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AIA Hong Kong – May President’s Message

Dear AIA Members & Friends:

Greetings from AIA HK.


Time goes by so quickly; it has been almost a month since the deadly earthquake hit Nepal and brought devastation and suffering to people of all ages. It was also sad to see much heritage wiped out all at once. The AIA Foundation is taking donations in this regard; please take a moment to visit and make a donation to those in need in Nepal.

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2015 Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship


The AIA Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship recognizes the significant contributions of emerging professionals at early stages in their careers and encourages them to complete the licensure process by defraying costs associated with the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). The AIA National Associates Committee developed the scholarship in honor and memory of their late friend and colleague, Jason Pettigrew.  READ More>

2015 Honors & Awards “Call for Entries”

Dear Members:

Once again it is time for our annual AIA Hong Kong Honors & Awards Program.

We encourage all members to submit their work for this prestigious event, which has become increasingly well known to other professionals and the public in the International Region.

Please note that the deadline for submission is July 17, 2015 and, for any enquiries, please contact

                     Call For Entries                                   2015 Jurors

Save the Date for our 2015 Honors & Awards Exhibition and Celebration on September 30, 2015.

Heritage Tour – Tai O Heritage Tour

The Tai O Heritage Hotel is an adaptive reuse project to convert the old Tai O Police Station into a place with new meaning for the Tai O community. Built in 1902 by the British Government as one of its first colonial police stations, the Old Tai O Police Station overlooked the western border between China and Hong Kong. The Station was closed in 2002 and was left vacant since then. Through the Partnership Scheme by the Development Bureau of Hong Kong Government, the Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation Limited aimed to revitalize this Hong Kong Grade II Historic Building in 2009, and to operate it as hotel since 2012.

The hotel consists of 3 blocks and are all remains from the colonial police station: The 2-story main building, which was the station’s earliest structure constructed in 1902, and now is being used as guestrooms. The room interior keeps the colonial style and some rooms have original fireplace refurbished for a homely environment. All the guestrooms entrances are opened to the verandah facing the coast, allowing natural coastal breeze as well as a tranquil sea view. The guestroom windows are protected by the original metal shutter. One may even find bullet holes on some of them, with a moving story behind. Adjacent to the main building lies the Outhouse which was constructed at the same time as the main building. It now houses the hotel amenities. On the other end of the hotel is the one-story station extension constructed in 1961-62. A reversible wood frame structure was added onto the 2nd floor to provide cover for the hotel restaurant below. The project architect, Philip Liao, integrates the new with the old while preserving the important architectural features and elements of the old police station in an articulate manner. In addition, the police stations have many interesting stories behind which make the new Heritage Hotel even more intriguing.

The preservation project does not only re-invent a new identity to the vacant Tai O Police Station, but also enhance both the Tai O community and the once fishing-oriented economy. The Heritage Hotel took on a mission to support the sustainability of the old fishermen’s village by providing local employment, employing local service providers and even making use of the village produce for its cuisine. The hotel engaged the local population, and the second generation of the local residents who may have left for better prospect in the city. In time, with support by local tourism, hopefully new business opportunities can be explored` and keep the Tai O village sustainable.

The Tai O Heritage Hotel is a success in rejuvenating and integrating the Tai O community as a whole, and it has been awarded by UNESCO with the Award of Merit at 2013 Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Winnie Yeung guided the tour through the Tai O village, the fishermen’s houses by boat, and the hotel from the outside to the inside, greeted the villagers and revealed stories of the past residents along the way. In the commercial oriented Hong Kong, where many aspects of life, including buildings new and old, are measured by its revenue generating capability. The Tai O village with its unique Tai O Heritage Hotel demonstrated another aspect of development that money cannot buy – remaking old building and evolved business model from traditional fishing village, while preserving both the community value and the many memories in Tai O. This tour has been engaging and inspiring in every sense and a wonderful reward for getting up early on the Saturday morning.

