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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Government invites revitalisation proposals for four historic buildings
Friday, October 7, 2011
Government Press Release

The Commissioner for Heritage's Office of the Development Bureau is inviting proposals from non-profit-making organisations to revitalise four historic buildings under the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme (Revitalisation Scheme).

The buildings are King Yin Lei, Haw Par Mansion, Bridges Street Market and the Former Fanling Magistracy.

At a press conference announcing this latest batch of historic buildings under the Revitalisation Scheme today (October 7), the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, recapitulated the purpose and design of the scheme, one of major initiatives under the new heritage conservation policy announced by the Chief Executive in his 2007-08 Policy Address.

"We have launched three batches of buildings under the scheme. The nine projects selected under Batch I and II are at different stages of development. The Hong Kong Campus of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), operated from the former North Kowloon Magistracy, is the first project completed a year ago. We are much encouraged that SCAD HK has received the Honourable Mention in the 2011 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards.

"Looking ahead, we expect one project to be completed before the end of 2011, four projects in 2012, two in 2013 and another one in 2014," she said.

Introducing the Batch III buildings, Mrs Lam highlighted that the revitalisation of King Yin Lei, the first privately owned historic building preserved under the provision of economic incentives and declared a monument in July 2008, had a number of special characteristics. First, a minimum intervention approach is being adopted to preserve the main building primarily for public appreciation of its architectural features and the restoration efforts.

Secondly, new structures that are visually compatible with the existing buildings and the setting of King Yin Lei will be allowed at the swimming pool area to provide additional usable area in support of the proposed adaptive re-use by the social enterprise at this site.

Thirdly, Professor Tang Guohua of the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at Guangzhou University, who has masterminded the successful restoration of King Yin Lei, has been appointed as a special advisor to the Advisory Committee on Revitalisation of Historic Buildings (ACRHB) to provide expert advice on the conservation aspects of the revitalisation proposals received for King Yin Lei.

Lastly, members of the public will have an opportunity to express their views toward the revitalisation proposals shortlisted by the ACRHB through an exhibition organised by the Development Bureau.

On the Haw Par Mansion, a Grade 1 historic building, Mrs Lam said that the Government earlier on invited two rounds of commercial tenders for the revitalisation of Haw Par Mansion. As no tender had met the mandatory tender requirements, the Government decided to include the building under the Revitalisation Scheme so that the public could appreciate the architectural beauty of the mansion at the earliest opportunity.

The Bridges Street Market is located in the vicinity of the former Police Married Quarters and the former Central Police Station on Hollywood Road, which will be transformed respectively into a creative industry landmark and a contemporary arts hub. The revitalisation of this Grade 3 historic building could enrich the Conserving Central initiatives and create synergy with the preservation of the adjacent Wing Lee Street by the Urban Renewal Authority.

The Former Fanling Magistracy, a Grade 3 historic building, was previously included under Batch II of the Revitalisation Scheme. As no suitable revitalisation proposal was selected in that round, it was re-introduced under Batch III for non-profit-making organisations to apply.

Mrs Lam said that public access and enjoyment are key considerations in the Revitalisation Scheme. "Selected operators should allow the public to visit the historic buildings free of charge. Part of a building could also be converted into a museum or exhibition gallery to reflect the building's historical value," she said.

A series of open days with guided tours will be arranged on November 8 to 11 for prospective applicants to visit the four historic buildings. A workshop will also be organised on November 18 for interested non-profit-making organisations to learn more about the application procedures and requirements.

The guide to applications, the application form, the resource kits containing the historical background of the four buildings and conservation guidelines, as well as other useful information, can be obtained from the Scheme Secretariat at 21/F, Murray Building, Garden Road, Central, or at

The deadline for submission of applications is noon on February 6, 2012.

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Monster site hits new note
The Standard Excerpt
Friday, February 22, 2013

The famous Tiger Balm Garden is to become a center of note for Chinese and Western music.

The plan is one of three announced by the advisory committee on the revitalization of historic buildings yesterday.

Committee chairman Bernard Charnwut Chan said that the Aw Boon Haw Foundation won the bid to revitalize the garden, also known as Haw Par Mansion.

It was built by the Aw family in the 1930s with profits from Tiger Balm ointment, developed by Burmese brothers Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par in 1918.

The garden in Tai Hang was famous for its Eighteen Levels of Hell, where visitors could see gruesome depictions of hell in Chinese mythology and Buddhist belief, as well as a seven-story Tiger Pagoda.

It has been vacant since 2001 after being turned over to the government. Some sections were demolished in 2004, though the mansion and the garden were preserved.

The three-story mansion sits on a monster 2,030-square-meter site with 1,290 square meters of garden.

