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Hong Kong Central Hospital

Built in 1947, not graded.

Historical Interest

The building of Hong Kong Central Hospital (HKCH) has not been rated. In 1947, HKCH was designed by China's first-generation formally-trained architect Yuan-Hsi Kuo (過元熙) who was the contemporary of and shared fame with “Father of Modern Chinese Architecture” Sicheng Liang (梁思成). HKCH is one amongst the first six hundred modern architectures constructed in China.

Yuan-Hsi Kuo (過元熙) graduated from Tsinghua Civil Engineering Department in 1930. He obtained the Master of Architecture in MIT and graduated from Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts. He was also in charge of directing and managing the construction of the Chicago World Expo.

Architectural Merit

HKCH is a seven-storey utilitarian building of reinforced concrete frame construction built in the Modernist or International Modern style. This style of architecture is generally accepted as having originated in Germany at the Bauhaus school of art in the 1920s.

The main themes of the building were asymmetry, smooth flat plain undecorated surfaces often painted white, the complete elimination of all mouldings and ornament, flat roofs, large expanses of glass held in steel frames often in the form of curtain walling, and long horizontal streamlined bands of windows. Very free planning was made possible by the adoption of steel-framed or reinforced concrete post-and-slab construction with flat slab floors.

Rarity & Authenticity

HKCH has been little altered since it was built, therefore retains its authenticity. It stands out as the only high-rise building (seven-storey) in Hong Kong with post-Bauhaus architectural features. It is a rare, excellent local example of the International Modern Style with definite built heritage value. The three other remaining architectures are Wan Chai Market, Central Market, and Bridges Street Market.

Social Value & Local Interest

The hospital operates between 1947-2012. HKCH was the only building that focuses on medical services within Bishop Hill Compound - affordable medical services to be more precise. The generations of Central residents and workers turned to Hong Kong Central Hospital for professional medical consultation and treatment. The hospital was a non-profit, general private hospital located in the Central area of Hong Kong Island.

Group Value

HKCH has historical and local interest and also group value being situated alongside Bishop’s House (Grade 1), St. Paul’s Church (Grade 1) and the Old S.K.H. Kei Yan Primary School (originally the south wing of St. Paul’s College, Grade 2). 

HKCH is part of the “Conserving Central” initiatives was announced in 2009-10 Policy Address by chief executive Tsang Yam-kuen. The eight sites mentioned in the initiatives include the Central Government Offices Complex, the Central Market, the Central Police Station Compound, the former French Mission Building, Murray Building, the New Central Harborfront, the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Compound (Bishop Hill), and also Police Married Quarters on Hollywood Road.

Adaptive Re-Use

The structure and interior of HKCH are all in excellent condition. Adaptive re-use of the building as a district medical clinic should be considered, given its significance to Hong Kong’s community and medical history.

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