Contributor: Ivy Yung, AIA

AIA Hong Kong – The Cultural Triangle

We had our first Quarterly at the Qube, PMQ, on April 14th with a cocktail reception and presentations ending in an engaging panel discussion. Our thanks to PMQ, who was our venue sponsor, and to Techoy, the construction company that built PMQ, who stepped forward to be our event sponsor. The event focused on the “Cultural Triangle” a cultural precinct that could potentially be formed with the PMQ, the Central Police Station (CPS), and the Central Market (CM). The discussion brought together for the first time the public sector, the private sector and professionals involved in designing and operating these facilities, together with local community representatives who played a principle role in each project. The evening was supported by other organizations such as the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and many of the local professional institutes in Hong Kong such as the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA), the Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design (HKIUD) and the Hong Kong Institute of Planners (HKIP).

The Guest of Honor, Dev. Secretary Mr. Paul Chan gave an overview of Heritage Policy and Adaptive Reuse in Hong Kong, emphasising Hong Kong’s interest in preserving its heritage. It is good to note that he not only answered some tough questions from the audience but also stayed on for almost 3 hours till all the presentations were over. Vincent Ng then shared his experiences and challenges working on the Central Oasis project with the Urban Renewal Authority on the design for the adaptive reuse of Central Market. Vincent allowed that after 6 years of design and coordination, the project is on hold again due to extensive budget increases claimed by the URA. The government is now revisiting other more commercial proposals for the site. William Tsang, the PMQ Project Architect gave a passionate presentation of its design and construction and some of the challenges faced with existing building codes and delivering the project within the tight budget. Victor Tsang spoke about the operations and management of PMQ and making it an attractive destination that is both a creative hub and financially viable. Euan Upston gave a sneak preview of CPS as a cultural destination with some interesting stories and exciting things in store for the people of Hong Kong and visitors when it opens at the end of next year. Brian Anderson discussed the importance of area-based conservation – similar to the Cultural Triangle – and some possibilities with Government Hill as a quick win that Hong Kong could look into. The panel discussion continued with Peter Cookson Smith, Katty Law, John Batten, and Amil Khan, the community representatives who led a passionate discussion on their views about the importance of community, heritage conservation and adaptive reuse in Hong Kong.  In the end, Peter Basmajian spoke up and controversially questioned if the Central Market building should be saved at such a significant investment of public funds. He pointed out the city needs more green open space and this is the ideal location for a simple park that could allow activities such as street artists and food stalls. The roads on either side of the park could be closed to vehicle traffic, making the park even larger. The Central Market building is a mediocre Bauhaus structure and its enclosed design kills the street activity. In defence of saving the building it was noted that the street level of the building could be made more open and more green space is proposed on the roof. The event ended giving everyone much food for thought.

Contributor: J Lee Rofkind, AIA

AIA Hong Kong – April President’s Message

Dear AIA Members & Friends:

Greetings from AIA HK.

Thank you for your involvement, continued support and participation in all the events planned so far this year. Also I thank EXCO members and Committee members who have worked hard, together with Catherine Wong and Vivian Chan from the Chapter Office in PMQ to make these events happen.

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AIA Hong Kong – March President’s Message

Dear AIA HK Members and Friends,

Greetings from AIA Hong Kong, hope you had a great start the year of the Goat! I would like to take this opportunity to give you an update on some on the things the Chapter has been involved in over the past month. Following the successful tour of JCCAC and SCAD in January, we organized the tour of the Central Police Station (CPS) in February. As you know CPS is a prominent heritage site for adaptive reuse that is scheduled to be open in mid-2016. Unfortunately I missed the tour as I was still in India, due to personal reasons. However, as expected, I heard that members found the tour very interesting, learning about the design and construction challenges, and were also given a preview of what is to come at the CPS. It also served as an occasion for participants to get together with Grover Dear (past President), Nelson Chen (past President) and others.

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