Revitalisation of Haw Par Mansion into Haw Par Music, Hong Kong


Revitalisation of Haw Par Mansion into Haw Par Music, Hong Kong

An award-winning conservation project to revitalise 86 year-old Haw Par Mansion (now known as Haw Par Music)

  • Aurecon’s role: Detailed design and construction supervision on building services, acoustic services
  • Client: Design 2 (HK) Limited
  • Ultimate client: Haw Par Music Foundation Limited

Built by a Hong Kong entrepreneur in 1935, the Haw Par Mansion is a four-storey residential house comprising a main block with an attached servants’ quarters and a private garden.

Architecturally, the Haw Par Mansion was built in a Chinese Eclectic style with a blend of Western and Chinese construction methods and architectural theory. It shows the cultural influence of Britain, China, India and Burma. It is also one of the few surviving developments that showcase the Chinese Eclectic style architecture in Hong Kong.

To ensure that Haw Par Mansion remains as an invaluable heritage site, the Antiquities Advisory Board in Hong Kong accorded it as a Grade 2 historic building in 2000. Later in 2009, the Hong Kong Government declared the development as a Grade 1 historic building.

Revitalising Haw Par Mansion sets industry standards

With a strong desire to preserve the Haw Par Mansion while giving it a new lease of life, Haw Par Music Foundation Limited decided to revitalise the building and transform it into Haw Par Music. This is a music school that offers lessons on Chinese and Western music and provides music-related community services.

Supported by the Hong Kong Government’s Revitalising Historic Buildings through the partnership scheme, the Haw Par Mansion undergone different alteration and addition works to meet modern-day requirements. Upgrading works were also carried out for compliance with the current building safety and health standards.

Aurecon teamed up with Design 2 and provided detailed design and construction supervision on building services as well as acoustic services. Key tasks included the design and construction of new main MEP plant rooms in the ancillary site and modification of the existing building.

New MEP plants were designed to meet the latest statutory standards while taking into consideration energy efficiency, flexibility and ease of maintenance.

With almost a century in history, the MEP systems in the Haw Par Mansion were substandard and did not comply with the current local regulations. To ensure that the new music school is safe for public use, different MEP installations including switch rooms, air conditioning (AC) plants, fire protection pump room, lifts, plumbing, drainage and telecommunication were upgraded to meet the latest statutory building standards.

Fire safety was also the key focus when revitalising the Haw Par Mansion. To meet the current fire safety requirements, Aurecon closely worked with the fire engineering consultant, heritage consultant, architect and structural engineer to optimise the locations of the fire sprinklers.

As a Grade 1 historic building, the Haw Par Mansion is of great historical significance. One of the requirements of the project was to preserve different heritage features of the building. These included the building structure, facades, roofs, windows, mouldings, decorative ceiling plaster work, original timber fixture and built-in furniture.

The locations of different MEP installations, AC units, lightings and socket outlets were therefore carefully selected to minimise potential impacts on the features. In particularly, the AC system. To meet the designated noise level, Aurecon carried out a noise abatement study and acoustic services for the AC system.

This also enabled the client to provide a noise-free environment for the music training that took place in the building.

In addition, the Haw Par Mansion is surrounded by high-rise residential buildings. To minimise the disturbance to adjacent residents, Aurecon also carefully designed the routings of the MEP main lead-in. This included power cables, water supply pipes and drainage pipes.

A centre that promotes a broader cultural understanding through music, heritage and the arts

Operating as a social initiative, Haw Par Mansion is now a centre for cross-cultural exchange through music, heritage and arts. It is also a unique place where the heritage of the Haw Par Mansion integrates with the vibrant and enriched music education and arts programmes that are offered to the Hong Kong community.

The commitment to heritage conservation and community development for the betterment of Hong Kong has been recognised. The project was awarded HKICON Conservation Awards 2020 – Adaptive Reuse Category in 2021. In addition to Haw Par Music, Aurecon’s other heritage revitalisation project, The Mills, was the winner in the same category.

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