Often as I makemy way through Hong Kong, I’m saddened to see how few of the old-style tong lau shop-houses have been preserved, and I wonder at how many older buildings have been swept aside for the glittering skyscrapers and towering apartment blocks that are synonymous with the city. While there’s no doubt that attitudes around the world to architecture and public space were very different in previous decades, we’re fortunate now to live in an era of true appreciation for heritage, where earnest efforts are made to protect and reinvent historic structures. The newly-opened Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts is a great example of this. The former Central Police Station compound, which dates back 170 years, has been sympathetically restored and developed to create an exciting new hub for the arts and culture. Make sure you check out the exhibitions, free music and movie events, and try the exciting bars and restos on offer. Find out more about the project from page 56. It wasn’t deliberate, but history and heritage have ended up permeating this issue! Another great example of how a piece of HK history has been revitalised is evidenced in the Sham Shui Po campus of the Savannah College of Art and Design. SCAD, which offers creative university courses here in Hong Kong, is celebrating its 40th anniversary (page 54). On a smaller scale, but arguably no less challenging, expat David Crane tells us how he renovated a village home in Sai Kung to create a beautiful retreat for his family (page 18). We also feature a look at life in Tai Hang, a district of Hong Kong that has been gradually gentrifying since the 1990s, creating a fascinating mix of old and new HK, in our regular Street Talk feature.
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PS – Turn to page 68 for the details of our competition where Expat Living readers have the chance to win HK$15,000 worth of prizes from bridal couture designer Rania Hatoum!
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