Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Heritage Site Renewal

The new home of the Asia Society on the former army site
When I went to watch the documentary From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China, it was shown at the Asia Society's new permanent building, behind the Conrad Hong Kong in Admiralty.

Previously the Asia Society would rent rooms in places like the Hong Kong Club or in hotel venues.

But now it has a place it can call its own.

The reception area is large and very contemporary looking
It is built on what was previously the Explosives Magazine Compound that was built by the British Army in the mid 19th century to prepare and store explosives. It was here that gunpowder was processed, packaged, stored and distributed to defense locations around Hong Kong.

In the beginning of the 20th century it was taken over by the navy, and then was used as storage up until the 1970s when it became a depot. After the 1980s the site was unused until the government gave the building and the site to the Asian Society.

It's taken 10 years to come together and HK$400 million as well as donations, and the end result is a modern-looking space that can be used for exhibitions, lectures and presentations.

Downstairs is a small gift shop and the AMMO Cafe.

The multipurpose function hall has a different view of the city
I like how the Asia Society now has its base, and its location is relatively convenient. Now if only they could do something about the outrageous prices they charge for events... Right now it makes the group more geared towards intellectual elites when it should be opening up itself to invite more people into the fold to enhance their knowledge and understanding of Asian culture, history, politics and economics.

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