, hong kong, china
façade engineering: arup, hong kong, china
lighting consultant: arup, hong kong, china arup, london, UK
security consultant: arup, hong kong, china
acoustics engineering: shen milsom & wilke ltd., hong kong, china
AV consultant: shen milsom & wilke ltd., hong kong, china
BEAM+ sustainability consultant: hyder consulting ltd., hong kong, china
environmental & archaeology consultant: ERM, hong kong, china
fire engineering: arup, hong kong, china
geotechnical engineering: arup, hong kong, china
IT consultant: arup, hong kong, china
landscape consultant: AECOM, hong kong, china
MEP engineering: j roger preston ltd., hong kong, china
planning consultant: townland consultants ltd., hong kong, china
quantity surveyor: rider levett bucknall ltd., hong kong, china
signage consultant: marc & chantal design, hong kong, china
traffic planning: MVA, hong kong, china

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