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Asia Society Hong Kong Centre(c)John Nye; Asia Society Hong Kong Centre(c)John Nye;

Asia Society Hong Kong Centre, Hong Kong

Colonial buildings rehabilitated into cultural venues and public facilities

The Asia Society Hong Kong Center was designed as a concord of old and new. The ammunition storage buildings of the colonial era, Victoria Barracks, were rehabilitated; and a new entry pavilion was constructed. The converted buildings, dating from between 1853 and 1924, were transformed into a string of venues and public facilities to provide a forum for exchange and education on arts, culture and politics. The site, buried in the green slopes of Mid-Levels, will become a new landmark in the 'Green & Cultural Belt' of Hong Kong Island.

Arup provided the lightingstructural and geotechnical, drainage engineering services for the indoor and outdoor building facilities.

Project Summary


1 new building houses a large function room, café, gift store and exhibition spaces.

3100 years old historical buildings being conserved and transformed

Rehabilitation of the historical compound

We reconstructed three Grade 1 historical single-storey buildings into an office block, museum, and theatre.

As the buildings are rare examples of pre-1900 British military colonial architecture, our design maintained a 'maximum reversibility and minimum intervention' policy for the redevelopment. 


Lighting design

We applied this to the lighting design with architectural elements providing the main visual cues and using them to reflect ambient light or accent light features.

We also installed programmed daylight-triggered dimming controls and motion sensors that emphasise the 'historical experience,’ while increasing energy efficiency. A three-dimensional model was built to show the visual effects of various lighting design options, allowing the client a high level of involvement which maximised end-result satisfaction. Our design uses energy-efficient lamps while maintaining the necessary 'museum lighting' quality and colour rendering.