Right in the heart of Hong Kong, squeezed in between buildings, the new cultural center Tai Kwun (which means “grand station” in Chinese) is like an oasis in the middle of the desert.
Refurbished by Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron from Basel, it is a breathing space at the heart of one of the world’s densest cities.
The 16 buildings and 14,500m2 bear witness to the colonial past of British rule. A courthouse, a police station and a prison have all been brought back to life thanks to the first duo ever to win the Pritzker Prize in 2001.
If the outside is dedicated to history, then the inside is devoted to the future, just like the two 1,500m2, 100% recycled die-cast aluminum buildings that have been added.
The irregular geometry of the cultural heritage center provides a unique experience where visitors can lose their sense of time and space. Designer shops, restaurants, exhibitions, auditoria, film screens: once again Herzog & de Meuron’s talent shines through with their clever intertwining of history and design.