The Grade 1 historic building will be renamed Haw Par Music Farm, where the foundation will work with the Chinese Orchestra to create a music course with Hong Kong characteristics and provide training in Chinese and Western music, as well as social activities for the public.

The original appearance of the mansion's art, the main lobby and the garden will be preserved for free tours by the public.

"The fusion of Chinese and Western music will nurture the next generation in the historical architecture, which has both cultural elements," Development Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said. The center is expected to accept a few hundred students and the tuition fee will be lower than that of other courses.


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143,939 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
$15m fund to help three heritage buildings
4 December 2014
The Standard Excerpt

A fund of HK$15 million is being set aside for the maintenance of three revitalized heritage projects, including Haw Par Mansion, the acting heritage commissioner said.

Ricky Wong Chi-pan said HK$5 million will be given to each of the three projects " Haw Par Mansion (better known as Tiger Balm Garden), Bridges Street Market and the former Fan Ling Magistracy.

"Within the first two years, the government will offset any deficit up to HK$5 million,'' Wong said.

Haw Par Mansion, which was built in 1933-35, will be revitalized into Haw Par Music Farm and run by the Aw Boon Haw Foundation and Haw Par Music Foundation. It will be opened to the public free during office hours and guided tours will be provided.

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143,939 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Funding delays could scuttle mansion project
26 May 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Group behind revitalisation of historic Haw Par Mansion as music education centre fears Legco filibuster tactics could block HK$165m lifeline

A major project to revitalise Hong Kong’s historic Haw Par Mansion and open it to the public as a music education hub is in danger of collapse because of a possible funding hold-up at the Legislative Council by filibustering lawmakers.

Work has been under way for two years to convert the grade-one historic building into a music-themed heritage and arts education centre by 2017.

But completion hinged on the approval of HK$165 million in funding by Legco’s Finance Committee before the summer break, said Roger Wu Tsan-sum, CEO of the Haw Par Music Foundation, which oversees the initiative.

“Without the funds to upgrade the mansion, we will have to delay the launch in the third quarter of 2017 for up to a year,” said the Hong Kong-born, UK-trained architect.

“But we will most likely review the entire project by taking into consideration the prevailing atmosphere of Hong Kong to decide whether or not it is economically viable to go ahead.”

Wu said the project had already been reviewed after last year’s Occupy movement, which led to a decline in sponsorship for non-profit organisations because of uncertainties in the society that affected some donors.

“If what we do is not bearing fruit, we will initiate the closure process before it turns into [a financial] crisis,” he said, citing spiralling construction costs.

The foundation won the bid in 2013 under a government revitalisation scheme in partnership with the private sector.

The preserved three-storey mansion and its adjoining private garden in Tai Hang are what is left of the original Tiger Balm Garden – Hong Kong’s first major theme park, built in 1934 by the wealthy Aw brothers who made a fortune selling their ubiquitous Tiger Balm herbal ointment.

It was famous for its kitschy statues and murals, including a vision of hell that both repulsed and delighted visitors.

The public garden and an iconic seven-storey pagoda were demolished in 2004 for residential redevelopment but the mansion and the private garden were returned to the government for preservation.

Wu, a heritage specialist with 27 years’ experience in the UK, said the finished project would feature the refurbished mansion with 16 individual rooms for solo or ensemble music training.

A private garden overlooking the harbour will also be open to the public, as stipulated by the government scheme allowing the foundation to run the attraction for at least three years.

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143,939 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Music to ears as Haw Par set for new life
The Standard Excerpt
Thursday, November 26, 2015

A HK$167 million plan to convert Haw Par Mansion into a "music farm" has cleared its first hurdle, with lawmakers in the Public Works Subcommittee giving it the thumbs-up.

The plan will now go before the Finance Committee for funding.

The mansion in Tin Hau was a villa owned by the late Aw Boon Haw and is classified as a Grade I historic building.

Lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen welcomed the decision, saying the Haw Par Music Farm can provide music courses to connect society.

"It can also help promote musical education," he said.

"Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung, however, felt that the idea of restoring the mansion and music are not related.

Commissioner for Heritage Jose Yam Ho-san said the Advisory Committee on Revitalisation of Historic Buildings had considered factors such as social value and financial plans.

When the place is up and running, it would have an open day every year.

The music farm will be open from 9am to 7pm daily and there will be free guided tours to introduce the history of the mansion.

Apart from the office and some classrooms, most of the areas will be open to the public.

Yam said the cost of maintenance will be around HK$345,000 a year.

Haw Par Music Foundation board member Gordon Siu Kwing-chue said visitors and students will be told about the value of the building and why it is worth preserving.

Siu said people who previously maintained the mansion will be asked to help monitor the design and renovation of the music farm.
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